It is difficult to know whether the car in front of you is going to slam on its brakes. Once it does, you are in crisis mode and your options are limited.
It is far better to practise safe driving and pay attention to what's up ahead. That way you can take evasive action in time to avoid it altogether, or to minimise the damage.
All the best scientists agree that there is a big problem ahead – the planet is warming and the consequences will be catastrophic for human society.
James Hansen, NASA climatologist, warns us, here, of the dangers of exploiting Canada's tar sands.
Canada’s tar sands, deposits of sand saturated with bitumen, contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history. If we were to fully exploit this new oil source, and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now.
Matthew Huber, a Purdue climatologist, says that a 10°C temperature rise is definitely too hot for humans. He also thinks that 2°C is a lost cause.
What happens if we ignore the problem that lies ahead and we're forced to cope in crisis mode? How can humans and animals adapt to catastrophic high temperatures?
Burrow. Be active at night. Stay near bodies of water. Reduce activities to a minimum. Lower birth weight.
Matthew Huber used this analogy in this interview.
Image is of a Volvo XC60 with sensor system to prevent rear impact collisions at city speeds.