The last thing I did before falling asleep last night was watch an online video: Al Gore Explains Why Civilization Might Not Survive the Next 100 Years. Before my feet hit the floor this morning, hours before my alarm was set to go off, I was reading about the release of the report by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change): Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis. It seems this is how I begin and end most of my days: learning more about climate change.
Paragraph after paragraph of even just the IPCC news release I read this morning supports the message that climate advocates have been working to help the general population understand: Humans are causing global warming, we are already beginning to see the consequences, and we must take substantial measures to address this issue immediately.
As global citizens, it is imperative that we all stop for a moment to understand at least the headlines of this report. You can find them here on the IPCC’s website. These are the words of our planet’s leading climate scientists, and they are telling us all the sobering scientific truths. We need to listen. In their report you won’t find any rhetoric from political parties, spin spewed by the fossil fuel industry, or language designed simply to scare people into taking action against climate change. This is the truth.
Not going to click on the link to the headlines of the report? Then know that this respected global scientific body is telling us this: Climate change is real. We as humans are exacerbating the problem to an unprecedented extent. If we don’t act swiftly and meaningfully we face further warming, rising sea levels and more.
Here are some pull out lines just from the IPCC’s news release:
- “Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident in most regions of the globe, a new assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) concludes.”
- “It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.”
- “Warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been observed throughout the climate system that are unprecedented over decades to millennia.”
- “Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”
“As the ocean warms, and glaciers and ice sheets reduce, global mean sea level will continue to rise, but at a faster rate than we have experienced over the past 40 years”
The world’s climate scientists are in agreement, and they have been updating us on our climate crisis for decades. Some of us have listened and worked very hard to prompt the world to take action. Some of us have stood by figuring that if it was a really big deal someone would make sure we knew it—that someone else would surely take care of it.
The world is telling you now. And it is our shared responsibility to take care of it.