Something to read: The IPCC Special Report on Climate Change and Land

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report in 2018, pulling in evidence from 107 experts from 52 countries in order to provide governments around the world with the data behind human-induced climate breakdown.

Over two years in the making, this report highlights the multiple interactions between climate change and land. It assesses the dynamics of the land-climate system, and the economic and social dimensions of addressing the challenges of land degradation, desertification and food security in a changing climate. It also assesses the options for governance and decision-making across multiple scales. This report is interdisciplinary in nature and brings together an unprecedented number of experts from varying fields of research. Their expertise ranges from agricultural systems and rural livelihoods to nutrition and forestry.  Over 52 different countries from all regions of the world were represented in the chapter teams, and, for the first time in an IPCC report, a majority of authors – 53% – were from developing countries. This reflects the important role that developing countries play in climate change research and decision-making, particularly in the context of land

Foreword — Special Report on Climate Change and Land

The report is a very, very long read at over nine hundred pages across seven chapters, but it does paint a picture of how our future might play out. However, reading through the whole lot might be a tall order, but here’s some cliff notes in video form:

Were it not written by scientists and academics, it might have been called “We’re so ****ed”. Mercifully it wasn’t, but the overriding message is the same.

We can look forward to a changing climate, yes, but with that we have to deal with the starvation, entire countries, US states, and much of Cardiff’s city centre being wiped off the map in many of our lifetimes. That our industrial farming activities have ruined the soil we rely on to grow crops; that warming will allow tropical diseases like Malaria to spread further north; that countries in the northern hemisphere are going to have to deal with a massive migration of starving and displaced people.

Will we change course? No, probably not. People aren’t going to accept what they believe is a degradation in their lifestyles and will vote out any politician that tries to make any kind of meaningful change. Populists will continue to be given the time of day because they offer the comfort of outdated thinking.

Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970, leading the world’s foremost experts to warn that the annihilation of wildlife is now an emergency that threatens civilisation.

Humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations since 1970, report finds | Wildlife | The Guardian

What do we think they next 40 years are going to be like?

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