The results are in, the planet is well and truly screwed. But most of us below the age of Boomer already knew that. Another scientific paper has been released in the hopes of getting our good for nothing politicians to wake up and smell the CO2 emissions. And I for one really hope it works because there are some very scary predictions being made. Here’s the 5 most important takeaways from it and thank goodness it offers some glimmer of hope.
It is pretty worrying for those of us who are quite literally on the brink of inheriting the Earth that even though climate negotiations have been going on for 40 odd years, not much seems to have changed. The paper points out the ‘business as usual’ attitude that governments and corporations carry on with ain’t gonna cut it.
Over 11,000 Scientists Around The World Back This Paper
That is a lot of clever cookies agreeing on one thing. Which is so ridiculously rare, so needless to say it’s hella important and everyone should be paying attention.
It’s Not Just About Surface Temps and CO2
Usually when we think of climate change, rising temperatures and carbon emissions are at the forefront. The findings from this declaration went into a whole lot more depth on Earth’s ‘vital signs’. This means looking at things like population growth, forest clearing and income loss from extreme weather events. They also point to how much meat we eat and food we chuck out as something we need to take a long hard look at. The fate of other species also hangs in the balance with a mass extinction very likely to take place.
Things We Need To Do ASAP
For those who are leading the charge in being zero waste, remembering to turn off your lights and riding your bike – love your work. Cutting out fossil fuels is one of the big recommendations from the brains behind this paper. Unfortunately for us down under, we still have the mammoth task of getting our government on board. An online petition did the rounds this year and had over 400,000 signatures on it, to get the pollies to declare a nationwide climate emergency after it was voted down in parliament. Extinction Rebellion and School Strike protests have increased the pressure and kept the issue in the spotlight. So people are doing things which is awesome, but without massive corporations and governments getting on board, there’s only so much we can do.
The other thing they really encourage is getting a handle on our population. There’s already over 7 billion of us and that number is growing by 200,000 new people everyday. They’re not pulling a Dwight Schrute and suggesting we need a new plague, it’s more along the lines of making sure girls around the world get a longer education.
Some Things Are Looking Less Terrible
Ending on a high note – there’s still hope! We do still need to work on reining in our population growth but they’ve already noticed a decrease in birth rates around the world. Lots of companies are also starting to divest from fossil fuels, and renewable energy is booming in several countries.
Image sources: @william_bossen, @markusspiske (Unsplash)