In horrifying “not surprising any more because we knew it would be this bad” news, the new United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report adds a lot more exclamation points to the reality of the severity of climate change. Basically, the IPCC report confirms pre-existing analysis pointing to climate change as the key driver behind worsening wildfires, water shortages, and mega-storms. And since the world is set to surpass the 2015 Paris Agreement target of 1.5ºC overall global warming within the next 15 years, humanity’s last best hope lies with a rapid enough deceleration of carbon emissions for us to peak at 1.6ºC overall global warming mid-century before settling down around 1.4ºC by 2100.
Though we’re now at the point where climate change will likely mean permanent change to this Earth we call home, this does not mean we’re permanently doomed. As a favorite philosopher of mine would say, “That’s a choice.” We must choose to act, act boldly and seriously, and act very soon. In the days and weeks ahead, we’ll continue to monitor how America chooses to act.