OPINION: Humankind has a habit of failing to act on a wide range of urgent topics until it’s almost too late. Sometimes it is too late.
This is very apparent, for example, in the conservation of wild species. An animal goes extinct and then scientists try and recreate the animal using the DNA of some other animal and in vitro fertilisation of some kind. It’s all too late. It is a terrible rearguard action with little chance of success. It would have been far better to use committed conservation instead by taking proactive rather than reactive steps.
Humankind will need to feel the effects of global warming far more severely than at present before it acts properly and conclusively.
There has been some half-hearted attempts to curb climate change and you could argue that some efforts have been very plausible, laudable and effective as there is some commitment there but universally there isn’t anywhere near enough commitment to deal with global warming properly.
The reason why I’m saying this is because globally the temperature is 1.5°C higher for the past 12 months than before the Industrial Revolution.
We reached that 1.5°C mark which was the maximum targeted increase in temperature at the Paris 2015 agreement. At that meeting of minds, they agreed that the goal would be to hold global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels for two decades.
Obviously, we are not in breach of that agreement as yet but it will happen, that is for sure.
In fact, the global mean temperature at the last report was 1.52°C above the 1850s-1900 average between last February and last month. The figures have been published by Copernicus, the EU’s Earth observation agency on Tuesday.
And last month was the hottest January on record at 13.14°C on average globally. This was the eighth warmest month in a row according to the data.
Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Copernicus Climate Change Service said:
2024 starts with another record-breaking month – not only is it the warmest January on record but we have also just experienced a 12-month period of more than 1.5°C above the pre-industrial reference. Rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are the only way to stop global temperatures increasing.
Of course, global warming is killing off millions of species because they are out of place. Species inhabit a certain place because of its habitat and because its climate. Change the climate and they are out of place. They are in the wrong place. Some species will survive but many thousands won’t. We are in the sixth mass extinction according to some scientists.
The Met Office in the UK is predicting that they will measure a 12-month period of temperatures 1.5° Celsius above preindustrial levels.
It’s predicted that a 2°C increase in temperatures would mean millions more people hit by sea levels rising 10 cm more than in a 1.5°C world.
Sir Brian Hoskins, chairman of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College, London, said: “It’s not the case that we are all safe for a temperature rise of 1.4°C and doomed at 1.6°C.”
I am 75 years old. Proper and truly committed universal steps to curb climate change will only occur when I am dead. The cost of stopping climate change will be cheaper than the damage done to worldwide commerce over the next ten years.