The news about climate change is so pervasive that it is no longer one news item but has become fragments scattered across natural disasters and societal upsets. Wildfires, sea level rise damaging infrastructure, climate refugees, governmental emergency responses, et al, are now ubiquitous in the news. The UN took eight years compiling a report about the status of the situation. It isn’t a surprise that it took eight years because the situation is incredibly complex, encompasses the world, and involves science that is developing as quickly as it can. That also means that those who wait on such reports are working on a multi-year lag during which we’re experiencing more heat waves, building collapses, torrential storms, and agricultural difficulties. Oh, yes. And we’re in a pandemic. Pretending not to panic?
“The IPCC Working Group I report, Climate Change 2021: the Physical Science Basis,”
which has been heralded as the “most comprehensive” climate change analysis ever,
says that the global average temperature will likely “reach or exceed 1.5°C of warming” by 2040.
The good news is that most of the temperature increase may already be accounted for, and that we are actively improving technologies, practices, and attitudes to limit the rise.
The bad news is that we may not be doing enough fast enough, we don’t fully understand the processes, and that we may be closer to, or already beyond as least some tipping points.
We probably won’t know how much effort is enough, and considering some ideologies, there will always be some that think that doing anything is meaningless. In some ways, this may be the biggest world war we’ve waged but the armies aren’t tanks and bullets, but ideas and practices. See the IPCC Working Group report mentioned above for details.
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