Essay by Eric Worrall
But eco-communism can save us, according to “The 2023 state of the climate report“.
Earth’s vital signs have never been worse, as climate scientists warn of ‘unbearable heat and shortages of food and freshwater’
“Unfortunately, time is up.”
That’s the bleak warning headlining a concerning new report where climate scientists conclude Earth’s vital signs are now worse than anything humans have seen.
The climate situation is now so bad that life on Earth is imperilled, the scientists said, pointing to 20 of 35 identified planetary vital signs that are teetering at record extremes.
Those red-lining vital signs meant “profoundly distressing scenes of suffering” will unfold on the planet’s population, the report published today in Bioscience declared.
The report referenced by the press story above;
The 2023 state of the climate report: Entering uncharted territory
William J Ripple, Christopher Wolf, Jillian W Gregg, Johan Rockström, Thomas M Newsome, Beverly E Law, Luiz Marques, Timothy M Lenton, Chi Xu, Saleemul Huq, Leon Simons, Sir David Anthony King
BioScience, biad080, https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biad080
Published: 24 October 2023
Life on planet Earth is under siege. We are now in an uncharted territory. For several decades, scientists have consistently warned of a future marked by extreme climatic conditions because of escalating global temperatures caused by ongoing human activities that release harmful greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. Unfortunately, time is up. We are seeing the manifestation of those predictions as an alarming and unprecedented succession of climate records are broken, causing profoundly distressing scenes of suffering to unfold. We are entering an unfamiliar domain regarding our climate crisis, a situation no one has ever witnessed firsthand in the history of humanity.
Climate-related all-time records
In 2023, we witnessed an extraordinary series of climate-related records being broken around the world. The rapid pace of change has surprised scientists and caused concern about the dangers of extreme weather, risky climate feedback loops, and the approach of damaging tipping points sooner than expected (Armstrong McKay et al. 2022, Ripple et al. 2023). … possibly the warmest temperature on Earth over the past 100,000 years (figure 1e). It is a sign that we are pushing our planetary systems into dangerous instability.
It appears the green recovery following COVID-19 that many had hoped for has largely failed to materialize (Zhang et al. 2023). Instead, carbon emissions have continued soaring, and fossil fuels remain dominant, with annual coal consumption reaching a near all-time high of 161.5 exajoules in 2022 (figure 2h).
Economic growth, as it is conventionally pursued, is unlikely to allow us to achieve our social, climate, and biodiversity goals. … We therefore need to change our economy to a system that supports meeting basic needs for all people instead of excessive consumption by the wealthy (O’Neill et al. 2018).
Food security and undernourishment
After declining for many years, the prevalence of undernourishment is now on the rise (figure 5e). In 2022, an estimated 735 million people faced chronic hunger—an increase of roughly 122 million since 2019 (FAO et al. 2023).
The report claims extreme weather is worse, but we’ve all heard this nonsense before.
The only significant bad identified, food security and undernourishment, is more likely the consequences of the Ukraine war, and high energy prices driving up the cost of fertiliser. The ongoing high level political attacks on the use of fertiliser and agricultural chemicals, and insane agriculture policies such as buying out farmers and requiring they never farm again, as part of the settlement, are probably contributing to disruption in the agricultural sector. The push for “rewilding“, destroying farmland and giving it over to the weeds, is probably also contributing. Greens are responsible for creating a food crisis we don’t have to have.
As for the claims of climate instability, there is no paleo climate evidence that a warmer climate is less productive. Quite the opposite.
How could our monkey ancestors have colonised much of the world during the hothouse world of the PETM, if all that global warming damaged their food supply?
Last time the world was really hot, The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, 5-8C hotter than today, the species which did really well was monkeys. Our monkey ancestors colonised much of Eurasia and North America, feasting on the abundance which the PETM warmth delivered. The monkeys passed through the warm temperate forests of Greenland on their journey. Our monkey ancestors only retreated when the warm age ended, because they were driven out of their new homes by the encroaching cold.
The biggest problem with the report though, is they simply ignored some options for addressing what they claim is a crisis.
Why do we “need to change our economy to a system that supports meeting basic needs for all people instead of excessive consumption”? Why can’t we just build a bunch of nuclear reactors, like France did in the 70s?
The report only contains one mention of nuclear energy that I could find, and that mention was not in the context of a potential climate solution – even though the French experience proves that nuclear power is a scalable and affordable path to reducing CO2 emissions.
The failure to even mention the nuclear solution to the alleged climate crisis in the context of a possible solution, let alone discuss the pros and cons of nuclear energy, along with the report’s emphasis on renewable energy and economic transformation, in my opinion betrays the true nature of this document – transparently politicised academic communist propaganda, masquerading as a climate warning.