A chilling report just issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that we have no more than twelve years in which to avoid a climate catastrophe. After three years of research, the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC issued this unequivocal warning. Time is running out on climate change, we are at a threshold that our planet dare not cross. “Without seeing some of the worst effects of climate change. Including the destruction of ecosystems, the disappearance of some island nations and unpredictable changes to the planet’s weather patterns.”
If we exceed a global temperature rise of 1.5C then all bets are off as to the repercussions that this will have on the planet’s ecosystems. Temperatures have already risen 1C as a result of human activity and if we continue to release greenhouse gasses at the current rate, the planet could pass the 1.5C threshold as early as 2030. Professor Jim Skea, the IPCC co-chair pointed out the advantages of taking climate action now.
“The first is that limiting warming to 1.5C brings a lot of benefits compared with limiting it to two degrees. It really reduces the impacts of climate change in very important ways.”
“The second is the unprecedented nature of the changes that are required if we are to limit warming to 1.5C – changes to energy systems, changes to the way we manage land, changes to the way we move around with transportation.”
“Act Now Idiots”
Kaisa Kosonen, of Greenpeace, who was an observer at the IPCC negotiations put it more forcefully. “Scientists might want to write in capital letters, ‘ACT NOW, IDIOTS,’ but they need to say that with facts and numbers,” “And they have.”
Mary Robinson a former President of Ireland and U.N. climate change envoy told TIME “We have a short window of time and a huge responsibility”
Moving Backwards Since Paris
Unfortunately, since the historic Paris accords were signed in 2015, many countries have taken steps backward. Most alarming was Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw completely from the Paris Agreement. Saying “it was a bad deal” (there are no “good deals” when it comes to climate change). Australia, Canada and Germany have also been hesitant in meeting the challenge.
Jerry Brown, the outspoken Governor of California said “the world is not achieving the goals of Paris.” Brown along with Michael Bloomberg (past mayor of New York City) have led in efforts to circumvent the Trump administration. Leading with the Global Climate Action Summit held recently in California, the “We Are Still In” movement has galvanized over 3,000 organizations to continue their efforts to reduce their carbon footprints.
These actions recently led to people demonstrating worldwide to demand that their governments do more to meet the climate change challenge. See our article: People “Rise for Climate Action” Around the World.
What Needs to be Done Now!
Here is what the IPCC says needs to be done now.
Five steps to not exceed 1.5
- Global emissions of CO2 need to decline by 45% from 2010 levels by 2030
- Renewables are estimated to provide up to 85% of global electricity by 2050
- Coal is expected to reduce to close to zero
- Up to seven million sq km of land will be needed for energy crops (a bit less than the size of Australia)
- Global net zero emissions by 2050
All of this will not come cheap. The report estimates that annual investments in the world’s energy systems of around $2.4 trillion, starting now, until 2035. See all the details as reported by BBC News.
“Climate Scientists Have a Political Agenda”
In a recent 60 Minutes interview, when Lesley Stahl asked Presidient Trump “Do you still think that climate change is a hoax?” Trump responded by saying “I think something’s happening. Something’s changing and it’ll change back again,” I don’t want to give trillions and trillions of dollars. I don’t want to lose millions and millions of jobs.”
The interview occurred in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Michael’s destruction along Florida’s coast, that resulted in multiple deaths and billions of dollars of real damage. And just a week after the United Nations IPCC’s dramatic call to action.
The President’s interview also follows upon the administration’s recent release of an environmental impact statement that acknowledged climate change and predicts a 7-degree rise in global temperature by 2100, The Washington Post reported. However, even with that acknowledgement it drew a surprising conclusion. Basically, as one climate scientist explained, “they’re not going to do anything about it.”
In the 60 Minutes interview Trump dismissed the overwhelming opinion of climate scientists. “You’d have to show me the scientists because they have a very big political agenda, Lesley,” he said. “Look, scientists also have a political agenda.”
Young Citizens Sue Trump
A federal judge in Oregon gave the go ahead for a groundbreaking lawsuit against the U.S. Government to proceed. In Juliana v. United States, 21 youthful plaintiffs have targeted the government for creating policies that lead to more climate change. Thereby violating the constitutional rights to life, liberty and property of the country’s youngest citizens.
The judge’s action rejected the Trump Administration’s third petition to block the student’s lawsuit. See the entire article in EcoWatch.
We applaud the actions of these youngsters that have so much to lose if global warming continues to rise unchecked. We will follow their case through the courts and keep you informed of the results.
See these related Blue Ocean Articles on Climate Change:
What We Knew About Climate Change – and the forces at work that continue to block meaningful change.
How To Get More Ocean-Hearted Intel Delivered To Your Inbox!
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