Things I'm Terrified Of: Catastrophic Climate Change

Things I'm Terrified Of: Catastrophic Climate Change

Back in October the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a body of the UN, published the "Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 °C". This is the report that said that global warming attributed to human activities reaching 2.0 °C by 2030 would increase the average land and ocean temperatures and increase hot extremes in most inhabited regions, like the heat wave in the British Isles in 2018. If we reach only 1.5 °C we may be able to avoid these changes. That would however require "rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems". This is what Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's (AOC) "Green New Deal" aims to reach.

The pessimist in me says we're fucked and we're all going to die due to rising temperatures, forest fires, climate refugees, and brutal wars over water. The optimist in me says if we take this seriously we might actually reach sustainable climate goals by 2030. The realist in me says we're probably only going to make a moderate dent. My worry is that the realist will still die to climate change, just 5 years after the pessimist.

Considering I still don't want kids wouldn't it make sense for me not to care at all? The worst of catastrophic climate change won't affect my generation right? 1. That's probably not true. 2. That feels morally wrong and is all around a bad take. I don't see any reason why our generation (Millennials) shouldn't take action on climate change. If we do nothing we're fucked, if we try our hardest we might make it.

Climate change is also terrifying because almost every week some new story comes out about how scientists have learned we're even more fucked. For example, permafrost is melting in Alaska or heatwaves are sweeping oceans "like wildfires" or fish populations are declining due to climate change. Trump obviously isn't going to do anything to address this, strong willingness to radically change our systems to combat climate change seems to only come from Democrats, who currently don't have a super majority in either chamber of Congress and probably won't for a while and we're not the only country that needs to change. If climate change was an alien invasion that threatened the whole planet our demise would probably be similar to our demise due to climate change, we as a planet never work together to solve a problem that is imminently affecting us.

It's not all bad though, we'll probably get some dank memes about how the Gulf Coast got hit by 6 hurricanes within the span of 1 month or how the entire state of California is literally on fire.