According to a leaked draft of the upcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC), the world as we know it is over. The report presents substantial and well documented predictions of global suffering and massive social disruption resulting from the impact climate change on the water supply, food, and natural resources, and successively mounting human loss. (Image 11/2013 eclipse)
Oddly enough, the recipient of the leak, the New York Times, acted like it was a story about the “food supply.” In fact, the totality of the draft makes it clear that we’ve gone too far for too long to avoid the dire consequences of man made climate change.
✓ Food insecurity linked to warming, drought, and precipitation variability;
✓ Death injury and disrupted livelihoods in low-lying coastal zones … due to sea level rise, coastal flooding and storm surges;
✓ Severe harm for large urban populations due to inland flooding;
✓ Systemic risk due to extreme events leading to break down of infrastructure networks and critical services;
✓ Loss of rural livelihoods and income due to insufficient drinking and irrigation water and lower agricultural productivity particularly in poorer regions; and,
✓ Loss of marine and terrestrial ecosystems and the services and livelihoods that they provide
Why are the IPCC estimates so important?
IPCC was formed by the United Nations Environment Programme and the the World Meteorological Organization. It operates as a consensus panel of scientists from around the world. They assess and apply huge volumes of research on climate change. By its structure, the requirement for consensus translates into mid range rather than leading edge analysis.
Since IPCC concludes that the impact on natural and social systems will be world changing, we can assume that the evidence is overwhelming and the conclusions largely unavoidable (as the draft shows). The report anticipates criticism by noting that IPCC’s database is substantially larger than that of previous reports.
The Times headlined the IPCC leak with, Climate Change Seen Posing Risk to Food Supplies, Nov 1 . The food supply is one among many dire threats outlined in the report. Food production will be flat or reduced by 2% every ten years through 2100 while the demand for food is projected to increase by 14% a decade until 2050. Reduced food supply results from degradation of productive land and a lack of water to irrigate crops. Those factors flow directly from increased average temperatures and extreme weather conditions.
The association between food deprivation and social instability has been demonstrated again and again in recent history. Food riots are typically based on shortages due to price spikes, poor planning, or temporary crop shortages.
Imagine food riots in response to a permanent reduction in food production.
Further, imagine that there are no outside resources for relief.
The driving force behind the worldwide change comes from increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to coal and oil based products. Once in the atmosphere, the majority of CO2 lingers for 20 to 200 years with the remainder sticking around for hundreds of thousands of years.
The IPCC report is a matter of scientific consensus. In as much as possible, the report mentions the likelihood of significant harm reduction as a result of a coordinated effort to reduce the rate of climate change and plan for the levels of disruption already written into the history of the remainder of the century.
The responsibility for the calamities awaiting us needs to be clearly assigned. When you hear pundits talk about how we’re all responsible, that represents a misinformed opinion or propaganda by the elites that enabled this most dismal future.
The failure to reach consensus until the apparent point of no return required deliberate denial of the facts as they emerged. The climate change deniers who argue from no scientific basis other than the title of scientist somewhere receive vast support from those who have no desire to clean up cars, factories, toxic waste production, etc. The media that claims that there are two sides to every issue are in the service of the financial and political elite that can only imagine a world with shrinking resources and wealth. Through their lack of imagination, denial, and negligence, they’ve made their vision come true.
It’s their fault.