What I've noticed here is that what the gardeners say is not quite right--many things are two weeks early, then some things are not. There was an article in Scientific American online a while ago about schedule changes, and how these will affect plants, insects, birds, and then all the rest of us: With Warming Climate, Only the Earlier Bird Catches the Worm. Starting from the more recent, Bird Extinction Estimates May Be Too Low at ScientificAmerican.com and following the links around to the various related articles, one comes to Not Just a Nice Idea, Preserving Biodiversity Is a Necessity:
According to a study published in today’s issue of Nature, preserving the earth’s biodiversity is not just a nice idea—it is necessary to ensure ideal functioning of the planet’s ecosystems.Global warming is a threat to biodiversity, because it, like any rapid change, is and will continue to press some species to extinction, while also being at least a temporary boon to others. "Ideal functioning," or ecosystem efficiency will be restored if relatively stable weather patterns are re-established. The danger is not to life on earth, but to extant species, of which human beings are one. It would be really interesting to see that rebalanced world, but, of course, unlikely that we will.
Charlie of Charlie's Bird Blog and his partner Jo have embarked on a new project: Hummingbird:
Welcome to Hummingbird - a blog that wants to say that there has to be a better way of doing things than throwing away hundreds of bars of soap a day...In the spirit of "Think globally, act locally," (although since they deal with the airline industry, local is pretty global!) they start with soap, move on to utensils (linking the site of the manufacturers of spudware, biodegradable knives, forks and spoons made of potato starch), compostables resulting from airline catering, and on investigating the possibilities of decreasing or balancing greenhouse gas emissions from air travel, and reducing its "footprint." I'll be watching their progress with interest.
I don't know if we're still at a point where we can turn back from the brink, but I'm convinced that if we are, there are choices we can make as individuals, including the choice to no longer tolerate waste, pointless extravagance, landfilling materials that can be diverted, etc., that will go a long way to fostering the change in political will necessary to making that turn.
For an interesting discussion of points of no return and climate, see Runaway tipping points of no return at RealClimate: Climate Science from Climate Scientists.