Here's the latest weekly measurement at Mauna Loa, Hawaii of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Week of May 6, 2012: 397.17 ppm (parts-per-million)
Weekly value from 1 year ago: 393.05 ppm
Weekly value from 10 years ago: 375.12 ppm
You can see large seasonal fluctuation in this graph, which goes back one year. Here's the total record, which starts in the late 1950s.
Christiana Figueres, who is in charge of United Nations climate negotiations, may have the world's toughest job according to New Scientist interviewer Michael Marshall. I agree. It's gotta' be damn near impossible to constantly put out hopeful nonsense like this.
Marshall — You are in charge of the United Nations climate negotiations, a notoriously tricky process. What would be considered a successful outcome?
Figueres — The governments need to put in place regulations and incentives to reach the point of emission reduction at which we can stabilise the temperature below 2°C [of warming above pre-industrial temperatures].
Marshall — To keep below this 2°C target, the science says we have to peak our greenhouse gas emissions before 2020. But we won't have an agreement until 2015, or global binding targets until 2020. Doesn't that make keeping below the 2°C target impossible?
Figueres — That very much depends on what effort is made now by governments.
They must move forward with their negotiations for legal agreement by 2015. But they mustn't wait until 2015 to start their mitigation efforts, but rather accelerate mitigation efforts right now. They must also adopt the policies that give the right signals and incentives for the private sector to come on board.
This demands a question. When will some prominent person—Ms Figueres perhaps?—stand up publicly and say something like this?
Screw this hopeless bullshit. I'm not going to stand here like some damn fool and urge these humans to do something about global warming when I know damn well they have no intention of doing so.
I think that might have a galvanizing effect. Well, for 5 minutes it would.
I'm sure it's not helping Joe's blood pressure that NOAA says the United States just experienced the hottest 12 months since instrumental readings started being recorded in 1895. I found a helpful tool which I recommend Joe start using right now.
If you're unconscious, and Joe most certainly is, stop banging your head against the wall. That's excellent advice which I hope Joe and millions of other people on this planet will take to heart.
Bonus Video — Where is the hope? Wait for the orange and black butterfly