That’s how a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development paints life in 2050. The OECD, a forum of the world’s 34 most developed nations predicts:
a world population of 9.2 billion people, generating a global GDP four times the size of today’s, requiring 80 percent more energy. And with a worldwide energy mix still 85 percent reliant on fossil fuels by that time, it will be coal, oil, and gas that make up most of the difference, the OECD predicts.
Should that prove the case, and without new policy, the report warns the result will be the “locking in” of global warming, with a rise of as much as 6Â° C (about 10.8Â° F) predicted by the end of the century. Combined with other knock-on effects of population growth on biodiversity, water and health; the report asserts that the ensuing environmental degradation will result in consequences “that could endanger two centuries of rising living standards.”
It’s been a bad week for climate news. The OECD report follows on from a Reuters story that says we’ve reached the point where stopping catastrophic global warming is impossible and a study from the UK’s Oxford University that found we’d be looking at a far larger warming by 2050 than we had previously anticipated.
Meanwhile, the US, world leader, is enmired in political shennanigans and selfish “top ask” gravy-making that make it impossible to pass any kind of serious legislation on climate change. Read the New Yorker’s report “As The World Burns” and weep. (Seriously, read it now.)
“Fifty years from now no one’s going to know about health care…Everybody is going to be thinking about whether Barack Obama was the James Buchanan of climate change.”