Class was particularly interesting this week, as in the midst of hurricane Micheal we discussed the recently released ICP report, which seemed to contain only bad news; that we are behind in our goal in reduced carbon emissions. And not just that; the report posits that even keeping the global temp from rising 2 degrees Celsius might be too much, and would have unmanageable consequences on the planet and that a maximum of 1.5 degrees should be strived for, which means that things must radically change now.
While nursing all these facts over my morning yerba mate, we were instructed to consider the above image; What did it represent? How did it make you feel?
Most of my classmates commented on the bleakness of the image, how the young child was representative of a generation inheriting a ruined planet. For me, it reminded me of my own childhood of wandering the dry plains in California, looking for plants and bones and fossils. Maybe that’s telling of the planet I grew up in.
I feel that most importantly it should be mentioned that while the report talks of the future, this picture was taken in the present. I feels like it should represent a possible future devoid of life. But we’re already there. The report is talking about something bigger, something worse.
According to the ICP report, we are teetering on the edge of disaster. I knew this, but its something else to point to one specific paper that people might recognize as reputable. We live in such a critical time, possibly the last opportunity to make it so the world can continue to support life, and yet we are at a standstill. To put it crudely, we have the tools to radically curb climate change, its just that the people who would have to take up the responsibility to use those tools are tools themselves. Unless all the shareholders for the top 100 companies responsible for killing the planet all of a sudden make climate change their immediate concern, those companies will still pursue profit above everything (and everyone) else. There needs to be a significant change immediately. I like direct action, but I won’t say more than that, lest I be put on a watchlist.
ContraPoints does an excellent youtube video about what I’m talking about, that mentions the IPC report and hurricanes and is more coherent than I am. It’s a little… vulgar? But its very fun. I’ll link to it here.
Good luck everybody.