IPCC Warns, Extreme Weather Devastates, But Where Is The Action?

Kuo, Gioietta | January 29, 2019 | Leave a Comment Download as PDF

NASA SVS/NASA Center for Climate Simulation

On October 8, 2018 IPCC  reported in its ‘summary for policymakers’ that the world would benefit by limiting the global warming above pre-industrial levels. to 1.50 C by year 2100.  This was approved by all governments.  However, at home, the governments resumed ‘business as usual’ – relentlessly pursuing ever higher GDP by growing the economy.  Quite oblivious of the IPCC warnings they had agreed to.

Global energy demand grew by 2.1%, more than twice the growth rate in 2016,  resulting in robust world economic growth of 3.7%. 40% of this growth came from China and India, 70% of which comes from fossil fuel, needless to say producing more CO2  and world ppm rose to an unprecedented  410.

The fundamental question we might ask: ‘Is it necessary for us to have such a growth rate today?’   May be we are locked into our capitalist economic system. The changes advocated by IPCC in ‘Summary for policymakers’ simply cannot be  reached by tweaking with fine adjustments. But how can we achieve the fundamental challenges envisaged by IPCC?

Now, all this is very bad news for Climate Change. In fact, as we can see in the following graph, we are already dangerously close to  to 1,50 C around 2040, only 20 years time.
Since the earth has  warmed by 10 C from pre-industrial age,  extreme weather in terms of hitherto unprecedented strong  hurricanes, flooding, 250 km/hour winds are already here and  their destructive power is already evident in many parts of the world. 

 

Figure2_Gioietta

 

A visitor from outer space looking at the current state of the world might comment: ‘  Are these Earthlings crazy, irrational or simply out of their minds? They are intelligent creatures, and they have developed sophisticated technology to enable them to predict the future under different scenarios.   On top of this they have already seen some examples of the devastation and destruction caused by extreme weather. Yet, the governments are not changing course, they insist on this suicidal path which they know will lead to further disasters with untold unprecedented suffering for an even greater number of people.    So are they insane?’

Any reader of this article should reflect  soberly on what an individual can do to alleviate and mitigate the coming disasters not in the long term future but in just decades time.  Can we vote sensible politicians dedicated to the environment into the government, may be start lawsuits or is it more effective to organize citizen action groups to put pressure and radically change our government?   This is particularly relevant to the millennials and those coming of age, the 18 year olds, because they have most to lose.

Can society come together at this very critical juncture?  Urgent action is needed for our own future and that of generations to come.

 

 


REFERENCES

[1] 2018/24/PR IPCC PRESS RELEASE 8 October 2018 Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC approved by governments.

[2] CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion – International Energy Agency.  https://www.iea.org/publications/…/CO2EmissionsfromFuelCombustionHighlights2017.p…

[3] Global energy and CO2 status report 2017 https://www.iea.org/publicaions/freepublicayions/publicayions.GECO2017.pdf

[4]  3.5 IPCC   Scenarios of the 21st Century  www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg2/index/php?idp=29

[5] Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and – IPCC

https://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_Chapter12_FINAL.pdf

[6]  Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as …www.nytimes.com/…/ipcc-climate-report-2040.html

[7] Climate Change:  Even worse than we thought! Sierra club https://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/climate-change-even-worse-we-thought-ipcc-report

[8] Does global warming make tropical cyclones stronger? Real Climate strongest tropical cyclones www.realclimate.org/index…/does-global-warming-make-tropical-cyclones-stronger?


Gioietta Kuo, MA Cambridge, PhD in nuclear physics at Birmingham, Atlas Fellow at St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She spent 12 years at Princeton University Plasma Physics Lab and has over 70 professional articles and over 100 articles on environmental problems featured in World Future Review (wfs.org), amcips.org, the MAHB and other worldwide think tanks. Additionally, she has published work in ‘People’s Daily’ and ‘World Environment’ – Magazine of the Chinese Ministry of Environmental Protection, and others in China. She can be reached at <kuopet@comcast.net.>

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedIn
The views and opinions expressed through the MAHB Website are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect an official position of the MAHB. The MAHB aims to share a range of perspectives and welcomes the discussions that they prompt.
  • Andrew Gaines

    I think, Gioietta, that there is very little that one individual, or even one group, can accomplish on their own, because to deal with climate change we have to deal with all the drivers that make climate change (and other existential risks) worse. Some call this a whole system change.

    What we can do is align with others to see the goal of transitioning to a life affirming culture into mainstream society. http://WWW.GREATTRANSITION.NET is a platform to support independent citizen-educators in doing this.

    We provide a robust set of communication tools. They include sample emails, guerrilla marketing tactics, and Kitchen Table Conversations.

    Our next milestone will be the GREAT TRANSITION SPLASH in September – a multitude of voices all communicating through their networks and publicly about transitioning to a life affirming culture.

    I invite all MAHB folks to check it out.

    Andrew Gaines
    andrewgaines@andrewgaines.net

    • Greeley Miklashek

      How about promoting voluntary one-child families where-in free women can have access to education above their current 7 years (K-12+4=16!), open access to meaningful work, and ready access to inexpensive, effective, and safe birth control? You can do that, right? I’m doing it. Stress R Us

      • Andrew Gaines

        Greeley, you missed the point, which surprises me. Individuals on their own are just spitting in the wind. Aligned to communicate about whole system change to a life affirming culture (which includes reducing population – and I think your ideas and great!), we can cohere into a powerful force. So, I invite you to actually look at http://www.greattransition.net.

        • Greeley Miklashek

          “possibly humanity as a species is in jeopardy…” Who “missed the point”? My 42 years of medical practice led to my discovery of the FACT that HUMANITY AS A SPECIES IS IN JEOPARDY. All the rest of the flowery systems-think and a lovely website is for naught, without a motivated audience, motivated to save humanity and the biosphere, and promoting voluntary one-child families worldwide is the main way to achieve this end. Do you feel me now? We are already a rapidly dying species in the middle of a species extinction event- our species. Want to read the details? Read “Stress R Us” in the MAHB e-library. This message should be the wake-up call all the well meaning environmentalists have been missing to really motivate the urgency of our message. Thanks for the phrase: HUMANITY AS A SPECIES IS IN JEOPARDY! Stress R US

  • trilemmaman

    The last question “Can we vote sensible politicians dedicated to the environment into the government, or is it more effective to organize citizen action groups to put pressure and radically change our government?” The answer is we need to do both, and more. First, the most powerful thing we can do is organize and lobby (lovingly and persistently educate) our elected officials to do the right thing. Voting is important but it only carries about 1/10,000th of the power that we have as citizens with a Representative and two Senators we can ‘petition’ on a daily, weekly or monthly basis…between elections. AND, we must do more to shift the values of our profoundly sick culture of over consumption, toxic consumption, and addiction to fast feel and look good behaviors that by themselves are killing us. And last, there is ALWAYS something more we can do as individual to make our own home and local environment (garden and parks) benefit nature instead of draining it. I highly encourage you to buy and read “Drawdown” https://www.drawdown.org/the-book/ or attend one of its educational forums being held around the world in local communities. https://www.drawdown.org/events

  • melharte

    An important solution avenue that is missing is emotional buy-in: we are presenting facts, but not marketing the emotional consequences in a continuous, emotionally compelling context. Yet, people make decisions based on their emotions. Trump, for ex., uses fear very effectively to build and control his base. This means an ad campaign over many media venues, day after day — in the US, it would have to be as big as the anti-smoking campaign. We have to find the organizations, money and marketers that are going to make this happen. Otherwise, the Kochs win.

    • trilemmaman

      We also need to market the economic and health consequences as they accumulate in both blood and treasure. AND how climate change is not the ONLY threat we face…all of them being related…and an urgent need of preventive measures instead of our typical reactionary policies.

  • stevenearlsalmony

    Query: Can humans live well by cooperatively renewing Earth rather than exploiting it?

    • trilemmaman

      Yes. If we change our values.

  • GrowthBuster

    Our worship of everlasting economic growth will end us, apparently. Our blind faith in economic growth is stronger than our ability to analyze the evidence that we cannot expand economic throughput w/o increasing CO2. If the warnings of the past year (World Scientists’ Warning, IPCC 1.5 Degrees Report, Living Planet Report 2018) don’t shake this faith, what will?

    • jason brent

      Only an idiot would believe that economic growth can continue forever on the finite earth. However, economic growth will continue as long as population growth continues. Therefore, to stop economic growth humanity must stop population growth. The reverse side of the coin–if economic growth ceases population growth must cease. It can cease in only one of three ways—a) wars (most likely with weapons of mass destruction), disease, starvation and other horrors; b) voluntary population control; and c) coercive population control. Due to the power of compound growth, (and the population and the economies of the nations of the world grow in a compound manner) economic growth must and will stop in the very near future–probably before 2100 and certainly before 2020. Voluntary population control has zero chance of stopping population growth in time to prevent the collapse of civilization. Therefore, in order to prevent the collapse of civilization and the deaths of billions, coercive population control must immediately commence on a world-wide basis. Jbrent6179@aol.com

      • trilemmaman

        OK. I’m an idiot. And I think anyone who believes that infinite growth of wisdom, human physical, mental and spiritual potential isn’t possible — is a fool. We spend money on what we value. There is no limit as to what we can do or make to keep our selves, our environment and our economy healthy and sustainable. And there is no limit to economic growth if our values are to abide by “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God” instead of short term profits, feeling good and looking good. I know this value shift is NOT going to happen without a lot of pain and suffing first.
        That appears to be how we humans learn best. But it is possible. And if you add to this equation humanities eventual need to find or terra-form another planet due to the inevitable expiration date of earth, then there is no limit other than limited thinking by people who think others are idiots for not doing the same.

      • Greeley Miklashek

        “Voluntary population control has zero chance of stopping population growth in time to prevent the collapse of civilization.” NEWSFLASH!: population density stress is killing us now and without our $3.8T medical care annually, including our 4.3B Rx annually, we wouldn’t be here now, at least in the US. We are in mid-collapse. The next step is failure of reproduction from societal collapse (divorce, mental illness, abandonment of children, infant mortality, abortion,etc.) and/or neuroendocrine mechanisms long known and established in our genes to turn-off reproduction in over-crowded populations. Infertility in the US has risen 100% in 34 years and sperm counts in the West have fallen 59% in 38 years. At this rate we could experience the extinction of our species by 2,100. The only alternative is voluntary one-child families from liberated free women with ready access to education beyond the current 7 years, free access to meaningful work, and access to safe, inexpensive, effective birth control. Maybe when we finally realize how f**ked we already are, then we’ll wake up and just try to raise one healthy child, which now costs upwards of $380,000 just to get him/her to 18yo. This would bring our worldwide populations back down to a barely sustainable 2.5B by 2,100. Still think we have “zero chance”? Stress R Us