The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there are 10 years left to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will wipe out entire ecosystems, and bring apocalyptic droughts, extreme heat, fires, and disastrous weather events. If we don’t take action now, there will be food scarcity, there will be a water shortage, there will be power outages, there will be an increase in disease, there will be a decrease in our national security, and some of us won’t make it. It sounds dire; it sounds alarmist, it sounds political–scroll the Instagram photos of the latest hurricane disaster in The Bahamas–the climate crisis is not a bad science fiction movie–it’s real. And it’s already here.
The gap between science and politics is money. Our politicians’ power exists in the here and now-their terms are 2 years, 4 years, 6 years. So it's hard for youth to get them to put our future ahead of theirs. But the cost of doing nothing will be far higher in the long run.
Unfortunately, the latest science reveals the 2018 goals of the IPCC to keep climate warming to a maximum of 1.5C are already obsolete. The 2019 IPCC Report states that doesn't even begin to include the new reality of tipping points of glacier ice melt after the latest summer heatwaves, that now spiral the planet toward an irreversible point of no return.
The climate crisis didn’t happen overnight. America is the world’s biggest historical source of carbon emissions. America can lead on climate change. Science and technology have shown the climate goals necessary can be met with physics and chemistry. What’s missing is public and political will.
To ensure our survivability as we know it, everything must change. But here’s the ticker–everything can change.
Technological solutions in renewable energy, batteries, energy storage, reforestation, population education, and changes in our mass transit and power systems are already possible. Forces of Nature is youth call for action by our politicians now--this session--this term. We are out of time.
We should all take a science lesson from Mother Nature; she pays no attention to politics.
-- Lily Paden, co-founder, Forces of Nature