The IPCC released the second report on climate change. It is more very bad news, but even so might still be insufficient to stimulate action from leaders or followers.
Last September a summary on the physical science of climate change showed that climate change is real, and humans are the “dominant cause”. Now the IPCC reports that if behaviour doesn’t change – i.e. less fossil fuel consumption and less net carbon release – the possibility of redressing climate volatility will diminish.
The scientists point out that some effects will become irreversible which must be bad. One extrapolation is that crop yields, which are already stretched to feed the world, will decline. If we don’t reduce consumption now, there will be nothing to consume in a few decades.
It is sad to be able to see the pain in the future, but realise that most people do not. The US Secretary of State said:
“Unless we act dramatically and quickly, science tells us our climate and our way of life are literally in jeopardy. Denial of the science is malpractice. There are those who say we can’t afford to act. But waiting is truly unaffordable. The costs of inaction are catastrophic.”
But cynics respond cynically and everyone turns a blind eye. It is depressing when leaders, especially rich, educated ones, obscure the truth and pretend that everything is ok. Weird weather is in the headlines almost daily now, yet everyone goes about their business as if everything is OK. Burying your head in the sand is not a solution. Changing behaviour is.