Are We Running Out Of Time To Stop Climate Change?

"Most climate scientists agree that we only have less than a decade to turn things around or else we’ll be stuck with a 'worst case scenario' including rising sea levels, devastating droughts, and worsening famines," U.S. Rep. Sean Casten wrote in a recent campaign email, highlighting that we only have a few years left to collectively make some really big changes if we are to save this planet.

A former clean-energy entrepreneur who flipped Illinois’ west suburban 6th Congressional District for the Democrats in 2018,  Casten isn’t the only politician that used the “climate change deadline” as a talking point in the past few months. Other politicians have it done it as well. For example, there’s presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, both of which who made claims that have been contradicted with fact-checks by actual scientists.

Regardless of their influence however, these are talking points, and not real reports that are fact-checked by scientists who are disseminating information not to promote but to inform. So what does science actually say?

Out of Time?

Of course, the truth itself isn’t all that pretty. The effects of climate change are still devastating, and much is still needed to be done if we are to collectively exit out of this problem as a species. However, as per James Skea, co-chairman of the IPCC report and a sustainable energy professor at Imperial College London , the climate change panel made last year made no mention of the now popular narrative that we only have 12 years left to save the Earth.

According to climate scientist Daniel Swain, the “deadline” was more of a tool to wake people up, rather than a physical science reality.

"The next decade is indeed a critical window in which to achieve enough technological, economic and policy momentum toward a carbon-neutral world while minimizing societal disruption. But on the other hand there's no geophysical cliff at the end of the decade that makes all our efforts moot if we don't make it all the way,” Swain said.

With that in mind however, there is still a looming threat present in climate change, one that we don’t need a hard deadline for to start aggressively acting on.

Climate Change A new study found that many parts of the world may soon struggle to produce food that contain necessary nutrients because of climate change and increasing carbon dioxide (CO2). Pixabay

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