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article imageOp-Ed: UN report on climate change issues a 'life or death' warning

By Karen Graham     Oct 8, 2018 in Environment
Preventing a one-degree rise in heat over the next 12 years could make a life-or-death difference to multitudes of people around the world, according to a UN report on Sunday. But the report provides little hope the world will rise to the challenge.
Human activities are estimated to have caused approximately 1.0°C of global warming above pre-industrial levels. And the report's 91 authors representing 40 countries have high confidence that global warming is likely to reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate.
The report, released late on Sunday by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, says the world needs to decrease emissions by 45 percent by 2030, or else the atmosphere could hit 1.5 degrees of warming by then.
The 782-page report describes what will happen if we do nothing - and at the same time - tells us that if we just try to keep the warming where it is now, perhaps, just perhaps, we can keep some semblance of the ecosystems we have.
The current drought in Poland is worse than in the previous dry periods of 2006 and 2015  Prime Mini...
The current drought in Poland is worse than in the previous dry periods of 2006 and 2015, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki says
The report does say that avoiding 1.5 degrees of warming (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) — as measured in terms of the Earth’s average temperature compared to pre-industrial times — would not be impossible, but it will take ambitious actions - like actively removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
“Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees C implies limiting emissions on an unprecedented scale. It means deep emission reductions in all sectors, the use of a wide range of technologies, behavior changes and a significant increase in investment in low-carbon options,” Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London and a leading author of the report, said at an Incheon, South Korea, event unveiling the report.
“Rapid progress is already being made in some areas, not only renewable energy. But this progress needs to be picked up in other areas, such as transport or land management,” he continued.
Heavy rains and high tides caused flooding in historic Charleston  S.C.
Heavy rains and high tides caused flooding in historic Charleston, S.C.
Hilary Wright
What can we do to lower carbon dioxide?
“To limit warming to 1.5 degrees C, we would need to start taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere during the 21st century. The methods for doing this include planting trees, bioenergy combined with carbon capture and storage, changed land management, as well as some novel approaches that are in the very early stages of development.”
Here's the problem - Many countries, organizations, and groups are involved in working to reduce carbon emissions, "but they would need to accelerate,” said Valerie Masson-Delmotte, Co-Chair of Working Group I. The thing is - these groups need help, from everyday people, businesses and others, and they need help from their government.
And we can't have it both ways, folks. We can't continue to boost fossil fuels because they are killing the planet and everything on this Earth, including humankind. So how do we get people to understand what is happening and why?
As of August 3  2018  135 wildfires are burning on 1.6 million acres of private  state  tribal  and ...
As of August 3, 2018, 135 wildfires are burning on 1.6 million acres of private, state, tribal, and federal land. Approximately 6,000 of the USDA Forest Service firefighters are assisting with fighting these fires. (August 8, 2018)
U.S. Forest Service / @forestservice
Global warming has already changed weather patterns, causing intense droughts, forest fires and extremes of weather that are killing thousands of people and causing billions of dollars in damage around the world. Yet, leaders in the U.S., India, China, Russia and many other countries insist on still pushing the use fossil fuels.
It has come down to the fact that if our leaders don't give a damn about life on this planet, then the rest of us better start caring, and a whole lot, too. This UN report is a warning in every sense of the word. We have seen and experienced plenty of evidence to back up that warning - so what more will it take to wake everyone up to what is happening?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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