Summary of Transient Caretakers

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  • Scientific
  • Overview
  • Inspiring


You don’t have to be a scientist to see the evidence of manmade climate change. The weather is getting warmer and will heat up more as the atmosphere traps greenhouse gases emitted by combustion of petroleum, coal or gas. The number of major hurricanes has nearly doubled in the past 30 years. Hundreds of plants and animal species are moving toward the poles to escape the heat. Northern landscapes are changing dramatically as permafrost and tundra dwindle. Glaciers and icecaps are melting. As informed readers know, if global warming continues at its present rate, the effects will be calamitous. Oceans will rise, submerging island nations and coastal cities. Food and fresh water will diminish. Extreme weather will be more common. Earth will become hostile to its inhabitants. What can be done? More than you might think. Mervyn King and Teodorina Lessidrenska offer a hopeful prescription for sustainability and change, plus an important, sobering report on the challenge of global warming and its impact. getAbstract praises their analysis and their practical advice on how people can work together to make a difference.

About the Authors

Mervyn King, a former judge in South Africa and an expert on corporate governance, chairs the Global Reporting Initiative. Teodorina Lessidrenska, Ph.D. is a sustainability consultant.



The Sustainability Crisis

Each generation becomes caretakers of the earth’s future. This essential moral stewardship includes a heavy responsibility to pass down a sustainable – that is, habitable – planet. Today’s generation faces this challenge with the knowledge that the earth will be far less welcoming in the future unless current environmental trends radically change. The primary issue is global warming, a manmade problem caused by excessive carbon emissions. It threatens horrific consequences.

All respected scientific indices clearly prove that global warming is real. The evidence is everywhere. Temperatures today average 1.5°C (2.7°F) warmer than in the past, and projections are that this will increase significantly. Unless the world’s nations take substantial action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, average temperatures could rise up to 6.4° C (11.5° F) during the 21st century. Is this an ordinary aberration? No. To visit an earth two or three degrees Centigrade warmer, you’d have to go back three million years.

Among other serious problems, global warming is melting the great ice regions and glaciers. Scientists believe the Arctic Ocean will have no...

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