Climate change crunch time

It is reported from Paris that Nations can build on the offers they have made to the Paris climate talks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit projected warming to 1.8°C (3.2°F), according to a new analysis released today from Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan.

Modelling done by the MIT group under Prof John Sterman indicates the enormity of the problem.

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By 2050, we are looking at achieving an 80% reduction to keep global warming below 2%.

This means that the targets of most countries, albeit looking 2030, may still be too low and that we need to have a perspective on the problem that looks to an 80% reduction.

Australia has no chance of meeting this target under the Direct Action program that the Turnbull government is pursuing.

One thought on “Climate change crunch time

  1. Delusional is a word that springs to mind. Aspirational targets are far removed from reality and doomed to failure. Defining “point B” (desired state) is a no brainer, however taking the rose-tinted glasses off and defining point A (i.e. current reality) is a whole other universe, leave aside plotting a path to get from point A to point B – presently invoking theoretical astrophysics (AKA seeking a wormhole).

    The thing that concerns me most is the time left to actually implement change – I know, as well as anyone else in change management who has actually catalysed change, how long it takes for ONE large organisation to change…this is a far bigger scale – we’re starting with the wrong end.

    Greenhouse gas emissions are the fleas at the end of a dog’s tail. Getting rid of said fleas will not stop the tail wagging the dog. Ergo, changing/ reducing the output of GHG’s is but one symptom of a much larger issue.

    Systemically, output is linked to transformation which in turn is linked to input. Our input(s) have not altered since the start of the industrial revolution – it’s one thing addressing GHG’s and waste and quite another tackling the cause and not symptoms.

    Significant structural and process change is required – of the kind that didn’t happen, but should have, post-GFC. What became evident here was the extent to which things had gone down a path-dependent trajectory (as evidenced by the “calcified” institutionalism legitimising the commodificaiton of debt).

    One obvious take-out from the mess this created was that the “system” (or at least, a very significant part of it) found a way of feeding and thriving off inefficiency. If global finance is ostensibly the “oil” fueling the industrial machine, it is logical to assume other parts of the system are acting in exactly the same way.

    Clearly, a great deal more thought needs to be put into this equation than just meeting %’s.

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