Leaked Climate Report: “The Worst Is Yet to Come”
May Boeve / 350.org
(July 6, 2021) — Last week, a draft of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was leaked to the press. I’m not going to sugarcoat it — this leaked report paints a bleak picture for the future of our climate:
The draft report warns of tipping points beyond which global temperatures will lead to cascading and irreversible climate impacts. More importantly, it warns that we’re likely to reach these tipping points much sooner than originally expected, causing even more extreme weather patterns, unlivable heat, widespread disease, ecosystem collapse… the list goes on.
I have some reflections I really want to share with you. But since this crisis is so very urgent, even more so than scientists previously thought, I first have to ask:
The last thing I want, is for you to read this email and come away from it feeling hopeless or discouraged. So if you have a few more minutes, I’d love to share my main takeaways from this report with you. I’ll be saving the best one for last. Here it goes:
First of all, the thought of even more extreme weather patterns is, quite frankly, terrifying. Last week, my colleague Brett emailed you about his horrific experiences during the record wildfire season in Colorado last year, and this year is projected to be even worse. Folks in the Pacific Northwest are currently suffering through a once-in-a-millennium heat dome without air conditioning, because most houses in the region were built during a time when excessive heat wasn’t much of a concern.
And they are not alone — all over the world, people are facing the disastrous effects of the climate crisis. Climate change is, contrary to popular ways of framing it, not just a problem we have to solve for future generations’ sake. We are seeing its effects now, and we must demand immediate and bold climate action.
My second takeaway after reading the IPCC’s leaked draft report is that the climate crisis, along with its detrimental effects and its impending tipping points, is not a tragedy; The climate crisis is a crime. Big Oil has known for decades — yes, decades! — what their pollution would do to people and the planet, and their only response has been to lie and block climate action at every turn. And it’s still happening: yesterday, explosive footage showed a senior ExxonMobil lobbyist on tape describing how the corporation blocks climate action in Congress, affirming the fossil fuel company is using its power and influence to block US climate legislation.
Meanwhile, our governments and politicians are letting it happen, while posting messages of concern on social media and encouraging us to “stay cool”. This is not some unfortunate and uncontrollable event — the fossil fuel industry is actively committing crimes against our communities and our planet. And we must stop it.
Lastly (and this is the best part), some good news: We can address the worst impacts of climate change within our lifetime, and we already know how to do it. All we need to do is keep fossil fuels in the ground, and drastically reduce our emissions.
I know things look dire, but I’ll be honest with you: I’m glad the IPCC report was leaked. I’m glad it spells out what awaits us if we continue to do nothing. Because the “if” is the key to it all — we have a choice.
So let’s use this moment to demand action.
Let’s use this moment to maintain a livable climate.
Let’s use this moment to achieve climate justice for all.
It’s quite literally now or never. Are you with me?
May Boeve is the Executive Director of 350.org
Update: Last Week Was HUGE
Here’s what happened, and how we responded:
1. A senior ExxonMobil lobbyist was caught on tape describing how Exxon uses their power and influence to actively block US climate legislation. In response, our movement sent thousands of messages calling on members of Congress to take the #NeverExxon pledge.
2. A draft of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was leaked to the press, warning us that the climate crisis is getting a lot worse, a lot sooner than expected. Many of you chipped in to help us raise over $20,000 to prevent the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
Thank you for being in this fight with us. But this is no time to slow down. Over the weekend, the Gulf of Mexico was literally on fire due to a leaking oil pipeline. And despite Exxon’s public apology and denial of their lobbyist’s claims, they won’t stop because of a little bit of bad publicity.
Here’s the hard truth: Big Oil won’t let bad publicity, ocean fires, or more severe and frequent climate disasters stop them. But we’re not stopping either — not until we’ve defeated the fossil fuel industry that is influencing our politicians, setting our oceans ablaze, purposefully undermining climate science, and risking our futures. Are you with us?
Three Degrees Centigrade = Global Incineration
(July 5, 2021) — This isn’t global warming anymore. It’s global scorching.
Our world is hotter now than any time in recorded history, unleashing a firestorm of heatwaves, megadroughts, and acidifying seas. We are shattering the temple of life, with a million species on the edge of extinction.
Within 50 years, 1.5 billion people could be forced to flee temperatures as hot as the Sahara desert — already 20 million are forced to run every year.
It’s one of the greatest upheavals of life on earth, and it’s caused by a global rise of just 1°C. We’re on track for 3°C. Just imagine the hostile and desolate planet our children will inherit.
But here’s the most important bit: We CAN still turn this around — we may be the last generation who can. The next five months are critical.
World leaders will hold two major UN summits, where momentous decisions on the climate and extinction crisis must be made. It could change everything — or nothing. It means we only have 150 days to shake our leaders into action, radically grow our team to overpower the fossil fuel army, supercharge massive marches, and get the world behind our courageous plan to save nature.
Earth can’t wait anymore. This is one of the most important times to be alive on this fragile planet, because it all hangs in the balance. We have to give it everything we’ve got, and just a small weekly donation from each of us will make an almighty difference. If you’ve ever thought of donating, do it now and let’s fight for the future of our world:
The UN Biodiversity Summit will happen in October, and aims to end the extinction crisis with bold new protections for nature. And then just a few weeks later, the global Climate Summit: our best chance to secure new commitments to avoid a climate catastrophe.
It will not be easy, but there is reason to hope.
Almost all the world’s biggest economies have now pledged to end carbon pollution by 2050 — and the pandemic has shown that bold, systemic changes can happen far quicker than anyone dreamed. Humanity is learning that everything on our beautiful planet is intimately connected.
But this is an emergency and pledges aren’t enough. We need real, decisive action — and that will take absolutely everything we’ve got over the next 5 months. Here’s the plan:
• We’ll massively scale up our team of media and policy experts, researchers, and organisers to pressure governments to sign a bold new deal to save nature;
• We’ll bring brave indigenous leaders to the summits, ensuring their urgent call to protect life-giving ecosystems is heard loud and clear;
• We’ll publish bombshell reports and shine a glaring media spotlight on the shady lobbying tactics of the fossil fuel giants; and
• We’ll help organise historic marches, ensuring our leaders know the world is watching.
The threats we face are no longer just serious; they are a matter of survival. Earth can’t wait anymore: it needs a powerful voice as leaders decide the future. In the battle to save our world, there is no certainty; only opportunity. And together, our years of marching, protesting, and advocacy have helped create the golden opportunities ahead. Together, we are changing the world — and I am now more hopeful than I’ve been in a very long time. And hope is power. The power to rise and fight and charge like never before. Because it’s clear that when we come together, all 66 million of us, our movement is capable of the most extraordinary things. This moment demands nothing less.
With fierce hope and determination, always,
Mike, Chris, Marigona, Martyna, Diego, Sofia, Alis, Mouhamad, Bert and the whole team at Avaaz
• Canada is a warning: more and more of the world will soon be too hot for humans (The Guardian)
• Leaked UN draft report warns of accelerating climate devastation (Al-jazeera)
• 3 billion people could live in places as hot as the Sahara by 2070 (World Economic Forum)Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purpose