The foundation for learning about our world begins with observation of nature. From NASA to local citizen science, people are working for the common scientific principle of the best understanding of what we can observe. Building on this foundation of understanding and utilizing what we learn to promote healthy societies and ecosystems is the current challenge of humanity.
The Latin phrase “tolle causam” refers to treating the cause. How can we treat the cause of climate change while we observe and palliate current catastrophic symptoms? We can change our behavior by decreasing our carbon footprints. We can change how business handles the CO2 emissions. Many changes require public support and encouragement to happen. Forward-looking infrastructure development from energy to transportation is where many advanced countries are investing. It is critical, as a society, we reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.
The Earth needs our collective voices to be mindful, our representation in politics to care, and we need to improve our environmental behavior as governments, individuals, and businesses. This requires civil discourse and individual participation in democratic processes. Our representatives should have the capacity to engage in civil discourse and take action. Scientists are helping by analyzing and interpreting massive amounts of research data, and have been discussing what we can do about the current state of affairs in order to help suggest appropriate responses by people around the world.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently issued a report on October 8th, 2018, citing over 6,000 scientific references and composed by 91 authors and 17 editors, among other contributors. IPCC is involved with assessing the science related to climate change. They look at the impacts, potential future risks, and possible response options around climate change.
At the current rate of warming the IPCC estimates a 1.5 degree increase from pre-industrial levels by 2030-2052. This is estimated to wipe out 70-90% of the coral reefs on the planet. A 2-degree change would likely mean all coral reefs would die. The effects of even one half of a degree will impact many species in different ways. This report is requesting unprecedented action in the next decade or so to keep the change at 1.5 degrees.
“The decisions we make today are critical in ensuring a safe and sustainable world for everyone, both now and in the future”
“It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment and we must act now.”
“This is the largest clarion bell from the science community and I hope it mobilizes people and dents the mood of complacency.”
“This report gives policymakers and practitioners the information they need to make decisions that tackle climate change while considering local context and people’s needs. The next few years are probably the most important in our history.”
-Debra Roberts, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group II.
Please consider yourself a “practitioner” as well as a “policymaker” and do what you can, when you can, where you can to help tackle climate change together. Lets be kind to each other and the Earth. Future generations and entire ecosystems are depending on our collective ability to make the right choices for our planet.
Eric Chatt N.D.