There is a period in the earth’s history that is very pertinent to us today: the Palaeocene Eocene boundary. Fifty five million years ago the earth witnessed temperatures 8⁰C warmer than today’s average. The Palaeocene Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), as it is known, lasted 200,000 years and was preceded by 20,000 years of rising carbon dioxide and methane levels in the atmosphere. This is evidenced in the earth’s rocks and there are several theories as to what caused the initial rise in greenhouse gases. During this time the fossil record shows that 95% of the species present on the planet became extinct. Humans are descended from those species that survived.
Let me emphasize the time scales of the PETM, this occurred over hundreds of thousands of years, the rise in greenhouse gas levels happened over tens of thousands of years. With these time scales some species had time to evolve to their changing environment and yet 95% of them were wiped out. Fast forward to today. Current greenhouse gas levels have risen over a couple of hundred years (a timeframe far too small to even appear in the fossil record) to levels that are locking in very dramatic climate change that will take hundreds of thousands of years to correct itself.
The planet has been through climate change in the past, the problem with what is happening now is the rate of change – and this rate of change is driven by human activity – our choices and activities. Wildlife (which includes humans) cannot evolve quickly enough and this is demonstrated around the world by biodiversity loss, although admittedly this is not all due to climate change.
Change is coming whether it is forced on us by reality or policy and as individuals and businesses we need to be ready for these changes. Like Brexit and new pound coins, these are changes that are coming our way and we prepare for them. To quote Charles Darwin “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
Credibly Green is a company of chartered professionals that can help you manage change and evolve into a business that is ready for the future, and businesses can take a lead in tackling carbon emissions through their ability to take action at a far quicker (and often more effective) pace than Governments. Call us on 01746 552423 or email email@example.com.