A crisis even beyond the COVID pandemic is climate change, and the struggle with controlling the virus is a startling preview to action on the horrid effects already present off global warming, though, the real horrible shit is still to come — the New York Times yesterday ventured a look at the connection:
The stark gap in vaccination rates between the world’s rich and poor countries is emerging as a test for how the world responds to that other global challenge: averting the worst effects of climate change.
The vaccine gap presents an object lesson for climate action because it signals the failure of richer nations to see it in their self-interest to urgently help poorer ones fight a global crisis. That has direct parallels to global warming. Poor countries consistently assert that they need more financial and technological help from wealthier ones if the world as a whole is going to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. So far, the richest countries — which are also the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases — haven’t come up with the money.
And a lot of shit, too. Although the Paris climate accords, which the US is now again a part of, is a wonderfu step in the right direction, still won’t make the grade to turn the catastrophic tide, at least due to indications from a new report with the data::
According to the report, the Paris climate pledges will not be anywhere near sufficient to keep the planet from roasting — via Yahoo News yesterday:
The recent pledges made by world governments to limit carbon emissions will not be sufficient to meet the goal of keeping global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius, a new report concluded.
Instead, those nonbinding commitments will result in a rise in the average global temperature to a potentially catastrophic 2.4 degrees Celsius.
The Climate Action Tracker, an independent network of scientists that tracks the commitments made on cutting emissions, released its findings Monday, just weeks after President Biden convened a climate summit with world leaders.
The report notes that more robust targets made at the summit “have improved the Climate Action Tracker’s warming estimate by 0.2°C,” but that the net result would still mean the world is poised to blow past the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold set in 2018 by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“While all of these developments are welcome, warming based on the targets and pledges, even under the most optimistic assumptions, is still well above the Paris Agreement’s 1.5?C temperature limit,” the report states.
Despite the initial commitments made by world leaders in the Paris climate accord, temperatures have already risen by more than 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, according to a report released last month by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization, a finding that led U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to declare, “We are on the verge of the abyss.”
While keeping the average rise of surface temperatures below 1.5 degrees Celsius is still possible, the Climate Action Tracker said doing so will require a massive, unified effort from world governments that would transform life as we know it.
“Of great concern are the persisting plans of some governments to build new infrastructure not compatible with Paris goals, such as new coal-fired power plants, increasing uptake of natural gas as a source of electricity and that there are large inefficient personal vehicles in some countries,” the report states.
As illustrated we’re in a world of hurt. And apparently it’s not just the long haul, either — further on the new report from Gizmodo this morning:
But that estimate still shows the world will blow past the 1.5-degree-Celsius (2.7-degree-Fahrenheit) temperature threshold also enshrined the Paris Agreement as an optimal target. It isn’t arbitrary, either.
A groundbreaking 2018 United Nations report found that crossing that line would usher in irreversible climate damages, including sea level rise that could render some small island nations unlivable, widespread extinction, destruction of many coral reefs, and severe drought that would upend the livelihoods of millions of farmers.
The report’s findings show that almost no nations’ targets would set the world on that pathway.
The exception is the UK, and even it is lagging behind what Climate Action Tracker said should be expected of it because due to its historically high levels of emissions.
A just climate plan for the UK — and other rich countries that are responsible for the majority of historic emissions—would mean not just reducing national carbon pollution, but also paying developing countries to help them mitigate theirs as well.
Claire Stockwell, Climate Action Tracker’s senior climate analyst: ‘“You’ve still got the policy implementation gap. Countries need to be thinking not only about how much they will pledge to lower their emissions but also about what policies they need to meet those targets. And I mean not only their 2030 reduction targets but also what policies they need to implement to get all the way to net zero by 2050 or before.”‘
Maybe all this is for the long haul, but who’s to know? As I posted last week, ‘uncertainty‘ in climate-change forecasting and research is constantly shifting as natural shit doesn’t perform as scientists/analysts at first thought, or it’s just gotten hotter, which happens, changing the attitude of whatever the envirnomental subject.
In essence, climate change’s bottom line — per MarketWatch this morning:
But there still is a long way to go.
Worldwide, coal remains king for total electricity generation, as does oil for total energy use (which includes driving, flying, and shipping).
This, in a nutshell, is the climate challenge: the costs of renewables are reaching new lows, but older, dirtier forms of energy are still in use, and in demand, everywhere.
The eventual outcome is clear, and so are the trends: the green transition will happen.
The only question is whether it will proceed quickly enough to contain the risks of climate inaction.
And it’s really a BFD…
(Illustration found here).