The public’s response to this week’s United Nations climate report should be “to fret, to take action and to think ahead,” said former President Mary Robinson.
rs Robinson, now a climate activist, said the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change shows catastrophic climate change is “frighteningly close”.
“Anyone under 70 in our world today will suffer some kind of catastrophe if we go above 1.5 degrees to two degrees [of global warming],” She said.
“Anyone under 30, if they can survive, will live through a catastrophic world. That was my opinion. So nothing distant. It’s awfully, awfully close.”
Ms. Robinson spoke on the internationally syndicated One Decision Podcast, which features political leaders, diplomats and other public figures.
The IPCC report delivered an “now or never” warning that greenhouse gas emissions are still rising and that drastic and urgent cuts in fossil fuel use are needed.
It is unlikely that global warming can be limited to 1.5 degrees, the threshold at which climate change is likely to escalate dangerously.
Ms Robinson said the difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees would translate into drastic changes in climate and ecosystems.
“The Arctic ice could disappear. The world’s coral reefs could disappear. They disappear very quickly as is.
“Much of the permafrost around the Arctic could be melting even more than it started melting, releasing not only carbon but also methane, which is even more severe in its short-term effects.
“Any small increases in warming will take the form of more severe droughts, rain bombs like the rain bomb that’s happening in Australia right now, causing very severe flooding and terrible wildfires.”
Ms Robinson criticized some of the world’s most carbon polluting countries.
She slammed China for not setting tougher emissions reduction targets, Australia for sticking to a “fossil fuel mindset” and the United States for failing to meet its climate finance pledges for the poor countries most affected by climate change would have complied with.
Public concerns about the current energy crisis and soaring gas prices are understandable, she said, but cannot be an excuse to return to coal.
She said countries must accelerate the transition to renewable energy, expand wind power and develop green hydrogen.
But governments should also support households at risk of fuel poverty and use gas as a transition fuel, with liquefied natural gas supplies from the US replacing pipeline gas from Russia.
Ms Robinson urged the public to actively address the climate crisis by taking it seriously in their own lives.
“Commit to doing something today and tomorrow that you didn’t do yesterday, such as B. recycle more carefully or change your diet or transportation.
“Second, get angry at those who should be taking much more significant steps, like governments, corporations, investments, cities.
“Get angry with them and use your voice, join organizations, do whatever it takes to make your voice heard.
“And third, we must imagine this world to which we must hasten. We don’t do that enough.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/get-angry-get-active-get-thinking-mary-robinson-tells-public-after-alarming-climate-report-41530969.html Get angry, get active, think, Mary Robinson tells public after alarming climate report