by Shelley Tanenbaum.
If the catchword for 2020 was “unprecedented,” then 2021 follows as “unequivocal.” That is how the 2021 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports scientific evidence that human activities are the cause of climate change, that the climate will be getting worse for several decades, and that no new fossil fuel sources or infrastructure should be constructed. The report has been giving people nightmares, but it also describes a clear path forward. The IPCC tells us that climate change can be limited to under 1.5 degrees Celsius if we get close to 100% renewables by 2040-50, and that the technology exists today to get there. None of this is news to most of our readers, but it is good to have this document to back us up! Very few of us will read all 3,500 pages of this report, but a succinct and readable 39-page summary is available. It is good to know that 200 of the world’s top climate scientists corroborate these findings.
What to do? Lookout for Paul Hawken’s latest book Regeneration: Ending the Climate Crisis in One Generation (available mid-September). He takes his previous book, Drawdown, several steps further, focusing on what all of us can do to promote renewable energy, electrify everything, create equitable communities, and transform our human relationship with food, forests, and the oceans.