It is McGuire’s firm belief that “a youngster born in 2020 will confront a considerably more hostile environment than their grandparents.”
Extreme heat is just the beginning. According to British scientist Bill McGuire, as reported by BTA in an interview with the Guardian, everyone involved has to realize just how dire the situation is before they can work to avert a worldwide disaster.
Hothouse Earth, Bill McGuire’s newest novel, couldn’t come at a better time. McGuire, an emeritus professor of geophysical and climatic studies at the University of London, argues that this is just the beginning of the problem.
We have been ignoring the dire warnings that growing carbon emissions are gravely warming the Earth, as he makes plain in his unflinching assessment of coming climate disaster. Consequences of our indifference will manifest in ever more severe weather events, such as hurricanes, floods, droughts, and heat waves.
The main idea, according to him, is that we can no longer prevent a catastrophic global climatic breakdown. We’ve already crossed the tipping point, so we may expect lethal heat waves and temperatures exceeding 50 degrees to become the norm in the tropics, harsher summers in temperate latitudes, and warmer seas.
The world that a kid born in 2020 will enter is significantly more hostile than the one their grandparents faced, according to McGuire. The scientist, who served on the UK government’s Natural Disasters Task Force, has an extreme view in this respect. Other climate scientists, however, maintain that sufficient time still exists to make significant cuts to global greenhouse gas emissions. It is yet within our power, they believe, to hasten the transition to a net-zero energy economy and prevent global warming.
Bill McGuire disagrees with such assertions. There are many climate scientists I know who have one line to the media and another in a more relaxed atmosphere. They are all secretly far more worried about the future we confront than they are willing to confess. Appeasement on the environment is what I’m calling it, and it’s just going to make matters worse. Before we can even begin to cope with the issue, the world has to know how awful things are going to become.
Many of this month’s near-catastrophic record high temperatures, including those in the UK, are included in his report. Many of these records had already been broken by the time he finished his writing a few months later. That’s the catch, says McGuire, when you try to write a book on global warming. “It will be outdated by the time it is published. Things are changing at a rapid pace.
Intense wildfires have raged throughout Europe, North America, and Australia this year, while in the United States, record rainfall in the Midwest has contributed to deadly floods in Yellowstone National Park. And, he continues, “the world outside is already changed as we move towards 2023.” There won’t be anything left of it that we recognize in a short while.
Though comparatively safe from the worst impacts of the impending climate crisis, Britain nonetheless confronts significant challenges today. There will be more intense and prolonged heat waves in the future.
Many newer, smaller, poorly insulated houses in the UK will become death traps by the summer of 2050, causing thousands of fatalities annually.
McGuire says that despite “repeated warnings,” hundreds of thousands of “unsuitable dwellings” are erected every year.
McGuire claims that “a conspiracy of ignorance, inertia, mismanagement, misinformation, and falsehoods by climate change skeptics” is to blame for the world’s painfully slow reaction. And this proves without a shadow of a doubt that we’ve been dreaming the whole time… If a miracle does not intervene, we will certainly be crashing soon.
Even if the future seems explosive, McGuire stresses that a genuinely disastrous and unsustainable future may be averted to some extent if carbon emissions can be drastically decreased in the near future and if we start adjusting to a much hotter planet now.
The days ahead will be gloomier, but nothing too disastrous will happen. Even if we can’t stop climate breakdown from happening, we can stop future disasters that seem like a global apocalypse and might end up being so severe that human civilization itself is in danger.
He describes it as a “call to arms.” You should shut down an oil refinery if you feel the need to. Drive an electric vehicle, take public transportation, walk, or ride a bike if you can. McGuire suggests, “Forget about flights and eat less meat.”
An even bleaker future is depicted by the scientist. There are five surprises, he says.
Rock crusts that were originally crushed pose a risk of triggering earthquakes and tsunamis when ice sheets melt off of high mountains and the poles. Bill McGuire predicts that future generations will inherit “not simply a significantly hotter globe, but a more geologically stable one.”
Due to agricultural failures and subsequent food shortages, communities will likely come into conflict and elect populist leaders who promise their people the Land. Most concerning are escalating tensions over diminishing water resources among India, Pakistan, and China, all of whom have nuclear weapons. McGuire warns that a sea battle between the United States and Russia, two nuclear powers, is the last thing the world needs.
Methane has 86 times the warming potential of carbon dioxide but fortunately doesn’t linger in the atmosphere for nearly as long. Much of the world’s methane is now trapped in Arctic ice sheets; but, when this ice melts, even more methane will be released and our planet will get much hotter.
The Gulf Stream, which brings a tremendous amount of heat from the tropics to the water basins of Europe, is in danger of being blocked or diverted by the ice water that is pouring in from the Arctic. Recent scientific research has shown that the Gulf Stream is already diminishing and may halt entirely by the end of the century, which would bring severe winter storms to Europe.
Wheat, maize, and rice are among the top 10 crops responsible for providing 40% of the world’s calories. Because of the increased heat that will soon be the norm, many of these basic crops will not be able to thrive, and this will have a disastrous effect on the world’s population, according to McGuire.