CODE RED, IPCC Climate Report

The 2021 Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change, #IPCC, report marks an alarming turning point, but its summary message for policy makers misses the reality that stabilizing at 1.5-2°C over pre- industrial levels will fail to preserve a livable environment.

Already, at under 1.2°C, extreme weather and climate tipping points have been reached. The #CarbonSinks that supported a carbon budget are already stressed to the limit. The Amazon, once a major sink, is now a net emitter of greenhouse gases, due to rainforest destruction for animal and industrial agriculture and wildfires. The Arctic is melting fast, releasing methane from peat bogs, tundra, and from under the disappearing ice, whose ability to reflect heat, is also essential.

Even as industrial and fossil fuel interests control political and financial agendas, food security may be the decisive threat that makes policy-makers listen. As people become increasingly aware of the devastation around them, surveys show that a large percentage of the world’s population is now in support of the major changes that are necessary to survive the existential threat of climate change.

Code Red is the highest level of alert, but we are almost out of time to heed it and to reduce human-produced emissions sufficiently to slow down the rising concentration of greenhouse gases, and to preserve the Earth’s essential carbon sinks. Peter Carter, Brian Wright, and Mark Anderson reveal that the IPCC report needs to send a clearer and even more urgent message.