If there was ever a time to live your best life it’s now, because a new report has found human civilisation might only have 30 years left.
This is why we should have started recycling sooner.
The paper has been produced by the Melbourne-based think tank, the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, and presented by the former chief of the Australian Defence Forces and retired Royal Australian Navy Admiral Chris Barrie.
As much as we might like to pretend everything will keep on ticking along, the report concluded the disastrous impacts of the climate crisis, coupled with inaction to tackle it, is leading towards a chaotic planet which could overwhelm societies around the globe in a matter of years.
In his introduction Barrie explains how the report’s authors lay bare ‘the unvarnished truth about the desperate situation humans, and our planet, are in, painting a disturbing picture of the real possibility that human life on Earth may be on the way to extinction, in the most horrible way’.
The report, titled Existential climate-related security risk: A scenario approach, argues climate change ‘represents a near to mid-term existential threat to human civilisation’, and encourages governments to take the worst case projections for climate scenarios more seriously.
It also points out how the impact of climate breakdown, such as a scarcity of food and water, will accelerate conflict and disorder over the next three decades.
The authors hypothesised average global temperatures may reach 3°C above pre-industrial levels by 2050 as a result of a lack of global action against greenhouses gases, causing sea levels to rise rapidly.
The scenario reads:
The destabilisation of the Jet Stream has very significantly affected the intensity and geographical distribution of the Asian and West African monsoons and, together with the further slowing of the Gulf Stream, is impinging on life support systems in Europe.
North America suffers from devastating weather extremes including wildfires, heatwaves, drought and inundation. The summer monsoons in China have failed, and water flows into the great rivers of Asia are severely reduced by the loss of more than one-third of the Himalayan ice sheet.
Glacial loss reaches 70 per cent in the Andes, and rainfall in Mexico and central America falls by half.
The paper adds:
Even for 2°C of warming, more than a billion people may need to be relocated and in high-end scenarios, the scale of destruction is beyond our capacity to model, with a high likelihood of human civilisation coming to an end.
Thankfully the report did offer some advice on how to prevent the end of civilisation, but it won’t be easy.
The authors explained:
To reduce this risk and protect human civilisation, a massive global mobilisation of resources is needed in the coming decade to build a zero-emissions industrial system and set in train the restoration of a safe climate.
This would be akin in scale to the World War II emergency mobilisation.
Climate change isn’t going to go away; it can’t be ignored unless we want to lead ourselves to destruction. Change needs to happen, and fast.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.