We regularly draw on articles in The Conversation as part of our weekly round up of issues that might be of interest to environmental educators. In the week that saw the publication of the 6th IPCC report, it produced a number of articles about climate change; see below. This is how they were introduced:
Described by the UN Secretary general as “a code red for humanity”, a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that major changes due to global heating are inevitable and irreversible with devastating consequences for all life on Earth. The UN climate body’s stark appraisal has made the effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions all the more urgent. In its most optimistic scenario, the report predicts the world has a 50% chance of halting warming at 1.5°C the “safe” threshold in the Paris Agreement, providing it can reach net zero emissions by mid-century. That would entail emissions reaching a peak and then rapidly declining four years from now.
Matthew Paterson, a professor of international politics at the University of Manchester, argues that this shouldn’t technically be too difficult In energy, transport and housing, there are numerous alternatives to coal-fired power plants, petrol-fuelled cars and gas boilers that could be deployed at sufficient scale starting tomorrow. What’s preventing this shift is not technological, but political. From powerful fossil fuel companies, the political entanglements of nation states and scarce public finance support, the obstacles are enormous. COP26, the autumn’s climate talks in Glasgow, at least offer a window to thrash out these contradictions, but pressure must amp up on the national governments who’ll be attending it, Paterson says.Scientific warnings can often fall on deaf ears, it seems
Michael Grose, CSIRO; Malte Meinshausen, The University of Melbourne; Pep Canadell, CSIRO; Zebedee Nicholls, The University of MelbourneIPCC authors go beyond the headlines to explain how 1.5℃ warming is measured – and why there’s still reason to hope, and act, if Earth exceeds that limit.
Pep Canadell, CSIRO; Joelle Gergis, Australian National University; Malte Meinshausen, The University of Melbourne; Mark Hemer, CSIRO; Michael Grose, CSIROThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its long-awaited report. From accelerating emissions to intensifying disasters to rising sea levels, its authors lay out the new findings.
Keith Baker, Glasgow Caledonian University We need specific action now to make net zero emissions by 2050 possible.
Mathew Barlow, University of Massachusetts Lowell Water-related hazards are exceptionally destructive, and the impact of climate change on extreme water-related events is increasingly evident, a lead author of the new report warns.