As Bill McKibben puts it, the numbers above add up to  an enemy of Earth: The fossil fuel industry. Perhaps the one light suggested by this article is that the anti-climate change movement has found a powerful enemy in its narrative. The goal of the movement, as he puts it, should be to put a price on CO2 emissions. Viva la revolución!

Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math
By Bill McKibben, Rolling Stone, July 2012

“We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn. We’d have to keep 80 percent of those reserves locked away underground to avoid that fate. Before we knew those numbers, our fate had been likely. Now, barring some massive intervention, it seems certain.

Yes, this coal and gas and oil is still technically in the soil. But it’s already economically aboveground – it’s figured into share prices, companies are borrowing money against it, nations are basing their budgets on the presumed returns from their patrimony. It explains why the big fossil-fuel companies have fought so hard to prevent the regulation of carbon dioxide – those reserves are their primary asset, the holding that gives their companies their value.”