We Only Have 12 Years To Limit Devastating Climate Change

“There is no documented historic precedent” for what we need to do, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change wrote in its new report on global warming of 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, or 1.5 degrees Celsius. We have just 12 years make massive changes to our global energy system in order to limit climate change to moderate levels, a UN climate science body said in the report.

Rising sea levels, more devastating droughts, more damaging storms, the report makes it clear that warming will make the world worse in the form of famine, disease, mass migration and displacement. And there is a vast gulf between the devastation from 1.5°C, what’s considered the moderate level of average warming, and 2°C.

While this terrifying reality is usually framed as one of personal moral failing of the individual, drive less, recycle more, turn down the thermostat. In reality the responsibility for this mess falls squarely on the backs of major producers and emitters of greenhouse gases, the majority of which comes from just 100 companies.


Photo: “Nashville flood – 2 cars” by Jay is licensed under CC BY 2.0