How much time remains before the climate apocalypse begins?


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I do not want to frighten anyone with bleak predictions about our future, but it will not hurt to think about what exactly is waiting for us. Today, almost everyone in the world is aware of environmental issues that are getting bigger every year. However, not everyone understands which threat climate change actually represents. Perhaps some of you remember the message that humanity is 12 years old to prevent the climate apocalypse. According to some experts, we had not 18 months. In other words, we are doomed to fail without five minutes. Is everything really that bad?

Climate change is more serious than previously thought

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1 Apocalypse outside the window
2 What will happen in the next 18 months?
3 Can climate change be stopped?
4 Planet Earth is destroyed?

Apocalypse outside the window

Last week, an article by Jonathan Franzen appeared in the world-famous edition of The New Yorker. The writer and journalist believes that it is time for you and me to stop playing the fool and admit the inevitable – we can not stop climate change. According to Franzen, we should all focus on what each of us can do well today, as a big bright future may never come.

Needless to say, Franz's article shook the public. Well-known climatologist Kate Marvel wrote an answer article in the equally respected scientific American Scientific American, arguing that there is still time and not everything is lost. According to Marvel, we simply have no right to give up. But which of them is right and why does not only Jonathan Franzen believe that we are doomed to failure?

The pictured journalist Jonathan Frazier

To understand this, let's take a look at the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change under the auspices of the United Nations (UN). To keep global temperature growth below 1.5 degrees Celsius in the current century, the report says carbon emissions on the planet should be cut by 45 percent by 2030. And that's only eleven years later.

However, one of the world's leading climatologists, Hans Joachim Schölnhuber, founder and now honorary director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate, stated in 2017 that the deadline was by no means set for 2030. We need to significantly reduce the amount of harmful emissions into the atmosphere by 2020. And he is not far away. According to the scientist, we are capable of killing the planet in 18 months. It will be impossible to recover from the consequences.

What will happen in the next 18 months?

By the end of 2020, UN governing bodies should meet to discuss urgent action against climate change. We recall that in 2015, many world leaders signed the Paris Convention, according to which all participating countries should significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere.

Read more about the future of our planet on our channel in Yandex.Zen.

Today, experts recognize that there should be resolute policy steps to reduce emissions by the end of next year. The first serious step should be a special climate summit convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which will take place on 23 September in New York. Guterres made it clear that only representatives of countries capable of making significant proposals to improve their plans to reduce carbon emissions should attend the summit. This is followed by a summit in Santiago, Chile.

Climate activist Greta Tunberg during a speech at the Ted Talks in Stockholm

Similar steps taken by world leaders give us all hope for a bright future. In fact, not only does our future depend on these choices, but so does the life of all future generations. Public opinion on this issue is also important – not so long ago there were a number of rallies across Europe organized by teenagers, probably inspired by the climate activism of the young Greta Tunberg. Finally, some countries, such as the UK, have already adopted a number of legislative measures to reduce air emissions.

Can climate change be stopped?

Despite the positive changes, we still have many reasons to worry. The US's intentions to exit the Paris Agreement and the inaction of the leaders of Russia, China and Brazil jeopardize the future of all planets. Today we have reached a point where every step of every single state can become decisive. Obviously, not all leaders in the world understand that.

Photo from the UN Climate Summit 2018

You and I can only hope that at the UN Summit on 26 September, the Secretary-General of the United Nations will convince doubting Heads of State and Government to put their financial and geopolitical interests in the background. If we do not take any significant action over the next 18 months, many experts predict a very bleak future for our planet.

Earlier this year, a major unrest among heads of state was caused by a study of the mass extinction of species in their natural habitat. The cause of death of animals is human action. The IPBES report showed that up to one million species could be lost in the coming decades.

Will the planet Earth be destroyed?

It's difficult to say. The opinions of the experts are therefore different. It seems to me that none of us should give up and do everything we can to fight climate change – less red meat, no wastewater and other resources, less shopping. It is our ruthless consumption that causes the work of a multitude of factories that cause so many pollutant emissions into the atmosphere.

At the same time, I have to admit that I agree with the opinion of journalist The New Yorker at the moment – most likely we will not be on time and can not prevent climate change. I will be very happy if someone can convince me.

And what do you think is waiting for our civilization in 20 to 30 years? Let's talk about it with the participants in our telegram chat.