GENEVA – This week (or maybe it was last week, or the week before, it doesn’t really matter) the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their latest report detailing the horrific future humanity faces if governments don’t immediately take action and virtually no one read it or is reading this.
Despite its terrifying subject matter, the IPCC report takes a hopeful tone by pointing out that humans already have the resources and technology to keep warming to 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels, if those in power simply decide to implement them. However, since no one actually in a position of power is interested in doing that, the point is moot, just like the report itself and this article about it which maybe three people will read, including my mother. Hey Mom.
Governments around the world have taken different approaches to disregarding the report and its recommendations, from pretending to take action by greenwashing their support for fossil fuel extraction to touting their commitment to emissions targets that are so far in the future as to be utterly meaningless. In Canada, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault has promised to take a “hard long look” at the IPCC’s report and its recommendations before ignoring them. That guy really sucks, which I can say because no one is reading this. It’s for all intents and purposes a diary entry at this point.
This is the last IPCC report to be released before 2030, and therefore the last to be released while the world still has a chance of limiting warming to 1.5C. By the time the next report comes out, the situation will be far more dire both in terms of how many people have been harmed or killed by increasingly extreme weather events and in terms of how much emissions are set to increase between now and then.
I am so glad I don’t have kids. Mom, you probably stopped reading this because no one is reading this, but if you somehow still are, you know you’re definitely not getting any grandkids, right?
At press time, the author of this story was pretty depressed and attempting to take her mind off the continuing destruction of the only known habitable planet in the universe by watching old episodes of The Simpsons but couldn’t stop thinking about how much less carbon was in the atmosphere when these episodes were made.