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IPCC report - Code Red for Humanity

18 August 2021 | , Timothea Goddard | Climate Change ,

Here, for now.

There's a revolution that needs to happen and it sits inside each one of us. We need to wake up and fall in love with the earth. Our personal and collective happiness depends on it.

Thich Nhat Hahn

COVID is giving us the experience of things being taken away, giving rise to loss and uncertainty and grief. We all have parts that have strong preferences for how things should be; we are having to learn how to soften and re-form around constriction, and to settle into what is available, now. This experience with COVID is perhaps offering a preview of the many changes that are coming as our planet warms and ecosystems and societies grapple with life-threatening challenges.

On autopilot, we can feel that these threats (to our economy, our jobs, our health, our food production and social fabric and hence our futures) shouldn’t happen, certainly to “me” or “us”. However we live in a world where everything is connected; there’s no getting away from this boat we are all in together. In the next while, this interconnectedness is going to be felt palpably and fiercely across the globe.

The Climate Council have put together this wonderful explainer on what the latest IPCC report tells us, why it matters and what it means for Australia and the world. They conclude that based on the latest science, that Australia needs to reduce its emissions by 75% below 2005 levels by 2030, and achieve net zero emissions by 2035.

Three main points from the report:

  • The most important climate science update for almost a decade shows there is a narrow path to avoiding climate catastrophe, but only through immediate, deep and sustained emissions reductions. This may be our final warning.
  • Climate change is already wreaking havoc around the world, with worse to come. Our decisions this decade will be the difference between a liveable future for today’s young people, and a future that is incompatible with well-functioning human societies.
  • Every choice and every fraction of a degree of avoided warming matters. The right choices will be measured in lives, livelihoods, species and ecosystems saved. The benefits of stronger action will be realized well within our lifetimes, and even more so for our children and grandchildren.

Let’s fall in love with the earth and act on that love, in all the small and big ways we can, here, now.

Like Roosevelt said: let’s “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

There may be only a small window, but worth going for, given that life on earth for billions of people and many other creatures and systems, is at stake.

Timothea Goddard
Director of Openground