The United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) releases regular reports on the state of the climate. The IPCC released its latest climate change report in early August. The document amounts to yet another warning to humanity about the terrible effects of our largely carbon-based energy economy.
The New York Times summarizes the findings of the UN climate change report thus: “Nations have delayed curbing their fossil-fuel emissions for so long that they can no longer stop global warming from intensifying over the next 30 years, though there is still a short window to prevent the most harrowing future.” The underlying science is equally alarming and persuasive, with the report incorporating more than 14,000 citations.
The planet is already 2 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than in the 19th century. That humanity is the cause is, according to the IPCC, “unequivocal.” We are experiencing the results of climate change this summer in the form of catastrophic wildfires, drought, and floods across the globe. The Swiss Re Institute estimates the damage due to extreme weather in the first half of 2021 at $42 billion.