Key points on the climate crisis
Climate change is happening now
- Average temperatures are increasing
- There are more droughts, more heatwaves, more wildfires, more storms and more floods.
Climate change is man-made
- There is little doubt that climate change is due to greenhouse gases (especially CO2) released into the atmosphere by human activity
- Levels of CO2 have increased steadily since mankind started burning fossil fuels in large quantities
- The average temperature rises are in line with what is predicted by scientists from what is known about the atmosphere
Climate change is already serious and we're heading for a complete catastrophe and the breakdown of civilisation
Due to climate change, we already have
This is from 1 degree of global warming - and without effective action, we are heading for 6 degrees of global warming.
- lethal heatwaves and wildfires (as in California)
- lethal storms: hurricanes, typhoons, floods and mudslides
- civil unrest: e.g. the conflict in Syria
- climate refugees
- loss of species.
The latest UN (IPCC) report indicates that we need to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030
The SR15 report was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in October 2018. It indicates that
- we need rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities
- emissions of CO2 need to halve by 2030, reaching net zero around 2050
- The next few years are probably the most important in our history.
The solutions are simple and should have been implemented already
We already know what to do:
- use less energy
- increase energy generation from sustainable sources
- phase out energy generation from fossil fuel sources.
But politicians and officials have failed to act appropriately due to poor decision making and corrupt decision making
The problems in the politicians and officals include ignorance, arrogance, deceit, cowardice and corruption.
- The threat from climate change has been known for decades. International agreements have been made but they have been inadequate and compliance with them has been poor.
- World greenhouse gas emissions have continued to increase.
- UK greenhouse gas emissions have not fallen (despite official claims)
Many citizens feel an obligation to act:
- In a modern democracy, citizens delegate most decision-making to full-time officials - and these officials are (or should be) supervised by elected politicians.
- But officials and politicians frequently abuse their power and act like masters of the people rather than servants of the people - and this has been happening in climate change policy making.
- So the fight for a safe climate is a fight against abuse of power, and a fight for democracy.
- change their own lifestyle to a sustainable lifestyle (e. g. by using the calculator at https://www.carbonindependent.org/index.html)
- to contribute to an effective plan
- to insist that the decision-makers comply with this plan - by "civil disobedience" i. e. citizen enforcement, if necessary.
First published: Feb 2019
Last updated: 3 Mar 2019