Climate change is devastating millions of people and is within 2-3 years of passing a “point of no return” unless drastic measures are taken.
Leading scientists say it is absolutely essential to quickly reduce emissions of super-potent methane from the US fracking industry.
Reducing methane emissions can have immediate, positive effects on global warming.
Doing so is cost-effective, practical and can buy extra time to replace all fossil-fueled electricity with cheaper renewables paired with storage.
- News reports on climate urgency
- IPCC on Warming of 1.5C (Oct. 2018)
- IPCC on Climate Change & Land (Aug. 2019)
- IPCC on Oceans & Ice (Sept. 2019)
- Why Half a Degree is a Big Deal (NY Times)
- UN's Emissions Gap Report 2018
- US National Climate Assessment (2018)
- UN Paris Agreement (2015)
- UN Marrakech Action Proclamation (2016)
- The Climate Turning Point (2017)
- James Hansen on sea-level rise (2016)
- James Hansen video (15 mins)
- CBS News 2-min interview with Hansen
- Climate Stories NC
- Extinction Rebellion
Since 2003, NC WARN’s top priority has been the accelerating climate crisis, and we are more concerned than ever. Here’s why:
- The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says we must drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 if we are to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels (the safe maximum identified in the Paris agreement). See the left sidebar for 3 chilling reports issued in 2018 and 2019 by the IPCC.
- The globe has already warmed 1 degree. Climate scientist James Hansen and others say our past emissions have already “baked in” 1.5 degrees.
- Annual global greenhouse gas emissions are still rising. Leading scientists such as Michael Mann say they must start dropping by 2020 if we are to meet the 1.5-degree target.
- The UN Environment Program’s Emissions Gap Report 2018 says governments must quintuple their previous commitments if we are to stop warming at 1.5 degrees.
- The good news from that report is that “non-state actors” like local government and civic institutions can be major players in slowing global warming. That’s part of our NC Clean Path 2025 strategy, which shows how we can work together to rapidly replace coal and “natural” gas in North Carolina.
Sea level will continue to rise and weather extremes will continue to get worse if drastic measures are not taken by 2020 to reduce carbon emissions.
What’s so important about 2020?
The climate is giving us a deadline. Warming creates positive feedback loops that lead to tipping points after which warming proceeds under its own momentum no matter what humans do.
Here’s an example: rising temperatures melt Arctic ice and create more open water in the Arctic. Water is darker than ice, so it absorbs more heat, melting more ice, and so on until the tipping point is reached.
Scientists do not know exactly when these tipping points will occur, but some believe they could come as early as 2020, as explained in a 2017 report, The Climate Turning Point.
For several years we’ve described an accelerating race between hopeful advances in clean energy and the ominous climate crisis. All the economics and technologies are in place for humanity to win that race. But Duke Energy, the Koch brothers and other fossil fuel corporations continue to impede the inevitable transition.
The odds that humanity will win this race are not strong. But sometimes big changes happen quickly. We are doing our part in North Carolina, giving our best effort to stabilize the climate crisis by working to induce Duke Energy – one of the world’s largest polluters – to help slow climate change instead of making it worse. Won’t you join us?
This series on the wood pellet industry and the different views on the role of North Carolina forests in combating climate change took six months to put together, but drew on years of experience and reporting. It was produced in partnership with The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. SEE ALL Climate Urgency POSTS
“I’m on the side of innovation and free markets,” Szoka said, adding that the “highly controlled monopolies” that run the industry today are approaching “a tipping point” where change is imminent. “Their best days are behind them and I think we need something else,” he said. SEE ALL Climate Urgency POSTS