“This graph shows the increase in the concentration of methane in the earth’s atmosphere over the last 10,000 years (panel inset shows the increase since 1750) based on the study of ice cores. Different colors represent different studies. Radiative forcing indicates the influence a factor has on the amount of energy entering or leaving the earth’s atmosphere and is an index of how important the factor is as a climate change mechanism. The higher it is, the more important it is”.
From SPIEGEL ONLINE Photo Gallery: Graphic Evidence of Global Warming.
The related article by Philip Bethge and Christian Wüst warns that unless the Western world learns to be more economical with its use of electricity, fossil fuels, and water, the 20th century may be remembered as a “Golden Age” of prosperity and abundance — a thing of the past. On the other hand, the authors point to China and its choice either for or against renewable energy sources as THE most important factor for the future of the planet.
Rather than an apocalyptic doomsday prognosis, the warning about a global energy crisis can be the nudge necessary to become more conscious of the resources I use, to avoid waste, and to conserve more dilligently.