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If we can’t make this happen, we won’t achieve any of the rest of it

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It’s not racial equality, nor inflation, nor a woman’s autonomy over her own body, nor the war in Ukraine, nor extreme poverty, nor even finally and at long last putting Trump in prison that is the most urgent task before us. All those things mean nothing if we have no hope of continued existence. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a species to save and that species is us.

Last week the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered its final verdict: act now or it’s too late. This comprehensive review of human knowledge of the climate crisis took hundreds of scientists eight years to compile. The report runs to thousands of pages. But it all boiled down to one message. This, brothers and sisters, is the proverbial “it.”

Now, you might not unreasonably conclude that since it’s so little in the news that it’s not that big a deal. You’d be wrong. It’s like news of Trump and justice. If justice is coming Trump’s way it makes not the slightest difference if it’s in the news or not. The doom we face if we ignore planetary climate change is coming whether we talk about it or not. Gravity doesn’t have to advertise itself, it just quietly kills you if you step off a thirty storey building.

In sobering, unequivocal language, the IPCC recounted the devastation that has already affected much of the world. Extreme weather events that have been caused by climate breakdown have led to increased deaths from intensifying heat waves everywhere in the world. Millions of lives and homes have been impacted in droughts and floods. Millions face “increasingly irreversible losses” in vital ecosystems.

The report chillingly concluded that there is a point of no return that, once passed, it will no longer matter what we do. The devastating impact of climate change will become unstoppable. When that point comes, action or inaction will become completely irrelevant. It will cease to matter if you drive an electric car or a twelve cylinder gas-guzzling SUV. We will be helpless before the unstoppable planet-wide Armageddon of our very own making.

“This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe,” UN secretary general, António Guterres, said. “Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once.”

Even so, there is still hope of staying within the 1.5 degrees Celsius of global temperature increase, according to the IPCC report. Hoesung Lee, the chairman of the IPCC, said, “This synthesis report underscores the urgency of taking more ambitious action and shows that, if we act now, we can still secure a livable sustainable future for all.”

“Today’s message from the IPCC is abundantly clear, we are making progress, but not enough,” US special presidential envoy for climate John Kerry said. “We have the tools to stave off and reduce the risks of the worst impacts of the climate crisis, but we must take advantage of this moment to act now.”

We make noise about climate change but still do nothing, what Greta Thunberg calls “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Instead of fixing it many of us waste time mocking and disparaging a young woman who is trying to help save us. That’s madness of the maddest kind. All of us need to get up off our asses and start acting today.


We can make a difference if we send a message to our politicians that we won’t elect them and they can’t keep their jobs if they don’t act and act immediately, decisively and effectively. Whether we acknowledge it or not, global climate change is our number one priority. We are holding our future and the future of generations hostage to the fortune of our present action.

Let’s not let it come to the point where we lament and cry, “Why didn’t we act when we had the chance?” Well we have the chance right now. We can act or die. The choice and the responsibility and the ultimate blame is ours and ours alone. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

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