A top climate scientist is warning that climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.

In a recent speech at the University of Chicago, James Anderson — a professor of atmospheric chemistry at Harvard University — warned that climate change is drastically pushing Earth back to the Eocene Epoch from 33 million BCE, when there was no ice on either pole. Anderson says current pollution levels have already catastrophically depleted atmospheric ozone levels, which absorb 98 percent of ultraviolet rays, to levels not seen in 12 million years.

Anderson’s assessment of humanity’s timeline for action is likely accurate, given that his diagnosis and discovery of Antarctica’s ozone holes led to the Montreal Protocol of 1987. Anderson’s research was recognized by the United Nations in September of 1997. He subsequently received the United Nations Vienna Convention Award for Protection of the Ozone Layer in 2005, and has been recognized by numerous universities and academic bodies for his research.

While some governments have made commitments to reduce carbon emissions (Germany has pledged to cut 95 percent of carbon emissions by 2050), Anderson warned that those measures were insufficient to stop the extinction of humanity by way of a rapidly changing climate. Instead, Anderson is calling for a Marshall Plan-style endeavor in which all of the world takes extreme measures to transition off of fossil fuels completely within the next five years.

Recovery is all but impossible, he argued, without a World War II-style transformation of industry—an acceleration of the effort to halt carbon pollution and remove it from the atmosphere, and a new effort to reflect sunlight away from the earth’s poles.

This has do[sic] be done, Anderson added, within the next five years.

“The chance that there will be any permanent ice left in the Arctic after 2022 is essentially zero,” Anderson said, with 75 to 80 percent of permanent ice having melted already in the last 35 years.

Anderson’s prediction of Arctic sea ice disappearing by 2022 may be closer to reality than a lot of us would hope. In 2016, University of Reading professor Ed Hawkins compiled global temperature data dating back to 1850, prior to the Industrial Revolution of the early 20th century and the oil boom, and turning the data into a time-lapse GIF. The most alarming part of the data showed that temperatures began rising exponentially faster at the start of the 21st century and show no signs of slowing down:

The good news is there are a relatively small amount of culprits responsible for the vast majority of carbon emissions, meaning governments know who to focus on. As Grit Post reported in July of 2017, more than half of all carbon emissions between 1988 and 2016 can be traced back to just 25 fossil fuel giants around the world. 10 of those 25 top emitters are American companies, meaning the onus is largely on the United States to rein in major polluters like ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Marathon Oil. Other offenders include Chinese companies extracting and burning coal, and Russian oil conglomerates like Rosneft, Gazprom, and Lukoil.

However, the bad news for humanity is that as long as Donald Trump is President of the United States, swift action to combat climate change seems unlikely prior to 2020, given that Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords and refuses to even acknowledge the threat of climate change despite warnings from U.S. government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense.


Scott Alden is a freelance contributor covering national politics, education, and environmental issues. He is a proud Toledo University graduate, and lives in the suburbs of Detroit.


  1. But the really bad news is that bribery is rampant in our legislative bodies and in the form of revolving door rewards. So much so that they vote to kill their own grandchildren rather than vote against greenhouse gas producers. (fossil fuel industry etc) … And the other half this scenario is the proliferation of propaganda put out by those fossil fuel industry killers.

    1. Lee -I agree with you. I would also like to add the culpability of the mainstream media. There is rarely a mention of climate change, even after the devastating hurricanes of last year (and already this year).

  2. IVE REALLY RESEARCHED Rapid Climate change and Extreme Weather . It’s not good ! And Trump is busy denying all of this being told to back Israel v Iran . The middle east has always been a hot bed for hostilities . Religious beliefs and views underlying the disputes . Frankly it was a big mistake to create Israel after the 2nd World War despite what Jews went through in that war . It was certainly unfair to the Palestinian people. However what has been done is done .
    Now most people think that Rapid Climate Change is 100 years away . I don’t along with other experts . I think 2023 is the Start of major changes. And the 20s are going to be terrible if Global Cooperation does not start on a grand scale . I’ve seen Predictions are terrible . Most of the UK could become flooded and under water. Of course no one wants this to happen and if we change policies towards RENEWABLES and flood defences like the Dutch we could begin to reverse the inevitable. I think it’s better to err on the side of caution than do nothing otherwise there’s going to changes that no one is prepared for leading to absolute pandemonium. Xxx

  3. A large area around the North Pole is forecast be up to 30°C or 54°F warmer than 1979-2000 on February 5, 2018.” Sam Carana

    But it has been enhanced by more than a century of people externalizing the environmental costs of stupendous economic growth, loading the atmosphere now with

    42 percent more carbon dioxide,

    240 percent more methane,

    20 percent more nitrous oxide,

    42 percent more tropospheric ozone, etc.

    We have far too much gaseous carbon compounds now in our atmosphere, people.

    The carbon pollution is, by the way, making our oceans too acidic, an 3x more Mercury, threatening the base of the marine food chain. ” Jason E. Box

    “Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters:
    In 2017, there were 16 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States.
    These events included

    1 drought event,

    2 flooding events,

    1 freeze event,

    8 severe storm events,

    3 tropical cyclone events, and

    1 wildfire event.

    Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 362 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted.” NOOA

    Arctic sea ice could be gone by September 2018.’ Sam Carana

    Each 1C. Temp Rise, Atmospheric Moisture increases 7%

    We have increased Global Temps 1.9C. and Climbing, since the 1700s

    Sandy, Katrina, Irma, Maria, an Harvey had 19% to 49% more Record Rain, Record Winds, Record Sea Suges,

    Our New Normal
    Record Rain, Record Snow, Record

    Highs Record Lows

    Record Winds, Record Waves,

    Record Fires, Record Floods,

    Record Hurricanes, Record

    Tsunamis,Record Typhoons,

    Record Earthquakes, Record Mud

    Slides, an Record Sea Surges.

    Christopher C. Burt, ” the highest reliably recorded temperature on Earth is still at Death Valley, it is 54.0 °C (129.2 °F) recorded on 30 June 2013.

    53.9 °C (129.0 °F) was recorded another four times: 20 July 1960, 18 July 1998, 20 July 2005, and 7 July 2007.

    Aug 15, 2012 – “According to Weather Underground, the city of Needles, California, recently experienced what is believed to be the hottest rainfall on record 115°F.”

    A 2015 heat wave that killed at least 3,500 in India and Pakistan saw wet-bulb temperatures around 122 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius).

    A similar wet-bulb temperature was reached during the 1995 Chicago heat wave.” Steven Leahy

    A temperature of 94 degrees Fahrenheit (34.4 degrees Celsius) and 80% humidity produces a wet-bulb or “feels like” temperature of 129 degrees Fahrenheit (53.9 degrees Celsius) on the NOAA National Weather Service Heat Index.

    Methane which is Natural Gas + Carbon + Water Vapor = Global Warming

    “The 5 year global warming potential of methane is 86. That is, over a 5 year period, it traps 86 times more heat per mass unit than carbon dioxide” Michael Miles

    “This means that injecting 1 kg of CH4 into the atmosphere today would have 86 times more atmospheric warming effect over the next 5 years than injecting 1 kg of CO2.” ACS Chemistry for life.

    There is now a veil of Methane accumulating is the Stratosphere.

    Isostatic Rebounding of Greenlands Tectonic Plate, affecting (Gakkels Rift), causing Earthquakes in the Arctic, as well as Venting Mantle Methane

    Arctic News Sept. 15 2013

    “ As more ice melts away on Greenland and more water runs off in the Ocean and Sea, There is less weight on Greenlands Crust, the Crust Bouncing back from the lighter weight.

    The Crust bouncing back during Large Melts an effect called Isostatic Rebounding.

    This Rebounding can not Only Trigger Earthquakes and Landslides, it can also Suck Up the Magma from the Mantle.

    It Also Sucks Up Magma From The Mantle.

    It also Sucks Up Mantle Methane !

    Triggering Volcanic Eruptions and Venting Mantle Methane”. Sam Carana

    No one has the numbers for Mantle Methane, Pingos Venting, nor Perma Frost Melting, or Methane Hydrates, Fracking, let alone Isostatic Reboundings Global Numbers, All This Venting and Emitting, of Methane

    An ideal Carbon Atmosphere, would be at 300 parts per million

    1700s to 1800s ppm Carbon 260ppm – 280ppm

    1980s ppm carbon 350

    2015s ppm of Carbon 405

    2017 ppm of Carbon 409.35 and Rising

    “I will show you the rise in CO2 levels every 5 years from 1958 to Dec. 2017. I will also show the CO2 difference beside it from the previous reading. Each reading is taken in the March of the respective year.
    Year…………………….CO2 Levels……………Growth

    "The last entry is early since it is not yet March 2018.

    This shows the ever increasing growth of CO2 levels in our atmosphere.

    Some 2017 figures have shown 410ppm over the year, giving an increase of nearly 1ppm per month."

    Can society even exist in it's current form at 600ppm CO2 concentration ?

    I know the planet has been at that level before, but it took tens of thousands of years to get there and back again, not 250 years.

    Add in the CH4 levels, and you have an equivalence of ~580ppm already." Mark Bevis

    The main priority now should be to Decommission and Relocate to above 3,000 Feet, 450 Nuclear Reactors at Sea Level Now.

    1,200 Nuclear Fuel Rod Facilities at Sea Level Now.

    How long before 5 feet of Greenlands 20
    Feet of Sea Level Rise Fukushimatizes us ? 2020 ? 2022 ? ?

    "In the 1990s, the rising sea doubled its previous rate, reaching about an inch a decade, said Sweet. And then, over the past 10 years, tide gauges in Fernandina Beach, Mayport and Key West recorded an increase of about 0.9 centimeters per year, a little more than a third of an inch per year.” James Cox

    Sea Level Rise is accelerating, could just 5 feet of Greenlands 20 feet of Sea Level Rise, melt before 2000, or 2022

    Fukushimatizing US and the World ?

    Greenland Keeps the Northern Hemisphere in Ice and Snow Now.

    From the 1700s to 2000 – 30 percent of the Arctic Melted

    From 2000 to 2015 – 60 percent of the Arctic Melted

    90% of the Arctic is Gone, and what is left is barely any Ice or snow older than 5 years old, and it use to date back Thousands of years, Waxing and Waning in Glaciation.

    Each Day the acceleration of melt continues.

    With Record Winds, Record Droughts, Record Floods, Record Waves, Record Fires,

    Record Highs, Record Lows, Record Rain, Record Snow,

    Until Greenland is Half Melted, Then just Record RAIN, Record Highs, Record Lows, Record Floods, Record Mud Slides, Record Fires, Record Wet Bulb Index,Year after Fukushimas Year

    20 Feet of Sea Level Rise in Greenland

    200 feet of Sea Level Rise in Antarctica

    450 Nuclear Reactors at Sea Level

    1,200 nuclear Fuel rod Facilities at Sea Level

    Already One Fukushima

    Already One Fukushima

    What we have now, is a Broken Up Jet Stream,

    That has been Pierced, and Lobed,

    Because of Mantle Methane, Methane Hydrates, Pingoes, Perma Frost, Fracking, All emitting Methane Now

    and Emitting over 40 – 50 Billion Toxic Tons of Carbon each year Globally.

    All this Hot Gas has Pierced the Jet Stream in to Lobes,

    The Hot Gas Fueled with the Insane Arctic, Greenland, and Antarctic Ice Melts.

    Has Roared its Global Warming Frontal Lobes with Record Setting Temperatures and Record Setting Snow, and Record Setting Rain.

    These Methane, and Carbon Molecules Have Roared Their Increased Water Vapor and Global Warming Gases, That will Set Record Heat, Record Snow, Until Greenland is 1/2 melted.

    Then Just Record Rain and Record Heat,

    Year After Fossil Fuel, Nuclear Radiated Year. (Fukushima) ( 450 Nuclear Reactors at Sea Level ) (1,200 Nuclear Fuel Rod Facilities at Sea Level) Year.

    Kevin Hester "If you compare his conclusions with those of Shakova et-al from the University of Fairbanks Alaska you can see why professor Guy McPherson and I believe this September could be our last after a 50 giga tonne methane release and the attendant collapse of industrial civilisation. Huge respect to the field researchers rather than the modelers who all seem to be ‘owned’."

    Methane Burp

    The oceans have been sinking due to the ice melts in Greenland and the Antarctic, and Each 1C. Temp Rise, Atmospheric Moisture increases 7%

    We have increased Global Temps 1.9C. and Climbing, since the 1700s

    Sandy, Katrina, Irma, Maria, an Harvey had 19% to 49% more Record Rains, Record Winds, Record Sea Surges,

    The Mantle is being pressured by all this water, and at some point, like Natalia Shakhov, Guy Mcpherson, and Kevin Hester point out, we are going to experience a Methane blow out in the Arctic
    From Mantle Methane, Perma-Frost, Methane Hydrates

    The Methane has been telling us, it is going to blow since 2005 by Maria, what was a finger size blow whole in 2005 is now a 200-300 ft. wide blow hole called Pingoes 2015

    And their increasing in number and size in Siberia, Canada, and on the Euro-Asian Plate

    Glaciation kept the Mantle Cooler

    Campaign to allow Californian residents to sell electricity obtained by renewable energy for a fair pro-business market price. Will you read, sign, and share this petition?

    We Need a National Feed in Tariff

    It is time to get the Country Ready to Respond, Each Home can be a Beacon, Shining the Light of Hope, Even just for a Few Years, Months, Weeks, Days

    Published on Oct 11, 2014
    Campaign to allow Californian residents to sell electricity obtained by renewable energy for a fair pro-business market price. Will you read, sign, and share this petition?

  4. Money is at the center of the problem , we have too much and misuse it on the use and misuse of all natural resources .
    Fundamental change in taxation is probably the quickest and most effective way to change everyone’s behaviour and force the changes necessary in technology and methodology in the use and consumption of all Natural Resources from fossil fuels to land use, from overfishing and water use to air pollution, All aspects of Natural Resource use have to be addressed with a matter of utmost importance .
    The scrapping of all Existing taxes and the imposition of a new Natural Resource tax should be applied as soon as practical and based on the Damage their use does to all aspects of life support to all ecosystems, and collected as near to source as possible .
    This carrot and stick method will fundamentally change the way we all behave from designer to miner, from manufacturer to consumer, from investor to shareholders. This has to be a mindset change.

    Alongside this should be a Universal Basic income and a reform of all health and welfare benefits to enable individual to take more direct responsibility for their own lives and empower them in the decision making of consumerism .

    By paying a realistic pollution price of all goods and services across the board, this will force the market economy to adapt very quickly to low impact and more sustainable living styles.

    1. David – You start off saying that money is the problem then go on to propose that money is the solution.

      Your proposal simply increases inequality. Those who can afford to will continue to live large while those who can’t will be most impacted. The biggest problem with money is that you DIE without it, therefor you will do ANYTHING to get it.

      Along the lines of what the author is calling for, we must get radical, claw back the millions, billions, trillions of dollars that the wealthy have given themselves at an ever increasing rate, and tax all money making money income at 90%. Then pay people to NOT do things like fly, drive, consume, waste. Pay people to go to school, plant trees and other things, pay people to husband livestock the old way, on the grassy lands, pay people to do art, music, entertainment, holostic care, etc.

  5. Critical hard to get to rare earth mining, toxic chemicals, and toxic waste vs vast hydrocarbon reserves being replenished by the earth all the time. Destruction of the world’s rivers and forests for hydro dams, biomass green power, and biofuels, for a cause that is not even real, excuse to lobby fossil!? Fuels while turning lights on, driving cars, flying in planes, riding bikes, talking on phones, and even wearing clothes made from fossil (?) Fuels.
    Carbon dioxide is essential for plant growth and seashell production, one csiro study shows greening of the world’s deserts. It was much higher in history and exists in parts per million ie. 0.04% of air, and methane in parts per billion ie. 0.000018% of air with less specific heat capacity than CO2 and H20. The greenhouse effect is mainly humidity that creates low pressure cool fronts that lowers air temperatures while clear skies and dry weather creates high pressure system warm fronts that raise air temperatures. The greenhouse effect, mainly along the equatorial has a regulatory and cooling function creating cloud cover and rain. Humans contribute an estimated 3% of total carbon emissions, CO2 changes with temperature and there is seasonal change with huge fluxes between ocean and atmosphere, cool water absorbing CO2 and warm water releasing C02. Just a small fraction of aboveground 150 active volcanoes have been measured and over 90% of volcanism is submarine. Volcanoes have coughing fits and tantrums and gases come through not just main vents but all around, even through dormant volcanoes. Do we even know how much soils take up? The depletion of ozone is more likely due to weakened magnetosphere from magnetic polar shift creating more high UV and cosmic, seismic and geothermal, and changes to ocean gyres and global weather. Auroras is gases burning off in the ionosphere from sunspots and lately coronol holes indicative of solar minimum with high speed solar wind causing geostorms, seismic and geothermal.

  6. We are not going to stop using all fossil fuels in the next five years.
    Therefore we are doomed.
    Alternatively, James ASnderson may be an alarmist idiot.
    I am going for option 2.

  7. If we are serious about mitigating climate change then we need to wean ourselves off animals products. Animal Ag contributes more GHGs than all odds of transportation combined. Read Livestock’s Ling Shadow or if you don’t want to take the time to do that Cowspiracy on Netflix will bring you up to speed quickly. Giving up animal products is the easiest thing we can all do to make a huge impact! Unfortunately so many people diliberately choose to ignore that. There is no such thing as a meat eating environmentalist.

  8. How much is fracking contributing to this? We are pouring massive amounts of methane into the atmosphere as we frack all over the place. It seems we are speeding up the process and locking ourselves in.

  9. “climate change will wipe out all of humanity unless we stop using fossil fuels over the next five years.”

    That will just make things considerably worse. I highly recommend looking into global dimming, also known as the aerosol masking effect. Here is the BBC documentary on it –

  10. There are approximately 750,000 abandoned/orphaned gas/oil wells here in Pennsylvania alone. Our environmental non-profit, ENVIRONEERS, is studying the methane emissions from these wells. These wells leak into the aquifers and the atmosphere. Even if plugged, they leak for there does not exist technology to permanently seal a well. Now thousands of fracked gas wells are being further drilled in Pennsylvania. I am reading higher and higher amounts of methane in our air including plums of methane. Our Lasermethane reads 10 times a second and is sensitive to one part per million. It is insanity to not dedicate full resources to solving our environmental issues. Pennsylvania still has over 70 coal fired power generating plants. Inconceivably stupid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *