The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released the sixth iteration of its climate assessment report, AR6 (Report on Climate Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability).
AR6 is the most comprehensive and extensive examination of the climate crisis to date. Impacting every single person on the planet, it is arguably one of the most consequential scientific reports of our time. It is a 3675 page document, authored by 270 climate experts from 67 countries drawing on 34,000 studies. The full version of AR6 is available here.
But if you’re not in the mood to read a scientific paper equivalent in length to all seven Harry Potter books, I don’t blame you.
Several months after the release of AR6, World Resources Institute published this article, distilling the six biggest findings from this newest IPCC report:
- Climate impacts are already more widespread and severe than expected.
- We are locked into even worse impacts from climate change in the near-term.
- Risks will escalate quickly with higher temperatures, often causing irreversible impacts of climate change.
- Inequity, conflict and development challenges heighten vulnerability to climate risks.
- Adaptation is crucial. Feasible solutions already exist, but more support must reach vulnerable communities.
- But some impacts of climate change are already too severe to adapt to. The world needs urgent action now to address losses and damages.
A laymen version of which goes like this:
We are all fucked.
You can characterize that statement as facetious, but it’s simply the truth.
I know nobody wants to talk about the 43-billion-ton elephant in the room. Not really. Not actually. Because talking about it means actually realizing that we are actually all fucked.
This quote from the IPCC site is so quaint it’s almost cute:
The evidence is clear: the time for action is now.
Of course. Yes.
But, like, does it have to be now now?
I believe — wait, no — scientists from all over the world are saying that the situation is dire, yet we continue to live in apparent oblivion. It’s not so much that people don’t care, or that they don’t know that there is a crisis — it’s that the severity is grossly misunderstood.
To use one of my favourite quotes from Miguel de Cervantes: