An Apology to my Grandchildren About Global Warming

after the flood

copyright Des Pensable , 2014.

Dear (insert names),

I would like to apologise to you all for my inaction on Global Warming and hopefully explain why with all the scientific evidence available I chose to do nothing to help stop the problem which now threatens your lives.

I was born just after a great world war which was supposed to be the war to end all wars. I was brought up in a world that craved peace and security for their families. We just wanted to live and love and have a wonderful life. We all dreamed of having our own homes, a good job, a car and lots of time to be with our family.

In fact, the first three decades after the war the future looked very rosy, but slowly everything in our world changed and we all became greedy for material goods. It may surprise you to know that when I was born there was no television, stereo music, computers, mobile phones, supermarkets, jet planes, McDonalds, Internet, Google, Facebook or most of the things that you take for granted. They were all invented in my lifetime and we all wanted them.

At first we just wanted things that would improve our home life such as refrigerators, washing machines, a telephone and television. Of course, once we got TV our whole life changed. We had constant entertainment to take our minds off the world’s problems and we were seduced with advertising showing us all the new things that we could buy if we had money.

Did you know that when I was born there were no credit cards. If I wanted to buy something I had to earn the money first, saving every dollar and then buy it. When I did buy things it was very exciting and they were precious as I had to go without other things so that I could have them. Then the banks gave us credit cards and lots of credit. We didn’t have to save anymore. We bought everything we wanted and then worked to pay them back.

What we didn’t realise was at that moment we stopped being free. When we accepted the credit cards and began to buy everything we saw on the TV, we got into debt with the banks. It created a new problem which we were unprepared to handle. It’s called a debt cycle.

When you get into debt you need to work harder to get more money to pay back what you already owe to the banks. But after working hard all day and relaxing in front of the TV at night you see more things other people have that you want to buy. You buy them and get into more debt and the cycle continues. We never seemed to have enough money to buy all the things we wanted and to get out of debt.

We became addicted to money and all that it could buy. We forgot about everything else. We all wanted to be rich, own huge mansions, drive expensive cars and travel the world.  We ignored or didn’t understand that there were hidden costs in this wild pursuit for wealth. Our family life suffered, our health suffered and so did the health of the natural world.

Everything that was made used power that was supplied by fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. The more material goods we wanted, the more fossil fuels had to be burnt to produce those goods and the more carbon dioxide gas was released into the air.

One day the scientists began warning us that the carbon dioxide was changing our climate. It was warming up the world and if we didn’t stop putting it there then it would lead to a catastrophe in the future. They showed us the evidence and even told us how we could avoid the problem but it would mean that we would have to make changes in our lives.

We didn’t want to believe them. We watched as the summers got hotter and drier and the winters warmer. We saw the bushfire season start earlier and end later. We saw more violent storms happening around the world. We heard the sea levels were rising as the Arctic ice and most of the glaciers in world began melting. But we ignored it all and we did nothing.

We didn’t want to believe it could happen because it would threaten our comfortable lives. We might have to stop buying all those wonderful goods that we buy. We might have to change our ways, use less, buy less. We might lose some of our hard earned wealth. We might have to forget about all those lovely shiny entertaining things that we love so much.

The mistake I think we made was we trusted our politicians, the banks and the companies. We forgot that the politicians were just as addicted to money as we were. They wanted wealth and power and were open to corruption to get it. We forgot the banks and companies only existed to make money. They said there were no problems with Global Warming and we believed them. They lied to us.

I’m old now and I’ve realised how precious my family is to me. I’ve realised that the threat of Global Warming is real. I’ve been so absorbed in my own selfish wants and desires that I have forgotten that I am leaving all the problems my generation has caused in my lifetime for you to solve. I’m sorry that my inaction has threatened your future. I’m sorry for the pain and suffering that I have bequeathed to you.

Please forgive me and please don’t do what I did. Please work to fix the damage to our world that my generation has done. Please try hard to make the world a better place for your children and grandchildren if it isn’t already too late.

If I had my time over again I would fight to stop the use of fossil fuels and I would switch to renewable energy. I would resist the seduction of TV and try to avoid the debt cycle. I would certainly never trust politicians, and would push to heavily regulate companies.

Above all I would spend more time with the people I love. You, my family and my friends.

Your loving Grandfather / Grandmother.

For further environmental articles by the same author visit my website.

The Global Warming War : Have we reached the Death of Hope or the Beginning of Change?



Des Pensable © 2014

Global Warming War, climate change, environment, Green activism, #lairdblockade

If you are playing a strategy war game like chess that moment when you realized that you were going to lose becomes embossed on your mind. It is a moment of resignation, it’s the death of hope.  You’ve lost. In a chess game, it’s the moment you lie down your king. In a game you get to live on and play again.

In the real world it’s the moment when you finally consider surrender, when the cowards run, the religious pray and heroes are supposed to be born.  But if there is no quarter to be given, no chance of mercy, no way to stop the inevitable, no way to change the odds, no way survive, you die. It’s all over! You don’t live on to play again.

In a real life situation it could be a moment of panic, “Oh hell I’m going to die”; a moment of sadness “Dam, I’m not going to see my wife and family again.”; or it might be the classic movie moment of defiance and heroic self-sacrifice. “I’ll hold them off while you guys escape.”

In the Global Warming War we have not yet lost.  We are not quite yet at the moment of resignation or the death of hope but it is fast approaching.

Thousands of scientists have studied Global Warming as if it was a war game and found a set of conditions termed tipping points that if passed will cause us to lose the war. If we lose almost all life on Earth is likely to perish. They have also worked how we can avoid losing.

A tipping point is like the moment you slide down a slippery dip, once you let go there’s no stopping until you hit the bottom. Once a tipping point is passed there is no stopping. No prayers, no cavalry, no hope will change the outcome. There is one tipping point that is absolutely lethal to our planet. If it is passed we are all dead.

Trapped at the bottom of our oceans is thousands of billions of tons of methane hydrate. It is trapped by the fact that at the bottom of the oceans the pressure is high and the temperature too cold to allow it to rise to the surface. However, if the temperature of the water rises above a tipping point, then that methane trapped at the bottom of the ocean will begin to rise out of the sea. It’s already happening in the Arctic to a small and minor extent in shallow areas.

Methane is about 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the gas currently released by burning fossil fuels like oil, natural gas and coal.

At present 93% of all global warming heat gets absorbed into the oceans. When we pass the tipping point for the sea bottom methane to be released in large amounts, the Global Warming War is over. The world will rapidly warm causing the oceans to get warmer causing more methane to be released causing more warming, in a lethal positive feedback cycle.

Nothing we as humans can do will stop that cycle once it gets going. It is projected to cause the world average temperature to increase by more than 10 degrees Celsius. An increase of that magnitude will have the effect of making MOST of the land in the world too hot for life. Scientists believe it has happened before causing a mass extinction.

All the forests will burn. In Australia, we’ve seen the destruction of a single bushfire. It’s awesome.  Imagine a world-wide fire storm. Imagine the whole of the Amazon and African jungles burning. Massive deserts will form. Almost all of the land creatures of the world will die. Most of the creatures in the sea will fare little better as the sea will become too hot and too acidic to survive.

There will be nowhere for humans to live except underground, no food to eat, no water to drink. Perhaps 90-95% of all humanity will perish. You and ALL your family, your friends, your dogs and cats WILL MOST LIKELY be among the casualties.

We are at war with Nature. 97% of the world’s climate scientists are convinced Global Warming will destroy life on Earth unless we take action to fix it. They have the evidence and they have a cure.

It starts with keeping 80% of the world’s fossil fuel reserves in the ground and moving to renewable forms of energy.  We urgently need to start that part of the treatment now.

So what can you do about it ?

Here’s  a few ideas to start.

  • Join an activist group such as Lock the Gate , the Australian Conservation Foundation, Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth.
  • Divest in fossil fuel assets by moving your savings to a bank that doesn’t invest in Fossil fuels.
  • Become independent yourself on power by going Solar.
  • Resist new coal mine development in Australia
  • Resist Coal Seam Gas mining in Australia
  • Lobby hard for the removal of ALL government subsidies to fossil fuel companies.
  • Vote for politicians that will take serious positive action to mitigate Global Warming – get them to put it in writing.
  • Fight against the corruption of our politicians by the fossil fuel energy mining companies as revealed by ICAC.


As of October 8th, I have just modified this article to link to some important NEW information .. dated 13th August, 2014. As of late last year there have been MASSIVE discharges of methane off the Arctic coast which the models predict could lead to a MASS EXTINCTION EVENT as early as 2050 leading to some scientists to argue for  a war time alert to be announced leading to an IMMEDIATE move from fossil fuels to renewable and IMMEDIATE shut down of industrial activity in the USA and much of the world.  The massive discharges of methane follow on the highest sea temperatures ever recorded in the USA.

Watch for further article in the Global Warming War series..

Further reading.

Arctic Sea Ice: What, Why, And What Next

July 2014 Shows Hottest Ocean Surface Temperatures on Record

Global Warming and the Gulf Stream

Horrific Methane Eruptions in East Siberian Sea

Arctic Emergency: Scientists Speak – video

A doomed Earth of science fiction may well become a reality

Activism in Australia video

Life at 4 C in Australia

Dangerous Climate Change: Myths and Reality.

For more Environmental  articles by the same author .