An Open Letter To The 1 Percent: Climate Change Is Here, And You’re Fucked Too
Welcome to the Thunderdome
“Life on Earth can recover from a drastic climate shift by evolving into new species and creating new ecosystems. Humans cannot.”
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, draft report
Over the last 16 months, Covid 19 has largely sated the public appetite for apocalypse porn, but with pandemic novelty wearing off, the climate crisis is returning to the headlines.
A draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change this week advises that we’re in more trouble than most people understand, saying that the destructive effects of climate change are coming sooner than expected, and are effectively irreversible on human time scales.
Not that we didn’t know this.
We’ve been ignoring warnings about the catastrophic effects of our greenhouse gas emissions on the planet’s climate since 1988 when NASA scientist James Hansen testified before the US House of Representatives of the strong correlation between rising temperatures and human emissions. Since then the evidence has gotten stronger, with only the timing and scale of our self-immolation in dispute.
By the numbers:
The number of climate disasters rose 83 percent in the last two decades versus the 1980–1999 time period.
2020 was the second hottest year on record, in spite of the cooling influence of El Nina (the top seven hottest have all occurred since 2014, and the top ten since 2005).
In the US, 2020 saw twenty-two weather events costing over a billion dollars each, dwarfing the previous record of sixteen events set in 2017 and 2011.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says there is a greater than 95 percent certainty that the eccentric behavior of our climate is tied largely to human activity.
97 percent of climate scientists agree that it’s real and caused by greenhouse gases, not sunspots or cosmic rays or Satan or whatever the right-wing crazynet is pitching these days.
The World Bank, which has cheerfully funded a host of environmentally disastrous…