Essay: “On a fast track to climate catastrophe” – Huntington Now

“The jury has reached its verdict. And that is damning,” UN Secretary-General António Guterres said after the recent release at the UN of the third report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Developments in the World. The report “is a litany of broken climate promises. It’s a record of shame, cataloging the empty pledges that put us firmly on the path to an unlivable world,” he said.

“We are on the fast track to climate catastrophe,” continued António Guterres.

António Guterres continued: “The big cities under water. Unprecedented heatwaves. Terrifying storms. Widespread water shortages. The extinction of a million species of plants and animals. This is not fiction or exaggeration. This is what science tells us will result from our current energy policies.

“We are on track for global warming of more than twice 1.5 degrees centigrade. [2.7 degrees Fahrenheit] limit agreed in Paris [at the UN Climate Change Conference there in 2015]. Some government leaders and business leaders say one thing, but do another. Simply put, they are lying,” said António Guterres. “And the results will be catastrophic. It is a climate emergency. »

Guterres, who became the UN’s top official as secretary-general in 2017, is the former prime minister of Portugal. Previously, for 17 years, he was a member of the Portuguese Parliament. He is an experienced international diplomat, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for a decade.

The UN report came as a parallel report was released by a group of US government agencies led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This, too, presented a damning picture.

Among other things, “sea level rise will create a profound change in coastal flooding over the next 30 years by causing an increase in tidal heights and storm surges that will extend further inland. lands. In addition to the upside caused by ’emissions to date’, ‘the failure to curb the future [greenhouse gas] emissions could lead to an increase of up to “7 feet by the end of this century”.

The UN report was released and Guterres’ presentation was made at the UN in New York – across the East River from Long Island, among the ground zero of climate change impacts.

In Suffolk County, a $1 million plan was recently announced for county projects aimed at “countering the impact of stronger storms and increasing flooding resulting from climate change”, as press day described it. “Projects could include beach nourishment, wetland restoration and open space acquisition,” said news day, summarizing the plan. County Executive Steve Bellone said: “It’s all of us stepping forward to say we need to aggressively tackle coastal resilience.”

Reaction from Kevin McAllister, chairman of Sag Harbor-based organization Defend H20, who has been at the forefront in Suffolk speaking out on climate change and what is being done and what isn’t is not done, says of the plan: “Acquiring open space, especially with coastal land, is a significant effort in response to rapidly rising seas. Restoring wetlands is, of course, important but let’s be clear, expanding and revegetating wetlands is very different from dredging new ponds for mosquito reduction, the county’s current priority, which is, in effect, contrary to the absorption of flood waters. As for the so-called beach nourishment, this is a strategy which is both ecologically and economically unsustainable and which only delays and makes more expensive what really needs to happen – getting away from the edge and out of danger.

Published last week was an article titled “Climate adaptation is going to be a disaster” by Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University and co-author of the book The science and politics of global climate change. He wrote that “reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by switching from fossil fuels to climate-safe renewable energy is the easiest way to tackle climate change. Wind and solar power are now the cheapest sources of energy…”

It is essential to attack the cause of climate change, mainly the combustion of fossil fuels: coal, oil and gas, and not simply to attack its effects. It is technically entirely possible. Resistance comes from vested interests: the coal, oil and gas industries, and their political influence.

Published in 2020 was 100% clean and renewable energy and storage for everything, a book by Mark Z. Jacobson, director of the Atmosphere/Energy program and professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University. It details the enormous potentials of “WWS” – “Wind-Water-Solar” – through onshore and offshore wind, wave and tidal energy, photovoltaic and concentrated solar power and other other sources of green energy. Green energy is the solution to the impending climate catastrophe. Dr. Jacobson is also co-founder of the aptly named The Solutions Project.