When I first learned about climate change, there was plenty of uncertainty and time. It was one of many problems. And it was easy to ignore.
Now the game has changed.
Here are my main takeaways from studying the current climate landscape at Terra.do. Don’t take them as hard facts, but as an invitation to reconsider and update what you understand and think about climate change.
Climate change is happening. We have already warmed the planet over 1°C on average, and we’re currently on track for 2 to 4. What awaits us there is an uncertain - but certainly very uncomfortable - future.
We’re moving towards changes that we will not be able to stop or revert, and that can eventually lead to a global ecosystem collapse.
Climate change is not a minor problem, it really is an existential crisis.
And it started already.
The closer we stay to 2°C, the less catastrophic this will play out.
Climate change does and will affect things you care about. It’s about you, your family, your place and community.
For everyone of us.
The roadmap to staying somewhat safe says we need to halve our greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and get to net zero by 2050.
The scale of this task is staggering.
In fact, the numbers are so big and the timescale so tight, that:
- No one single measure is enough. We need a wide range of scalable solutions.
- Cutting emissions alone will not do it. We also need to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. (A lot of it.)
It’s not a technological problem.
It’s easy to frame climate change as a war that we can fight with technology and investments. But when we take a step back and look at the environmental problems of our time, the root runs much deeper.
We are consuming more than Earth can regenerate. We are producing more than it can absorb. And both at an increasingly damaging pace.
Our current economic markets and development models are failing us, because they are based on a world that doesn’t exist anymore.
So this is not only a technological challenge, but an economic, social, and cultural one as well. If we want to stabilize Earth’s ecosystem, we need to rethink our place in it and transform how we live.
It’s not too late.
Whether we hit or miss a threshold of 1.5 or 2°C average global warming is not the point. Either way we are neither doomed nor saved.
The goal is to bend the curve as soon as possible and bring it back down as fast as possible. Every fraction of a degree matters. Every year it takes us matters. Because on our way along this curve, we are committing the world to changes.
Currently we are moving too slow.
But we are moving.
And we are accelerating.
[🎨] Visualization of CO2 concentrations and our carbon budget
[📖] Carbon Brief
[🤹] Simulation playground:
[🧑🏫] SDG Academy
[🧑🏫] Climate Change Academy