The United Nations University has released a sixteen minute film featuring world leading climate scientist and carbon budget specialist Professor Kevin Anderson talking about the utter catastrophe we are heading for if we don’t take radical action on climate now.
This isn’t fringe thinking, it’s direct messaging of what scientists, climate activists and even mainstream media have been warning about for a long time but which has been either ignored or blocked by the political and business classes. Anderson talks about the urgent need for system-level transformation of society in order to address the crisis.
There is plenty of talk but no action. And what we have to bear in mind is that the climate only responds to action. The physics responds to how much carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases we put in the atmosphere.
So we can talk about efficiency, we can talk about green growth and all of this stuff. It’s meaningless. What really matters is keeping the emissions out of the atmosphere.
Technology is part of the picture, is a pre-requisite, but it needs to go hand in hand with fundamental, profound social change by those of us who are responsible for the lion’s share of the emissions.
We need to take those examples and accelerate them, and say “yes we can drive change very rapidly”. It is a choice to fail, and it is a choice to succeed. If we sit back and wait for the great and good to deliver this change, then we will fail. It does come down to all of us to play our role as best that we can in doing this.
Thankfully we are seeing early signs of this with some of the civil society movements who are really working very hard to try and change the agenda.
It has come from civil society, and to me that’s really where the start and nugget of hope arises.
German sustainability consultant and science communicator, Michael Flammer, created a synopsis on twitter of Anderson’s film (snips of Anderson’s videos are in the thread, twitter links in first comment).
Professor Kevin Anderson is addressing all of us in very clear words:
»We are heading towards 3 to 4°C of warming across this century, an absolute climate catastrophe for all species incl our own. And all we are doing so far is giving rhetoric and optimism and greenwash.«
»We are locking in very high levels of sea level rise, maybe 7-8 meters. We are changing weather and rainfall patterns as well as insect pollination of our crops. All of this plays out one disaster after another. We’re talking about society collapse here.«
»Countries make various promises about what they are going to do against climate change. These promises are a disaster and still overly optimistic because they only rely on future generations, our children and grandchildren to develop technologies that we don’t have today.«
»Pseudo technologies are a facade to avoid asking the difficult political and equity based questions. ‘Net Zero’ is a real dangerous term in my view and really means NOT zero. I always say ‘net zero’ is latin for ‘kick the can down the road’.«
»I have to be honest and say as someone who has worked on #ClimateChange for years, my best guess is that we are going to fail. But it is a choice to fail. Political leaders, academia and journalism have repeatedly chosen to fail on #climate for 30 years.«