Thursday, June 6, 2019

Reports Foretell the End of Civilization

We have been confronted by several reports that paint an apocalyptic vision of our future. A recent report bluntly states that we are destroying the Earth's biodiversity at a perilous rate. Another even more recent report predicts the end of civilization in the coming decades.

According to an analysis written by an independent Melbourne, Australia think-tank called Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration (BNCCR), continuing with business as usual represents a "near to mid-term existential threat to human civilization".

Co-written by former fossil fuel executive Ian Dunlop, this research warns that we rapidly approaching the point of no return. Inaction will augur "extremely serious" security threats by 2050. The report says that as vast swaths of the Earth becomes uninhabitable, nations will breakdown along with the international order.

We are on track to see warming of at least 3 degrees Celsius which could trigger tipping points from which we will not be able to recover. More wildfires, heatwaves and other extreme weather are already baked into the system. Even if we keep temperatures from rising beyond 2 degrees C. more than a billion people will be forced to relocate and at least two billion more will suffer from food and water scarcity. At three degrees C. coastal cities would be inundated and 90 percent of humanity could die.

In the briefing’s foreword, the retired Chief of the Australian Defence Force referenced, "the unvarnished truth about the desperate situation humans, and our planet, are in, painting a disturbing picture of the real possibility that human life on Earth may be on the way to extinction, in the most horrible way."

An ipbes report states that we are well on the way to destroying more than half of all wildlife on the planet with thousands of life forms at risk of extinction. This follows the UN report that highlighted the failure of government action and a US government report that indicates climate change is both real and serious. 

Together these reports make it clear that we are facing a precarious future. To avert the wholesale collapse of our ecosystems we need a WWll style mobilization that will rapidly end new greenhouse gas emissions. However, as the end of human civilization comes into view we are faced with the incomprehensible realization that we have yet to demonstrate the necessary resolve to do something about it.

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