The effect of environmental pollution on human life is quickly becoming undeniable. One in five people around the world are dying every year due to factors related to the effect of environmental pollution on human life, from improperly-ventilated cook fires to poisonous ground water leading to the spread of malaria-carrying mosquito’s. But the most dangerous effect of environmental pollution on human life yet is most likely the greenhouse effect. And according to the “One Hundred Months Project”, launched in August of 2008, we may no longer have much chance to save ourselves.
The greenhouse effect is becoming more and more widely researched and acknowledged in the mainstream press. The simple explanation of the greenhouse effect is as follows: the burning of fossil fuels releases “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere. These gases do not dissipate over time, but remained trapped in the earth’s atmosphere, absorbing heat from the sun. The effect of environmental pollution on human life through the greenhouse effect is comparable to the effect of storing vast quantities of firewood in your house during the summer. Eventually, things will just get too hot, and you have a situation on your hands.
But if you’re storing firewood in your house, you still have a reversible situation. If you remove the firewood, you may be able to prevent it from reaching its flash point in the summer heat and bursting into flames. Since you perceive the situation as reversible, you’d naturally be tempted to leave the firewood in place for as long as possible, only removing it when the situation becomes critical. However, there’s a risk involved with this complacent strategy: if you wait for too long, the summer heat may make the wood physically too hot to handle without burning your hands. The catastrophe hasn’t yet happened, but there’s no way to prevent it now, since you can’t remove the firewood. The firewood has reached its “tipping point” as far as heat goes. All you can do is wait for the inevitable combustion.
The idea behind the One Hundred Months project is to teach the public that the “tipping point” in terms of the greenhouse effect is about to be reached. As of August 2008, we have one hundred months before the greenhouse effect becomes irreversible. Even if we stop all fossil fuel production at that point, the climate won’t return to safe pre-industrial levels. The earth will continue to get hotter and deadlier until, like the firewood, it combusts, in terms of human life.
We can only hope that the One Hundred Months project is wrong, that the effect of environmental pollution on human life can still be reversed. But in case they aren’t we now have a deadline. We’re now doomed to watch the clock.