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(20,061 posts)
Thu May 30, 2024, 04:43 AM May 30

The Guardian Opinion: Humanity's survival is still within our grasp - just. But only if we take these radical steps

Humanity’s survival is still within our grasp – just. But only if we take these radical steps
David King

Mon 27 May 2024 06.32 EDT

Reduce emissions, build resilience, repair ecosystems, remove greenhouse gases: these are the four Rs that can save us

David King is chair of the global Climate Crisis Advisory Group

In 2008, the late American climate scientist Wally Broecker warned of the global repercussions of polar ice loss. Today, his predictions echo louder than ever as Greenland ice haemorrhages at an alarming rate, threatening rapid sea-level rise. Over the past 15 years, the Arctic Circle region has been heating up at four times the global average; it’s now more than 3C above levels in the 1980s. In 2023, we witnessed a staggering loss of Antarctic Sea ice.

Over the past year, land and ocean temperatures have soared, far beyond what was anticipated for an El Niño year. Global average temperatures have breached the 1.5C mark, indicating that climate transition has been unleashed. From record-breaking wildfires across continents to catastrophic floods threatening to submerge major cities, extreme climate events have become the new norm, causing massive loss of life and economic damage worldwide.

Yet despite mounting evidence and urgent pleas, meaningful action falters. Global prosperity has historically emerged from fossil fuels. But the stranglehold of fossil fuel giants, generously subsidised by governments and financially backed by banks, places short-term profits over the planet’s survival. This entrenched dependency stymies efforts to transition to a sustainable future, despite the urgent need for change. GDP growth remains sacred, while climate, biodiversity, health, and social equity are sacrificed, condemning future generations to inherit a ravaged planet.

I say this acutely aware of how making such statements can appear as virtue signalling, particularly to those in the global south, where development is still taking hold. This is not primarily about denying them their pathway, but changing where those of us in the developed world stand – and perhaps our final destination.

Nothing to see here… Move along…
6 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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The Guardian Opinion: Humanity's survival is still within our grasp - just. But only if we take these radical steps (Original Post) OKIsItJustMe May 30 OP
K&R for exposure. Think. Again. May 30 #1
The US has reduced carbon emissions Old Crank May 30 #2
Decreasing emissions is necessary but not sufficient OKIsItJustMe May 30 #6
Just barely. 2naSalit May 30 #3
It is too late. At this point, the only hope are pockets of humanity Mr.WeRP May 30 #4
"What has posterity ever done for ME?" GiqueCee May 30 #5

Old Crank

(3,974 posts)
2. The US has reduced carbon emissions
Thu May 30, 2024, 06:43 AM
May 30

But not enough.
Need to start banning personal vehicles that don't get high mileage. Up energy efficiency now instead of phasing in over 30 years.

Basically we are doomed.


(20,061 posts)
6. Decreasing emissions is necessary but not sufficient
Thu May 30, 2024, 11:00 AM
May 30

We need to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, not stabilize it (as “Net Zero” policies hope to do.)


(281 posts)
4. It is too late. At this point, the only hope are pockets of humanity
Thu May 30, 2024, 07:28 AM
May 30

Surviving in the remaining habitable regions. Recent signs we have past the tipping point:
Ocean surface temps are many std dev outside the average and not showing cyclical temps
Atlantic ocean temps off the chart setting up for anticipation of worst hurricane season in history
122F in Delhi yesterday
AMOC is collapsing
Early and off the chart storm season in midwest
2 feet of hail from hail storms in Mexico during a heat wave
Flooding in South America and US
Early forest fires in BC
Venezuala is first country of the Americas to lose all its glaciers
Global coral bleaching event this spring
Sea water penetration of Thwaits Glacier; collapse is imminent
Howler monkeys in Mexico and Central America falling dead out of the trees from heat
Bananas rotting on trees before they are ripe

We will see massive heat deaths this year in India, Africa and Central America as these regions lack the infrastructure to provide habitable cooling to their population.

We will probably also see a large increase in crop failures globally this year.


(919 posts)
5. "What has posterity ever done for ME?"
Thu May 30, 2024, 08:07 AM
May 30

That is the unspoken motto of the fossil fuel industry, and they justify their psychotic selfishness and bottomless greed with "Our first responsibility is to our stockholders." They might as well come right out and say, "If we're willing to doom our own children to slow, early deaths on a poisoned planet, what makes you think we give a shit about your spawn?"

There are already regions where temperatures reach lethal levels with ever-increasing frequency. If no mitigating actions are taken, this trend will intensify exponentially and make even temperate zones uninhabitable. Then the growing tide of climate migration will quickly become an unmanageable and irreversible tsunami of desperate refugees who were deliberately impoverished by malicious government policies written by, and for the exclusive benefit of, mega-corporations.

It's not hard to imagine that the enraged response of a victimized populace might make the French Revolution look like a Sunday school picnic.

Guillotine futures are beginning to look like a promising investment.

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