Below are the six reports cited by Nafeez Ahmed in his insightful article, Escaping Extinction through Paradigm Shift. Each report examines the impact of climate change from different perspectives. For those with the time, links are provided to each study. The larger issue is: What do we do with this information? What are our options as individuals, as cities, as states, as nations and as a world? Answering that question is a major theme of the Retake Our Democracy blog. It is one thing to be “woke” but then what do we do with our wokeness?
- The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). The report concludes that human civilization is systematically destroying its own life-support systems, resulting in the potential mass extinction of at least one million animal and plant species.
- In February, the UN Food & Agricultural Organisation (FAO) issued its own comprehensive global assessment across 91 countries, warning that prevailing agricultural techniques were destroying the biodiversity needed to sustain global food production.
- Another report out this month by the World Wildlife Fund and Global Footprint Network outlines how this massive, systematic environmental destruction is rooted in a way of life based on overconsumption of natural resources: we are growing beyond our means. We are taking without giving back.
- A new study by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) — launched at the UN headquarters in Geneva — found that a record 41.3 million people worldwide are displaced inside their own countries due to conflict and violence.
- A major scientific study published earlier this year in Global Environmental Change, which concluded that climate change played a significant role in migration and asylum seeking from 2011 to 2015, by creating severe droughts which drove and exacerbated conflicts. The report describes how in 2018, extreme weather events were responsible for the majority of the 17.2 million new displacements. Tropical cyclones and monsoon floods led to mass displacement in the Philippines, China and India, mostly in the form of evacuations. California suffered the most destructive wildfires in its history, which displaced hundreds of thousands of people; and of course,
- The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report giving us 12 years to contain climate change and keep warming to within a 1.5 to 2.0 degree Celsius increase