"The continued degradation of the environment is increasing the likelihood of diseases spreading from animals to humans." "The report notes the importance of biodiversity in addressing climate change, and long-term food security, and concludes that action to protect biodiversity is essential to prevent future pandemics."
How are we going to meet the targets? The study urges us to consider the dangers implicit the kind of relationship with nature we currently have. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the danger of a wrong relationship with animals - but it "has also demonstrated that transformative changes are possible when they must be made."
"The UK must recognise the opportunity to make urgent changes at home which can be used to provide international leadership ahead of negotiating the next global plan to save nature and the climate in 2021." In response, the RSPB is launching the Revive Our World campaign, pushing for legally binding targets to restore nature by 2030. It seems that in politics today only legally binding targets are effective.
It highlights five major things that must guide action on climate change: information and education about climate change, fairness in tackling climate change, freedom and choice for individuals and local areas, recognise the many 'co-benefits' that come when tackling climate change, protect and restore nature. (Note: a day later the RSPB published on this, and five days later, the United Nations did so, concerned that we have missed all our targets.) It also calls for strong leadership from government.
(My comment: This is very useful, and can be used when holding the UK government to account. But I do wonder: to what extent was it biased by the conventional concerns and angers that have been fed to us by and through the media, rather than the real 'down-to-earth' concerns of people?)
The scientists ran a large number of computer simulations with two conditions (with and without human influence), and compared the likelihoods of such a heatwave occurring there. With no human influence, such a heatwave would occur only once in every 80,000 years. "This is among the strongest results of any attribution study conducted to date."
"There is no sign of a slowdown, let alone a decline, in greenhouse gases concentration in the atmosphere despite all the commitments under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change,» said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas. "We need to translate the commitments into action and increase the level of ambition for the sake of the future welfare of the mankind,"
This is the first such UN report since 2005 and it UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said that its findings put the world "on notice ... Following the adoption of this historic report, no one will be able to claim that they did not know." [my emphasis] "We can no longer continue to destroy the diversity of life. This is our responsibility towards future generations" - and, I believe, towards God. This "is as vital as fighting climate change", she said. It undermines our future ability to feed ourselves, at the very time world population is growing.
The report examines five main drivers of "unprecedented" biodiversity and ecosystem change over the past 50 years, identifying them as: changes in land and sea use; direct exploitation of organisms; climate change, pollution, and invasion of alien species. Most of these have occurred because of human activity (for instance marine plastic pollution), and, unless we take urgent action, there will be "further acceleration" in the global rate of species extinction.
"Global energy consumption in 2018 increased at nearly twice the average rate of growth since 2010, driven by a robust global economy and higher heating and cooling needs in some parts of the world. Demand for all fuels increased, led by natural gas, even as solar and wind posted double digit growth. Higher electricity demand was responsible for over half of the growth in energy needs. Energy efficiency saw lacklustre improvement. As a result of higher energy consumption, CO2 emissions rose 1.7% last year and hit a new record."
Why do we find fewer insects squashed on the windscreens of our cars than we used to? Maybe because insects are declining at a rapid rate (2.5% per annum reduction in global insect biomass) [note]. Experts estimate that flying insects across Europe have declined 80 percent on average, causing bird populations to drop by more than 400 million in three decades. Insects comprise about two-thirds of all terrestrial species, are the foundation of key ecosystems.
The study, published in the journal Biological Conservation, pulls together data from more than 70 datasets from across the globe, some dating back more than a century. Causes: By a large margin, habitat change - deforestation, urbanisation, conversion to farmland - emerged as the biggest cause of insect decline and extinction threat. Next was pollution and the widespread use of pesticides in commercial agriculture.
"Insects - organisms that we once thought so numerous and resistant that they could survive even a global nuclear war - are undergoing a worldwide population collapse, which in turn threatens to wipe out other species through knock-on effects."
"We are witnessing the largest extinction event on Earth since the late Permian and Cretaceous periods" [Permian: 252 million years ago]
"We estimate the current proportion of insect species in decline - 41 percent - to be twice as high as that of vertebrates," or animals with a backbone, Francisco Sanchez-Bayo of the University of Sydney and Kris Wyckhuys of the University of Queensland in Australia reported.
"Human-induced environmental change is occurring at an unprecedented scale and pace and the window of opportunity to avoid catastrophic outcomes in societies around the world is rapidly closing."
"These outcomes include economic instability, large-scale involuntary migration, conflict, famine and the potential collapse of social and economic systems."
"Mainstream political and policy debates have failed to recognise that human impacts on the environment have reached a critical stage, potentially eroding the conditions upon which socioeconomic stability is possible."
"Mainstream political and policy debates have failed to recognise that human impacts on the environment have reached a critical stage, potentially eroding the conditions upon which socioeconomic stability is possible. ... The historical disregard of environmental considerations in most areas of policy has been a catastrophic mistake."
"Forecast suggests Earth's warmest period on record. The forecast for the global average surface temperature for the five-year period to 2023 is predicted to be near or above 1.0 °C above pre-industrial levels, says the Met Office."
"The warmth of 2018 is in line with the long-term warming trend driven by the world's emissions of greenhouse gases."
"The rise is due to the growing number of cars on the roads and a renaissance of coal use and means the world remains on the track to catastrophic global warming. ... The report estimates CO2 emissions will rise by 2.7% in 2018, sharply up on the plateau from 2014-16 and 1.6% rise in 2017. "
"The global rise in carbon emissions is worrying, because to deal with climate change they have to turn around and go to zero eventually,... We are not seeing action in the way we really need to. This needs to change quickly." [Prof Corinne Le Quéré, at the University of East Anglia, who led the research published in the journal Nature.]
"The long-term warming trend has continued in 2018, with the average global temperature set to be the fourth highest on record. The 20 warmest years on record have been in the past 22 years, with the top four in the past four years ... Other tell-tale signs of climate change, including sea level rise, ocean heat and acidification and sea-ice and glacier melt continue, while extreme weather left a trail of devastation on all continents ... We are not on track to meet climate change targets and rein in temperature increases ... Greenhouse gas concentrations are once again at record levels ..."
"All over the world, we are cutting down forests, using too much water from rivers, choking our oceans with plastic, and pushing many animals to extinction. For both people and wildlife to thrive, now and in the future, we need a healthy planet, with a rich variety of plants and animals, and vibrant ecosystems."
"we are already seeing the consequences of 1 C of global warming through more extreme weateher, rising sea levels and diminishing Artic sea ice, among other changes. ... Every extra bit of warming matters, especially since warming of 1.5 C or higher increases the risk associated wih long-lasting or irreversible changes, such as the loss of some ecosystems."
Almost all countries are contributing to the rise in carbon emissions, with emissions in China up 4.7%, in the US by 2.5% and in India by 6.3% in 2018. The EU's emissions are near flat, but this follows a decade of strong falls. Even Europeans have given up!
|RSPB 'Lost Decade' shows how we have failed nature - created by God and damaged or destroyed by us. Revelation 11:18 calls for the destruction of those who destroy the earth.||Genesis 1:26-28 shows that humankind was created to image God's love and character to the rest of Creation, but instead we wanted to "like God" (Genesis 3:5) and claim for ourselves the right to use nature as a resource for our greed. See also Page on Genesis 1:26-28 and the Hebrew words used.|
|Met Office report on prolonged arctic heatwave, is the clearest confirmation yet of human influence on the climate and consequent decline of the natural world.||Hosea 4:2-3 shows a clear causal link ("because of this" NIV) between human sin / greed and decline of the natural world.|
|UN biodiversity: "Protecting the invaluable contributions of nature to people will be the defining challenge of decades to come. Policies, efforts and actions - at every level ..."||"The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." Genesis 2:15, NIV.|
|Insect decline: "Only decisive action can avert a catastrophic collapse of nature's ecosystems ... Restoring wilderness areas and a drastic reduction in the use of pesticides and chemical fertiliser are likely the best way to slow the insect loss" [Phys]|
|WWF: "To stop the decline of the natural systems that support us and all other animals on the planet, we need real change, all over the world. ... Everyone - governments, businesses, communities and individuals - has a part to play in coming up with this new plan - a global deal for nature."||"The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." Genesis 2:15, NIV.|
|IPCC: "Limiting global warming to 1.5 C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society."||"All over the world I am tearing down what I built and pulling up what I planted." Jeremiah 45:4, CEV|
|WMO: " ... 'we are the first generation to fully understand climate change and the last generation to be able to do something about it.'"||"In the past, God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repemt." Acts 17:30, NIV|
|WMO: "We need to translate the commitments into action and increase the level of ambition for the sake of the future welfare of the mankind"||
"Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' and do not do the things that I say?" Luke 6:46, NIV. |
"Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, 'Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed' but does nothing about his physical needs, what good it it!"" James 2:15-16, NIV
|IPPR: "... three shifts in understanding across political and policy communities are required: of the scale and pace of environmental breakdown, the implications for societies, and the subsequent need for transformative change."||"Do not be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2, NIV.|
|Is it not about time we took responsibility?|
Note re Insect Decline: The study brings together many studies. However, estimates of 2.5% per annum comes from three separate studies. They all show 2.5% reduction in widely separated areas, suggesting something like that is occurring, but making the actual figure of 2.5% overall rather approximate. Those who wish to resist calls to responsibility can easily cast doubt on them - but if the figure was entirely spurious one would not expect all three studies to show the same effect.
This page is an expression of part of a project to understand the links between climate change, global economy and other matters including society's beliefs and aspirations. It is designed to stimulate thinking and discourse. Comments, queries welcome.
This page is written on behalf of the CCGE Group by Andrew Basden, but the views expressed herein are his and not necessarily those of the other members of the Group. Written on the Amiga with Protext. Copyright of quoted text belongs to the organisation or person quoted. Other text is copyright (c) Andrew Basden 2008 - present, but may be used for almost any purpose (including commercial) subject to certain conditions.
Created: 3 December 2018. Last updated: 7 December 2018 GCP report. 6 February 2019 Met Office 5-year prediction. 26 March 2019 IEA, IPPR. Also added verses to "What we should do", making it into a table. 10 May 2019 UN biodiversity global assessment. 18 May 2019 insect decline. 15 July 2019 deep adaptation. 4 October 2019 UK State of Nature Report. 6 October 2019 Sir D King. 14 October 2019 ccge contact r.t. xn. 26 November 2019 WMO 191125; links from ToDo back to reports. 11 February 2020 WEF. 30 June 2020 Ctee Climate Change UK report. 17 July 2020 MetOffice Arctic Heatwave. 27 August 2020 tourism 8% of CC. 15 September 2020 RSPB Lost Decade; changed copyright statement; UN biodiversity loss. 16 September 2020 Citizens Assembly Report; better on UN; a bit of intro. 8 October 2020 interview-pwda.