The case against despair on climate change

The world faces a climate catastrophe. Don't panic.

A storm chaser.
(Image credit: AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Human society is on a path to self-immolation. But don't give in to despair.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is out with an interim report, and the predictions are terrifying. If current trends continue, average global atmospheric temperatures will increase by 1.5 degrees Celsius (or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) on a 10-year averaged basis by roughly 2040. What's more, the latest science has generally found that even 1.5 degrees is going to be worse than previously thought, with high risk of murderous heat waves, flooding, drought, and sea level rise that threatens tens of millions of people around the world — and as Gavin Schmidt writes, the sheer arithmetic of keeping warming that low is virtually impossible.

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