News broke this week (and got front page coverage – amazing) that we are going to experience 1.5C of warming by 2027. Now there’s two key things about this news I want to highlight. The word experience is important, because 1.5C of warming won’t be embedded – as in, it won’t be a permanent rise… yet. The second is, based on all I’m reading and listening to, I believe we will see this within the next 12 months. Come and yell at me in May 2024 if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I will be.
Because, based on the heat increases we’ve seen in the environment – before El Nino and because of termination shock (also referred to as climate shock) due to a clean-up of shipping industry pollution – it means we’re already at 1.3C warming, so a further .2 of warming is definitely likely, but I think it will be higher. Just check out the record ocean temperatures and you’ll know we’re in unchartered territory. I won’t dig into what termination shock means today (I encourage you to look it up, although there is not much to be found on this topic), because it’s not in the news this week.
My greatest concern with all the escalation we are now seeing is, we are not ready – anywhere. No country is doing enough to prepare for the extreme weather events. Some thought they were ready, however, as the climate scientists keep saying – we weren’t expecting this yet. Therefore, the countries who have prepared are now forced to play catch up due to rapid escalations, but for most countries, they haven’t even started. This means we are all in the firing line of what is to come, with no preparation made to protect us, especially the most vulnerable.
As we saw in Italy this week, there were many elderly and disabled people who had to be rescued in the night, because they were unable to leave their homes. How can regions like this better understand and prepare for these events? How can we make sure the most vulnerable are not at such risk? At this stage in the game, every country should understand the threats it faces, and so what are the governments doing to ensure we don’t experience mass suffering and destruction?
There is another side to this conversation that needs a lot more attention. Humans must come together and work out how to adapt to these extreme events as communities. In the Asia Pacific region, Canada, Spain and beyond, un-liveable temperatures are already on our doorstep, and we are not ready to cope with this. Soon I will release a comprehensive list of actions we can take – both cheap and expensive solutions, because we need both, and we need to prioritize taking action now. Stay tuned, but I want to make sure it’s right before I release it.
However, when it comes to extreme heat, one other area we need to address is the risk to our wildlife. What can we do for the birds, insects, mammals, amphibians and more? In India in 2022 it was already experiencing Wet Bulb Temperatures, and birds dropped out of the sky, dead, because of the un-liveable temperatures. What scale of death will we see with our wildlife in the months and years ahead when we hit or pass 1.5C warming, even for a short while? And will it cause ecosystem collapse? And if so, what does that mean for us?
This is where we are now. I know it’s not pretty, but we must face this, adapt to cope with what is coming, stop emissions, transform how we live on this planet by shrinking our impact in every way we can, and we must get ready for harder times ahead.
It is so important that we recognise a very important truth – it is not going to get better, in fact it will get very much worse, and while people don’t like to hear this, until we accept the reality, we are not going to act in accordance and prepare for the threats we face. We must get ready now. Adaptation should be the word on everyone’s lips.
The environment section below is big this week, because while I didn’t do a Weekend Reads last week, I did save the environment information I was reading and watching. That means there’s lots to catch up on. Get stuck in.
But first, watch this. Dolly is right, the world is on fire.
Dolly Parton – World On Fire (From The 58th ACM Awards)
Friend’s content and mine
Big shout out to Cathy Johnson, Neerja Singh and Lindsay Adams OAM for joining me on Climate Courage this week. The topic was “The role of Boomers” and this is a challenging theme because it could be seen as an attack on an entire generation. However, we must look the challenges we face in the eye, and with the Boomer generation, there is much the older community could be doing right now to help us all move forward. Have a listen. And thank you all for being open to such a big, open-hearted conversation on a difficult topic.
And here’s the content I’ve been reading or watching this last week. Scan the headlines, read the ones that jump out at you, read or watch them all. Knowledge is power, and global knowledge is even more powerful.
Record flooding in Italy kills at least 8, cancels Formula One Grand Prix
Resources for those struggling with eco-anxiety. Please share with your community.
Finally, more than 100 mini-videos on many topics regarding the multiple crisis’ we face. Feel free to download and use as your own. No credit necessary.
Uncommon Courage: an invitation
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