Guest contribution by Eric Worrall
The Guardian is dismayed that the UN Code’s Climate Emergency Declaration has disappeared from the front pages of most news outlets.
Now or never, scientists warn that the time of reckoning has come for the planet
Sun Aug. 15, 2021 5:00 p.m. AEST
The IPCC is clear: we urgently need to take action to curb global warming and prevent disaster. Will our policy makers and the Cop26 conference be up to the task?
Heat waves and heavy rains that cause flooding have become more intense and frequent in most parts of the world since the 1950s, and climate change is now affecting all inhabited regions of the world. The drought is increasing in many places and the number of major hurricanes and typhoons has increased with a probability of more than 66% since the 1970s. “If there was any evidence that human activity is causing climate change, this report is the one to provide it,” said Prof. Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia.
Indeed, they could pose a threat to civilization by the end of the century, if emissions are allowed to continue at their current rate. “That may seem far away, but there are millions of children already born who should be alive well into the 22nd century,“Added Prof. Jonathan Bamber of Bristol University, another author on the report.
However, this will not be an easy task. As Nick Starkey, Director of Policy at the Royal Academy of Engineering pointed out last week. “The UK is not on track to meet existing carbon targets and our target of reducing emissions by 78% by 2035 will not be achieved without far-reaching energy efficiency measures,” he said.
“The climate story was all over the front pages on Tuesday, but on Friday, three days later, it was hardly mentioned“Added Prof. Martin Siegert from Imperial College in London. “However, this is the most important thing humanity has to do in the next 30 years. It will change our lives, it will change the way we see ourselves on the planet. And if we don’t, we will cause big problems for our children. But after three days we seemed to have been forgotten, even though this is something that requires decades of consistent, persistent work. “
Siegert added that it had been estimated that 1% of GDP investment would be required to ensure the country’s transition to net-zero status. “However, we’re currently spending about 0.01% … a 100th of this estimated price. And that’s also well below what the government is spending on things that will actually add to our emissions, like plans to expand airports and the tens of billions it has pledged for new road projects that just make driving around and burning easier will make more fossil fuel. “
Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/15/its-now-or-never-scientists-warn-time-of-reckoning-has-come-for-the-planet
Stories like this give me hope, climate activists are rowing around, but it’s almost unattainable to admit the challenge they have set themselves.
Most people perceive Britain as solid on board the climate train – even its conservatives speak like deep greens. But the reality, as Prof. Martin Siegert noted, is that the British government is spending a fortune on road networks and airport expansions, which is not entirely in line with all of its climate rhetoric.
If you ask the people in the UK, most immediately agree that something needs to be done. But doing something almost always seems to be someone else’s job – hardly anyone I’ve met in the UK seems to believe that it is their personal responsibility to address the alleged climate crisis, or that there is an obligation, significant personal hardship to endure to save the planet, such as using more public transport or reducing heating in winter.
And why should anyone think otherwise? After all, part of the reason the British are supporting renewable energy is because the British have been told repeatedly that switching to renewable energy would lower energy costs and save money.