UN Report on Climate Change Delivers Some Good News, Mostly Bad News

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

This is not exactly how I wanted to start the week, but this story is literally the story of our lifetime.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released the results of the study that was commissioned when most of the world signed on to the Paris climate accord and there is a small sliver of good news contained within it, but I can't lie; it's mostly bad.

The report says we still have time to prevent the worst case scenarios from happening, but not very much time and the report assumes that a minimal level of disaster is already baked in.

LONDON/INCHEON, South Korea (Reuters) - Keeping the Earth’s temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius means making rapid, unprecedented changes in the way people use energy to eat, travel and live or we risk even more extreme weather and loss of species, a U.N. report said on Monday. [...]

Without real change, the world is not even on course to reach the 2C target, experts said.

U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) secretary-general Petteri Taalas told reporters in Geneva: “There is clearly need for a much higher ambition level to reach even a 2 degrees target, we are moving more toward 3 to 5 (degrees) at the moment.”

The bottom line of the report is that the world is going to warm by at least 1.5 degrees Celsius as soon as the year 2030 and that's how long we have (about 12 years) to prevent something even worse from happening.

The idea that we still have time to prevent the worst case scenarios is the good news here, but the IPCC report says we need to cut global emissions by at least 45 percent by 2030 to prevent the world from warming beyond the 2 degree target.

I have a very difficult time imagining the world cutting emissions by nearly 50 percent in just 12 years.

That is definitely not going to happen here in the United States where Republican voters believe there is nothing more important in life than destroying the world just to make liberals angry.

If we don't take drastic steps to reduce our emissions, the IPCC report says the world could face food shortages and die-offs by the year 2040.

  • Draxiar
  • muselet

    Dick Cheney, November 2001 (reported):

    If there’s a 1% chance that Pakistani scientists are helping al-Qaeda build or develop a nuclear weapon, we have to treat it as a certainty in terms of our response. It’s not about our analysis … It’s about our response.

    Rs today: If there’s a1% chance that global warming isn’t real, then we must do nothing.

    Okay, yes, I’m comparing apples and oranges, but the difference in attitude toward a threat is striking. (I never could see what use al-Qaeda had for a nuke, given that it had no delivery system, but that’s another discussion for another time.)

    Do Rs—conservatives generally—believe the millions of people displaced by rising sea levels, extreme weather events and resource depletion won’t try to get to the US? Do they believe that desperate people won’t breach Donald Trump’s Big Beautiful Wall? Do they genuinely believe in an impregnable Fortress America?

    Doing something about global warming would mean governments changing their budgetary priorities quite a bit and individuals adjusting their lifestyles somewhat. In the short term, it would cost a big chunk of money; longer-term, doing something about global warming will save individuals money, create new jobs and potentially increase tax revenues.

    I’m no Pollyanna about this. There will always be that one mechanical engineer—meaning no disrespect to mechanical engineers—out there loudly insisting everyone who studies climate is wrong, and Righties will believe him even though his proof is semi-coherent gibberish scribbled on the back of a cereal box. And again, yes, it will be expensive.

    Then again, extinction isn’t exactly cheap.


  • katanahamon

    Lets go through all the agonizing steps to increase education and awareness, then stoke outrage to effect change, finally get some legislation proposed..Repubs object..and oops..super conservative Supreme Court shoots down every left wing cause that is brought before it for the foreseeable future. The End.