22 October 2018

World acknowledges unprecedented climate challenge, so what should a Labor federal government do?

by David Spratt,  published at RenewEconomy

Quite suddenly, in the wake of the recent IPCC report, it's become commonplace to talk about a global climate emergency. Al Gore told PBS on 12 October: “We have a global emergency. You use a phrase like that and some people immediately say, ‘okay calm down, it can’t be that bad.’ But it it is."

On 9 October, a stunning editorial was published in the UK. “The Guardian view on climate change: a global emergency” opened with the sentence: “Climate change is an existential to the human race.” A year ago, that would have been extraordinary, but no longer. (An existential risk is one that poses permanent large negative consequences to humanity which can never be undone, or an adverse outcome that would either annihilate intelligent life or permanently and drastically curtail its potential.)

15 October 2018

New IPCC climate report actually understates threat, researchers say

Aftermath of Hurricane Michael, Florida, October 2018
By Scott Waldman, first published at E&E News

The United Nations climate report released this week had some stunning revelations, claiming that the 2020s could be one of humanity's last chances to avert devastating impacts. But some say its authors were being too cautious.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report states in plain language that averting a climate crisis will require a wholesale reinvention of the global economy. By 2040, the report predicts, there could be global food shortages, the inundation of coastal cities and a refugee crisis unlike the world has ever seen.

10 October 2018

The UN chief calls for emergency climate action, but what does that actually mean in practice?

by David Spratt

Download guide as PDF
“We face a direct existential threat” on climate for “the emergency we face”, UN Secretary General António Guterres told the world on 10 September. This was a most powerful voice in the rising chorus of recognition that existential climate risks requiring a global emergency response.

But what does an emergency response mean in practice?

The Melbourne-based Breakthrough - National Centre for Climate Restoration has just published a short guide to answer that question. Here is what is says.

Understanding climate emergency mode

Many of us have experienced emergency situations such as bushfires, floods or cyclones where, for the duration, nothing else matters as much as responding to the crisis. If we want to survive, or help others effectively, we don’t rush thoughtlessly in, but focus on a plan of action, implemented with thought and all possible care and speed to protect others and get to safety. Everyone chips in, with all hands on deck.

03 October 2018

How to communicate the climate emergency

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What are effective ways of engaging people in conversation about the gathering climate crisis and the need for an emergency response? Let's start with some key content:

1. Urgency and courage   

The Earth is already too hot: we are in danger now, not just in the future. Warming will accelerate, and 1.5°C is only a decade away, yet annual emissions are still growing and the current, post-Paris emissions trajectory will result in catastrophic warming. The Great Barrier Reef and other coral systems are dying. We are greatly exceeding Earth’s limits, and food and water shortages are contributing to conflicts and forced migration.