Key points on the climate emergency
Climate change is happening now
- Average temperatures have increased and are continuing to increase
- There are more droughts, heatwaves, wildfires, storms and floods.
- Climate refugees have been forced from their homes by their land becoming infertile.
Climate change is man-made
- There is now no 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 civilisationDue to climate change, we already have
- lethal heatwaves and wildfires
- 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 make immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissionsThe AR6 report was released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in August 2021. It indicates that
- we need rapid and far-reaching transitions in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities
- the residual global carbon budget to stay within 1.5° of global warming will run out in 2031 at current emission rates
- in high-polluting countries such as the UK, a fair share of the residual global carbon budget will run out in 3 years - see document 33
The solutions are simple and should have been implemented alreadyWe already know what to do:
- phase out use of fossil fuels as quickly as possible
- use less energy
- increase energy generation from sustainable sources
But politicians and officials have failed to act appropriately due to poor decision making and corrupt decision making
- 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 fallen little (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)
- contribute to an effective plan - see document 57
- insist that the decision-makers comply with this plan - by "civil disobedience" i. e. citizen enforcement, if necessary.
First published: Feb 2019
Last updated: 24 Nov 2021