The United Nation’s IPCC report is a wake up call that even with the Paris Agreement we are facing an existential threat to humankind: a planet with no coral reefs, no summertime ice at the North and South Poles, and significant biodiversity losses of mammals, birds, and plants. Summer heat waves will be so extreme they will affect one in three people every year.
The difference between a further rise of 1 degree Celsius and 2 degrees Celsius is exponentially dangerous with a much greater likelihood of a “Black Swan Event” such as the disruption of ocean currents that keep Europe warm, the melting of the Greenland Ice Cap, and/or the release of Gigatons of methane gas under Arctic permafrost.
Net Zero Emissions are required by 2050 requiring a complete retrofitting of modern society’s energy, transportation, and agricultural systems. That is extremely unlikely to occur without drawdown technology filling the gap in the tens of Gigatons range. A worldwide Manhattan Project is required and countries that lag behind, such as the United States, will be importing technology at a premium from countries and companies that innovate.
Amidst the doom and gloom is good news. The technology for significant drawdown is sound and ready to scale with the proper investment, research, and implementation. The development of alternative technologies will drive innovation, efficiency, and an equitable distribution of resources for a post carbon world. And we all can agree that our children and grand children deserve to inherit a world full of coral reefs, Polar bears, and care free summer days.
Read more on the PDF IPCC Report read here.
For a visual representation of the massive difference between living on a planet with a 1.5 C and 2 C rise in temperature please click here: Carbon Brief