9 August 2021

IPCC

As I write, the main conclusions of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is delivering the key conclusions from its forty two page report known as "Summary for Policy Makers".

None of what they have to say comes as a surprise. It is a tale of woe. A tale of increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere, of warming oceans, forest fires and desertification. Mankind has plundered and abused this beautiful planet and now we are reaching the painful reckoning.

More than ever, those who deny climate change  seem like crazy fools - isolated in their ignorance. One of them even got to be America's 45th president. The report brings together hundreds of scientific studies and confirms what the rest of us suspected: climate change is real and human activity is responsible. There is no getting away from this truth. 

Seen from outer space, this is just a little planet - a tiny blue and green marble gyrating in the endless blackness. You would think that the inhabitants of this small but miraculous orb could work together, be united in our husbandry but division, disparity and one-upmanship have conspired to work against our Earth. The "United Nations" is more of a dream than a reality and always has been since its inception. 

The report fails to address the thorny issue of over-population which has surely accelerated the activities that contribute to global warming. It also fails to shame the richest countries that continue to turn  a collective blind eye to the effects of their  excessive appetites.

The signs were apparent a long, long time ago but now we have reached the eleventh hour.  We cannot be optimistic that world leaders have the ability or the wherewithal to  halt or even slow down climate change. There's still too much self-interest and they are probably just going through the motions of alarm for they inhabit the short term and then move on.

Here in Britain, the jobbing Conservative politician Alok Sharma will be chairing the twenty sixth United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP26) this autumn.  In preparing for this critical conference, he has made over thirty return flights around the world during the time of coronavirus. Ironically, his carbon footprint must therefore be as big as Lemuel Gulliver's was in Lilliput.  It's not a good sign.

Meanwhile our Little Phoebe, Charlotte Grace in New Zealand and all the other babies in the world will be wondering  what kind of planet they are about to inherit  from the current custodians.  I apologise with all my heart.

46 comments:

  1. If you really want scaring, think about decreasing yields and the collapse of the food chain.

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    1. That reminds me, I must stock up on rice and pasta.

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    2. I've also had another go at explaining how to see images bigger. Try right clicking and then open link in new tab (the top option on the right-click-menu). It works for that polar bear, although it's not an especially big image.

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  2. We have made a mess of it, haven't we?

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    1. Collectively, we are like Eve in Eden - so tempted by the serpent.

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    2. You don’t even believe in Eve, or Eden, or the serpent, so why do you try to make your point with what you consider to be false arguments?

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    3. It is just a story with moral implications. Surely nobody believes that Adam and Eve or the serpent really existed?

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    4. You would be surprised at how many.

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  3. I've always tried to do the right thing for humankind, even up to voting in elections. I am so disappointed and I too apologise to the younguns who we leave this mess to. Be smart kiddies and sort out what we wouldn't or couldn't.

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    1. Why are we impotent?

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    2. Partly ignorance in earlier days. Perhaps our whole political system is wrong. I don't know.

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  4. It is not just our 45th president but all the president before him in the age of global warming. Sure some have passed token "reform" bills with due dates many presidential terms after they are securely out of office so that they can effectively take credit even though nothing ever got done. I blame them just as much as those that flatly deny the existence of what is happening.

    Sadly it is our human nature to not willingly undergo suffering for others in our distant future. I fully expect this to continue until the world if full of suffering and gnashing of teeth before anything substantial is imposed. I don't expect to live long enough to see that day.

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  5. We esteem our urban foxes.
    When will we see urban polar bears, and will they adapt to our hothouse summers?
    I should love to see a family of polar bears, on my evening walk in the suburbs.
    I'd carry a couple of juicy Tesco-steaks in my pocket, in case they feel peckish.
    Given the collapsing food chain (Tasker) I may have to offer them nut cutlets.

    Only science can solve this, as Richard Dawkins says.
    With a concerted political will. Will we see it at the Glasgow conference?

    Our government ministers in Westminster are not fit to run a jumble sale.
    Sharma supports the expansion of Heathrow Airport, reversing his original view, that a third runway would inflict irreversible damage on greater London's last green spaces.

    I remember the polar bears at Calderpark Zoo.
    I hope Phoebe will see them one day, maybe in the melting North Pole.
    Haggerty

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    1. Maybe she will see pictures of polar bears - perhaps flickering film - as of the thylacine - gone forever.

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  6. More like the eleventh hour, fifty nine minutes.

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    1. They let everything run loose as if there was no tomorrow.

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  7. When Phoebe grows up there will be no diesel or petrol vehicles. Everything will be electric. Just hope it's not nuclear powered electricity. At least you and other bloggers are keen walkers.

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    1. I hope your cottage is high enough above sea level to cope with the forthcoming rises.

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  8. What are you, a Communist?!

    Seriously, of course I agree with you -- especially on the issue of overpopulation. Unfortunately it seems humanity is unable to address these issues adequately. I suspect we'll just keep plowing ahead until we're forced to adapt by the planet's limitations, and when that time comes it may not be pretty.

    Hasn't Alok Sharma heard of Zoom?

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    1. He has heard of Zoom but he has also heard of first class air travel, luxury hotels and fine dining. Rather more appealing even when you are meant to be a key player in addressing grave climate change matters.

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  9. I've always had some reservoir of optimism that mankind will avoid the ultimate consequences of climate change - until now. Even the so-called progressive nations are so divided they can't agree on even the most obvious courses of action. I believe that report you quoted is also the one that tells us the meridional current is at its weakest in 1000 years, and if it loses stability, as it is starting to do, or stops, it will bring catastrophic change to the northern hemisphere, in particular Europe and maritime North America. I couldn't agree more that overpopulation is a big part of the equation, but I think that problem will be taken care of by climate change itself. Millions will perish, and yet mankind will continue, by and large, to be more selfish than selfless, more greedy than generous, and more stupid than smart. I no longer feel that science and creativity will pull us out of this nosedive, because even in the face of all the science too many people in a position to make a difference are looking out for only themselves. I don't think there's any turning back or turning aside the ruin that is coming. Every person on the planet should be raising their voices to demand that leaders lead on this issue - and yet, as one of those flawed humans that live on this planet, every day I am able to focus on only my own individual problems, and even try to enjoy the world that we still have, for however long we have it. Sorry to be so, so in despair, but this has been coming for decades, and now it's dire. I think it would be easy to say my outlook is coloured by my current stresses, but I really don't think that is so. This despair is new, and it's based on observation and science.

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    1. Nothing to do with personal stresses Jenny. You are simply telling it like it is even though you seem to me to be someone with a generally optimistic outlook. What we can see ahead is indeed bleak and that is the truth.

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  10. Oh my, I wrote about the exact same thing today having read the UN report and Science Daily. Adding you to my blog list.

    One tiny sliver of hope here are the electric charging stations - fueling up for the pittance of $1.50.

    Too little too late.

    XO
    WWW

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    1. Always too late. The horse has already bolted. Thanks for calling by wise woman of the web.

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  11. Andrew sent me. And I add my agreement and my apologies.

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    1. As individual humans, what could we have done to prevent this impending nightmare?

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  12. Came over from High Riser. Wasn't 45 something. I live in North Idaho and still see plenty of Trump flags and such. For me he just plain "evil" and I don't use that term lightly. I don't wear a Hallo.
    Hope you find time stop in for a cup of coffee.

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    1. Thanks for calling by Dora. You are my first ever visitor from Idaho. I will be happy to have a coffee with you. I will even bring some flapjack.

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  13. I agree with you and am in despair on our shortsightedness. We've never been able to look at the long term or sacrifice for the common good. That has become increasingly obvious on many fronts.

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    1. Politicians tend to look as far as their next election and ordinary citizens have been taught to want more. More, more, more!

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  14. We can all make changes to the way we live. Fly only in emergencies. Reuse, recycle,upcycle and refuse plastic wrapping. Plant trees for our grandchildren to enjoy (not pines for fires or cash cropping). Grow some of our own food, share or preserve the excess. Walk more.
    Give to charities who provide education. Educated women have fewer children.
    If we must have them then centralise the Olympic Games to a permanent facility.
    For a hopeful story checkout Bealtaine Cottage on Youtube one woman's efforts to nurture the earth. Truly inspiring.
    Cheers Grandpa, I'm off to help with sleep training.

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    1. It needs to be a worldwide movement if it is to make a significant impact on the future of this abused planet. Thanks for calling by again Adele.

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  15. Climate change is obvious. the increasing speed of climate change is obvious. Sorry to be so negative.

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  16. Andrew pointed me in your direction also. I'm not good at expressing myself on this topic. I know we are over-populated and I did some of that by having four children, but I also think governments everywhere are largely to blame, fat cats sitting in parliaments, while the peoples of their countries starve and become ill. Big business too, lining their pockets with profits while others can't afford housing or food. Think of celebrities who have mansions in more than one country, so they can stay in the comfort and seclusion they've become used to wherever they travel. In the end, it all comes down to money. Too many have too much and at the other end, too many have nothing.

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    1. Thanks River. I agree that big-spending celebrities and fat cats should have a good hard look at what their choices are doing to this Earth.

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  17. The oil and gas industry here should have a good hard look at what their fights to exclude green energy is doing. I wonder if the whale oil people fought so hard against kerosene?

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    1. Even when the end is nigh and the devastation is biting hard and the skies are filled with angry clouds there will still be self-interested jerks looking after number one.

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  18. The Penguins plus the Polar Bears are not happy - neither are the inhabitants of the disappearing islands in the Pacific Ocean
    I’m one of Andrew’s readers also. He’s certainly done a good job in persuading his followers to pop over to see what you have to say……

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    1. His followers? Perhaps Andrew is like Moses. Thanks for coming over here Cathy.

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  19. And when Mrs Thatcher famously addressed the UN on the subject with such passion in 1989, they hardly took notice. It makes her now look like a visionary.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnAzoDtwCBg

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  20. What use are endless papers, reports and meetings - nothing ever gets done! Nothing is put into practise, but it was great fun for those who got together in fancy hotels, with first class travel and fine dining, as you pointed out to Steve, YP. All at a cost to the tax-payers!
    We already know that politicians, celebrities and "Influencers" (a word I hate!) have no intention of leading by example - Covid has already proved that.
    We should each of us be prepared to do something ourselves to help lower our footprint on this fragile planet, but how do you make people do so? How can you decide who does what? Most of us will take extreme offence at being told what to do.
    As for overpopulation - China had a one child policy for years, and still their numbers grew. Now they have dropped that policy in favour of two or even three children. India will soon be over-run by another billion, - how can we even imagine what that's like?
    If nature is to try to regain the balance it has lost, then this pandemic could be the first of many, and other than war on a gigantic scale, it may be the only way to curb population growth. Perhaps floods, wild fires, and pandemics are just the beginning, and will become a way of life - the only way nature has of hitting back?
    I feel so very sorry for Phoebe and all future generations.

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    1. That's a hell of a comment Carol. Said with passion and lucidity. This pandemic has only killed 4.3 million so far. Earth's population has continued to march upward and onward. We have a pandemic of human beings!

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    2. Protest needs to be effective. And that will mean civil disobedience.
      It will mean disrupting plans for Heathrow's extension: continual conflict.
      It needs to get quite ugly or it will go nowhere.
      But it also needs to be humane and moving, showing people in greater London all the lovely things that will be destroyed forever, if this insane plan continues. The trees and villages destroyed, the wildlife, kids playing.

      Politicians are only thinking of their careers, and as Carol said, they have no intention of leading by example.
      Alok Sharma is calculating how much he will be earning once he is out of politics (like Boris Shagger) and that is why he supports Heathrow extension.
      *Follow the money,* as they say.
      Our government ministers are putrid people, spivs and chancers.

      Here in Glasgow, they are making cycle tracks, thus narrowing the roads to motor traffic.
      When Kate Adie returned to Beijing, the first thing she noticed was that all the bicycles had gone, replaced by cars. China in gridlock.

      There will be some major environmental disaster, and as Noam Chomsky said, it will be very unpleasant. Many will suffer.
      Governments cannot dismiss the people, but the people can dismiss bad governments.
      We hold them up to ridicule.
      Haggerty

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