The climate emergency is already hitting “worst case scenario” levels that if left unchecked will lead to the collapse of ecosystems, with dire consequences for humanity, according to the chief executive of the Environment Agency.
Texas prides itself on being different. Yet it is in the grip of a winter storm that typifies the Snowmageddon-size problems facing energy in America. Although nobody can be sure if this particular freeze is a sign of climate change, the growing frequency of extreme weather across the country is. Texan infrastructure has buckled. The problem is not, as some argue, that Texas has too many renewables. Gas-fired plants and a nuclear reactor were hit, as well as wind turbines. Worse, Texas had too little capacity and its poorly connected grid was unable to import power from elsewhere (see article). Texas shows that America needs both a cleaner grid and a more reliable one.
Two years ago, an influential self-published paper entitled, “Deep Adaptation: A Map for Navigating the Climate Tragedy,” written by Jem Bendell, suggested that we were too late to save the world. Yet, in their rebuttal to Deep Adaptation, researchers Galen Hall and Tom Nicholas argue, “The fundamental battle in climate change right now is whether or not we can understand it as a primarily political struggle — rather than a scientific or natural struggle — and then win that struggle,” Mr. Hall said. “Deep Adaptation or fatalism in general is just one way of depoliticizing it because it puts everything up to inhuman forces.”
As scientists and scholars from around the world, we call on policymakers to engage with the risk of disruption and even collapse of societies. After five years failing to reduce emissions in line with the Paris climate accord, we must now face the consequences. While bold and fair efforts to cut emissions and naturally drawdown carbon are essential, researchers in many areas consider societal collapse a credible scenario this century. Different views exist on the location, extent, timing, permanence and cause of disruptions, but the way modern societies exploit people and nature is a common concern.
The world is getting warmer, but the global response has “remained muted” despite efforts like the Paris Climate Agreement — and millions of lives are at risk as a result. This according to a report published Wednesday by The Lancet, a leading peer-reviewed medical journal.
Climate-related impacts such as the wildfires in the western United States will only become more severe if we allow the worst-case scenario to unfold by 2100. A new EarthTime visualization shows just how hot the world may become in 2100, within the life expectancy of today’s tween, 10-12-year olds.
Mass loss from 2007 to 2017 due to melt-water and crumbling ice aligned almost perfectly with the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change’s (IPCC) most extreme forecasts, which see the two ice sheets adding up to 40 centimetres (nearly 16 inches) to global oceans by 2100, they reported in Nature Climate Change. Such an increase would have a devastating impact worldwide, increasing the destructive power of storm surges and exposing coastal regions home to hundreds of millions of people to repeated and severe flooding.