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Why the IPCC Report is so Scary

this episode is made possible by simple contacts visit the link below to save 20 bucks on your first order for the last few decades the threat of human-caused climate change has been heavily studied and reported the scientific consensus is now clear and we’ve seen a shift away from why is this happening – when will the worst happen and finally now – how exactly will this happen we know massive potentially catastrophic changes are just around the corner and the scientific community has shifted its attention from whether humans are exacerbating climate change – exactly what kinds of disasters to expect in this episode we’re going to take a look at the recent IPCC climate report and breakdown what changes we can expect to see in the near future and beyond before we go any further we need to establish a baseline for understanding there will be climate change deniers in the comments there always are but these people are a very vocal minority there is no longer any doubt that human activity has drastically affected the rate of climate change and we have mountains of peer-reviewed evidence to prove it if you’re one of the people who believes climate change is a hoax just consider who would benefit from you believing that lie fossil fuel advocates special interest groups and members of the current US and foreign governments who are heavily dependent on the fossil fuel industry for donations they are selling your future and your children’s future for a quick buck look at the evidence do your research this shouldn’t be controversial every single person on earth regardless of political leaning or beliefs would benefit from the actions recommended by the IPCC report with that out of the way let’s look at the report in question first of all what is the IPCC the IPCC is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change founded in 1988 the IPCC is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations tasked with providing the world with an objective scientific view of climate change and its various impacts one thing to understand about the IPCC is that it doesn’t conduct climate studies itself rather it assesses published works from thousands of individuals and groups worldwide these thousands of scientists contribute to the body of data on a voluntary basis meaning none of them receive payments from any outside special interest group when the IPCC is ready to issue a report which includes a summary for global policymakers the document is subject to align byline approval by delegates from each participating government usually including the governments of more than a hundred and twenty countries the IPCC is the internationally accepted authority on climate change and its reports have the agreement of leading climate scientists and each participating government so in short when the IPCC issues a report the world knows it’s the real deal that brings us to the 2018 report you can find a link to the full document in the description below it’s full title is really long so for the sake of brevity we’ll refer to it as SR 15 or the report the document itself is massive the technical summary alone is 25 pages long the entire thing cites 6,000 scientific reports the summary for policymakers is much more palatable at just over 30 pages long in it we get what’s essentially a sparknotes version of perhaps the diarist warning the world has ever received in short we have 12 years to drastically change the course of our future we’ve already passed the point of no return to keep global temperatures below around 1 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels the race now is to keep it from exceeding 1.5 even half a degrees difference could make for catastrophic changes around the world this is the part where people usually get confused what difference does one and a half degrees make I get it I live in Texas where it can be 40 degrees in the morning and 85 by noon but consider places where the temperature is more or less stable take the Arctic or Greenland for example Greenland is covered by a massive ice sheet that’s kilometers thick in some places in the summer much of this ice is just barely staying frozen and some places have even started melting now crank up the temperature a couple degrees Celsius if that’s enough to start a runaway melt and the entire ice sheet melted the sea level on average would rise by seven meters imagine your favorite beach underwater coastal property destroyed entire islands and huge amounts of coastline submerged and the millions of inhabitants forced to move elsewhere you think your country has an immigrant problem now just wait until entire island nations are destroyed by the rising seas and don’t think the United States is exempt from these effects Florida is particularly susceptible to even a small increase in sea level besides a third of the state potentially going under all of its barrier islands would be well below sea level with them goes any protection from hurricanes and already hard-hit state would become ground zero of increasingly powerful hurricanes but this is all speculation right no one knows for sure just how many Floridians will be going for a dip in the near future well SR 15 has some hard numbers for us the disparity and negative impacts between 1.5 degrees of warming and 2 degrees is truly shocking at 1.5 degrees 6% of insects 8% of plants and 4% of vertebrates will lose over half of their natural Geographic range at 2 degrees those numbers increase to 18% of insects 16% of plants and 8% of vertebrates 1.5 degrees is projected to destroy 90% of what remains of the world’s coral reefs 2 degrees is expected to wipe them out entirely completely destroying one of the oceans richest ecosystems at 1.5 degrees of warming we can expect to see a completely ice-free Arctic summer once every century at 2 degrees once every decade global annual catch rate for marine fisheries will drop by 1.5 million tonnes at 1.5 degrees and by 3 million tons at 2 degrees these figures go on and on and each one could potentially trigger an avalanche of other negative effects and we haven’t even looked at the consequences for human life it shouldn’t be a surprise that the populations that will suffer the most will be the poorer and less developed countries and those in fragile ecosystems such as an agricultural or coastal areas if we could limit the maximum global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius it would drastically reduce the number of people thrust into poverty and heightened risk of climatic events by up to several hundred million by 2050 the fallout of an increase of two degrees for Humanity sounds truly biblical a massive increase in vector borne illnesses like malaria along with an expansion of their geographical range ozone depletion a drastic increase in heat related mortality huge reductions in crop yields including maize rice wheat and other cereal crops as well as a reduction in nutritional quality drought and famine flooding and extreme weather and a stagnation of economic growth to name a few this is all very scary stuff and it should be we’ve managed to ignore the science for decades and now it’s time to pay the price thankfully humans are very good at adapting and solving problems especially if they’re problems we created our cell we will have to deal with the long-term effects of the temperature increase we’ve already locked in but we can and should do something to mitigate any further risk the report lists a number of adaptation options for the regions who should expect serious challenges the soonest including coastal defences sustainable aquaculture and ecosystem restoration but the truth of the matter is that we’re largely at the mercy of world governments sure we can stop eating meat drive electric cars and use less water at home but even if every single individual did their part it’s still only a tiny step in the right direction just 100 companies are responsible for 71 percent of the entire world’s carbon emissions and just 25 of those 100 are responsible for half as long as those companies are allowed to keep doing what they’re doing we’re screwed end of story we could be optimistic and say well now that we have this report world governments will obviously implement the necessary restrictions maybe in some countries but if we’ve learned anything from the u.s. in the last two years it’s that enough people in positions of power either don’t believe in science or don’t care about the future of their nation in the world that we’ve gone in the opposite direction legislation designed to protect the environment has been rolled back or repealed entirely and individuals in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry are at the reins of the very groups that could enact positive change and stop this downward spiral but say by some miracle the world comes to an agreement that we’re going to meet the challenge to keep temperature rise below two degrees Celsius what would that require in short the single most monumental shift in energy public policy personal lifestyle and consumption habits in history we would need to transition to 100 percent renewable energy stop using fossil fuels for transportation that means stopping production of traditional gasoline-powered cars ships trains and airplanes stop cutting down trees and start planting them by the thousands stop factory farming and at least drastically reduced the world’s meat intake and hopefully transition entirely to lab-grown meat or other alternatives if this sounds impossible and unlikely well that’s because we’ve never done anything of this scale before but it has to be done any of these steps on its own is a good thing but it won’t be enough this is not something to be put off for another decade or even another year we as citizens of the world need to start putting real pressure on our governments now to get the ball rolling if we don’t speak up they likely won’t act against their corporate overlords we all have to do our part by voting for candidates who support green energy goals and sustainability and acknowledge the threat climate change poses to all of us we have to educate friends and family who might not understand what’s at stake if we all work hard and do the right thing we can make the world a safe place for future generations it’s easy to see that climate change is a real challenge but if you’re like me it’s hard to see anything without your contacts if you wear contacts and find yourself dreading that annual appointment to renew your prescription then you’re going to love simple contacts it’s a great new company that makes this annoying process simple simple contacts lets you renew your expired contact lens prescription and reorder your brand of lenses from your phone or computer in minutes simple contacts brings the doctor’s office to you whenever you need it you can take their vision test online in five minutes a real doctor reviews it and if your vision hasn’t changed renews your prescription you 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