Well, Kids, It's Last Call.
It's reached the point where it's hard work to ignore our perilous reality. But our political leaders, bless their hearts, shun it as a vampire does the noonday sun.
Jason "Dead Man Walking" Kenney went to Washington to pitch the beauty of Athabasca bitumen. Justin Trudeau, the national begging bowl in hand, is again (still) scouring the private sector for some outfit to take his personal national disaster, the Trans Mountain pipeline, off the federal books in a Potemkin village sort of way. What timing!
The World Meteorological Organization just released its State of the Global Climate, 2021. For the humble laity it begins with an interactive look at the atmosphere, developments on land, changes in our oceans, the cryosphere (the cold bits), extreme events, risks and impacts and what we can do to preserve life on Earth.
Some years ago I put together a list of the calamities facing mankind. The list included everything from the manifestations of global warming and climate change to overpopulation, over-consumption (resource depletion and exhaustion) and even terrorism, war and nuclear proliferation. I suspected that there were common threads that ran through these existential perils and, perhaps, there might be common solutions.
Eventually it came down to one cause and one solution. These crises arose out of mankind's failure to live in harmony with the limits of our very finite planet, Earth. The solutions require that we, humankind, come to our senses, finally. We must live in harmony with our planet, with nature and with other living species. That begins by eliminating fossil fuels as quickly as possible. It means leaving the worst, high-carbon stuff in the ground.
A Hotter Planet
Change is already underway. In 2013 a team of climate scientists from University of Hawaii predicted that we were on the verge of what they termed "climate departure." It's a point of no return phenomenon. Team leader, Camilo Mora, said that once the switch is flipped, every year post-Departure will be hotter than the hottest year pre-Departure. The coldest year post-Departure will be hotter than the hottest year pre-Departure.
The analysis found that departure will first arrive in the tropics some time during this decade. It will take another decade or two for departure to set in to the more temperate regions, the latitudinally-advantaged nations.
A new report from the UK Met Office concludes that the severe heatwave now underway in India and Paskistan is now 100 times more likely to occur across the region.
The scientists used 14 computer models to assess two scenarios, one was the heated world of today and the other was a world with no human-caused climate change. They found the 2010 heatwave was 100 times more likely in our hotter world. The analysis also found that such extreme heatwaves will happen almost every year by the end of the century, even if carbon emissions decline.
South Asia was identified as one of the regions that would first experience climate departure. Others listed were Southeast Asia/Asia Pacific, parts of the Middle East, the Caribbean and Central America. These regions do seem to be trending in line with the analysis.
The International Energy Agency has joined the chorus of voices warning that to have an even chance of averting a global climate catastrophe there can be no new oil and gas projects. None. Apparently the Liberal government that just approved the Bay du Nord project figures that getting another 188,000 barrels a day of seabed crude doesn't matter. Besides it has that infernal pipeline to complete. As Guardian columnist, George Monbiot, recently wrote, it's guys just like our prime minister that are selling out the future.
UN Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres