Are we the frogs in a pot of slowly boiling water?
Let’s hope not, but, as it relates to climate change, it’s been that way so far.
The United Nations indicates that we have 11 years left to implement pretty drastic changes to our globally energy and economic system if we are to prevent “irreversible damage from climate change,” aka, “climate disaster,” “climate catastrophe,” and other “I’ll haunt your dreams” kind of phrases.
For an illustration of these impacts, check out this sobering graphic (Source link):
What’s the goal?
To reduce 45% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 2010 levels.
But some climate scientists suggest that we only have until 2020 (uh, next year) to make serious policy changes if we are to avoid these scenarios. The reason: Major changes in infrastructure and policy take many years to implement.
According to the most recent IPPC report (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), global greenhouse gas emissions must peak in 2020 if we are to stay on track to limit average temperature rises by 2100 to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
Currently, we’re on a trajectory to hit 3.0 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit).
Some say the number is more like 5.0 degrees Celsius (9.0 degrees Fahrenheit).
P.S. As a reminder, the UN IPCC is not a group of tree huggers working up a quick analysis. Instead, the effort is a 700-page report based on 6,000+ scientific publications, contributions from 133 authors, and peer reviews by 1,000+ scientists.