"The findings are shocking," said Alex Rogers, IPSO's scientific director and professor of conservation biology at Oxford University. "As we considered the cumulative effect of what humankind does to the oceans, the implications became far worse than we had individually realised. "We've sat in one forum and spoken to each other about what we're seeing, and we've ended up with a picture showing that almost right across the board we're seeing changes that are happening faster than we'd thought, or in ways that we didn't expect to see for hundreds of years." These "accelerated" changes include melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, sea level rise, and release of methane trapped in the sea bed.
Human beings have fabulous way of ignoring catastrophe until it hits them over the head. Especially if the catastrophe seems to be moving at the pace of a glacier. It's always been this way and probably always will. For every person shouting 'Fire' there will be ten yawning and saying there's nothing to fuss about. It's easier that way.
That's not to say it is right, but until evidence of climate change literally hits most people in the face, most people are going to think it's either no problem at all, or one that can be put off for a few decades or so.
I see no way of changing this. It's ingrained human nature.
Truthfully, then, I am pessimistic about the future of this planet and the people living on it. More profound changes than we want to imagine are on the way that will impact – adversely – everyone. I believe humans will adapt, but it's not going to be painless and it's going to present challenges that will require a massive effort to overcome. Perhaps, when the grisly truth stares at everyone, that effort will be made. I believe it will. But the doing will upend every cozy assumption we currently have about the way we live now.