Climate change report

Rex Snow, MVC News Editor

Recently, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported that the immediate effects of increasing changes on the climate are more serious than previously thought. Within the lifetime of most of the world’s population, the report predicts a mass extinction of coral reefs, a rise in wildfires, and an increase in food shortages. This report was edited by 91 scientists from 40 countries and included analysis of over 6,000 scientific studies.

Authors of the report concluded the atmosphere will warm as much as 1.5 celsius by 2040 if greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase at the current rate. This change will result in flooded coastlines, droughts, and extreme poverty.

Furthermore, the panel suggests that preventing potentially irreversible damage will require a drastic remodeling of the world economy over the course of a few years. Otherwise, the authors suggest, the impending disasters will cost $54 billion in damage. To prevent such damage the panel asserts that greenhouse pollution must be reduced by 100% by 2050. That is correct, all greenhouse pollution must be removed by 2050. Furthermore, coal usage must drop by 40%, and renewable energy would have to be used as 67% of the energy.

“We should do more to stop climate change because I want a future with a healthy environment,” said Madison King, 11.

While there are ways of preventing humanity’s carbon footprint before it is too late, such as heavy taxes on carbon dioxide emissions, the authors concede that this is unlikely politically. The United States has joined 180 other countries in accepting the findings of the report.

However, this does not necessarily mean that policymakers will do anything about it.