Conceived and promoted by a team of journalists and experts including Peter Myers, Dr. Victoria Johnson and Andrew Simms, the 100 months problem is the idea that in roughly 8 years, our current lifestyles will have taken the earth beyond a revocable point when it comes to global warming and climate change. The project is designed to give people a more systematic approach to the problem; the deadline gives an effective time-scale for the implementation of sustainable infrastructures, so that global warming skeptics cannot claim the movement to be lacking in substance.
Since its introduction, there have been many critics and many dissenters. Despite the program’s attempts to pin down the global warming problem, many are not convinced by the original premise; that, in a relatively short time span, our current CO2 emissions habits will have driven us to a point where climate change and global warming have spiraled out of our control. The problem, as has often been the case for global warming prevention activists, is that most skeptics still do not see the problem as something tangible. And even if they do, it is seen by so many critics as paling in comparison to economic concerns.
As a result, the 100 months project has been called hyperbolic and unfounded. But the importance of the 100 month deadline is not so much the validity of the claim, but the practical and pragmatic approach it grants us towards solving a number of problems at once; without a deadline, and without a potential ‘tipping point’, it would be difficult to justify a systematic approach to the problems of fossil fuel depletion, rising sea levels, and a volatile climate. It is certainly possible to argue that those problems are not real problems, or that perhaps those problems are less severe than environmentalists make out. But what skeptics cannot deny is that CO2 emissions are rising; the EIA reports show a steady annual rise since 1980.
The 100 months program, then, need not limit itself to environmental issues, even if its end goal falls under that sphere. Outside of the stringently environmental effects of CO2 emissions, there are economic effects; fossil fuels are a finite fuel source, and that – as we have seen – is likely to drive prices up. And that cannot be refuted as a natural cause; the U.S contributes to around 20% of CO2 emissions worldwide each year, and it occupies just 5% of the world population. That inconsistency in statistics can only be explained as a failure in lifestyle that has without doubt draining oil reserves quicker than is necessary.
The 100 months concept, then, is not just important for the environment. It gives a time scale for social reform, and – for economics as well as the environment – social reform is needed; our current habits and our current paradigm are not sustainable. To many, the global warming problem is very real indeed, and it is to those people as serious as the 100 months concept suggests. But it is linked to the equally troublesome economic problem, and the 100 month program – if we can subscribe to it, for pragmatic or ideological reasons – will curb that issue through a break from our dependence on fossil fuels.