IPCC report: It is (high) time to take care of …

The finding of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is clear: the world is in bad shape. Very bad, even as it “will be exposed to more inevitable climatic hazards over the next two decades with a global warming of 1.5 degrees”, and that “exceeding, even temporarily, will lead to further serious consequences, of which Some will be irreversible. “half measures are no longer an option”, it is (yet) not too late. Overview in 4 points …

Biodiversity

The problems According to the IPCC, global warming (+ 1.09 ° C in 2021), extreme weather events, rising sea levels or even forest fires have led to displacement or extinction of animals or plants. It is clear that climate change has led to widespread disruption of terrestrial, marine and freshwater ecosystems in all regions of the world. But this change as well as the loss of biodiversity have effects on human societies: the disappearance of natural habitats causes an approximation of wild species and humans, which promotes e.g. zoonoses (transmission of diseases between animals and humans). Among other problems.

The solutions In order to protect ecosystems (terrestrial or aquatic), it is important to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), limit all other disturbances as much as possible (such as intensive deforestation or clearing), promote the diversity of natural habitats and, of course, restore, expand and protect them. “refuge areas” – all that can be done in particular by (re) green cities (we will not say no!), by diversifying crops, by restoring the natural course of rivers …

agriculture

The problems More and more droughts or heat waves, violent storms, floods, in short, extreme weather events are endangering agriculture: damaged or even destroyed crops, degraded arable land, suffering livestock … Note that according to experts, the yield is corn, soybeans, rice and even wheat is already affected. If nothing is done, the situation will obviously get worse: due to the new climatic conditions, which are too hot and humid, entire regions will no longer be suitable for agriculture. The key: a decline in food resources, an increasingly uncertain situation for producers, price increases for consumers – which de facto further exposes the most vulnerable sections of the population to risks of malnutrition and food shortages.

The solutions For the experts, there is a need for better water and irrigation management, but also better adaptation of crops to climatic conditions through generalized agro-ecological practices such as crop diversification or organic farming – thereby making it possible to limit the damage.

Health

The problems Cardiovascular diseases related to heat, those generated by foods in the broad sense, as well as zoonoses are already on the rise. But that’s not all: the IPCC is also concerned about the effects of climate change on mental health – citing in particular the anxiety caused by the environmental crisis or the traumatic consequences caused by natural disasters.

The solutions A real political and individual awareness that would enable a large-scale implementation of the measures proposed below.

The political and the individual

The problems Although global efforts have been made to reduce CO2 emissions, they are not enough. The authors of the report therefore condemn “an inadequacy of the means implemented in the light of the speed of change, a sign of a lack of political will”. And to cite, among other things, the non-compliance with Glasgow 2021 commitments under COP 26 in the form of doubling budgets to combat global warming.

The solutions For the experts, “development resistant to climate change” requires compliance with signed agreements, but also greater economic efforts in certain key sectors such as energy conversion (to reduce CO2 emissions), maintaining and securing ecosystems (restoration of forests and natural areas, halting urbanization especially in coastal areas, etc.), agricultural reforms, “green” urban redevelopment, water storage and recycling …

And what to do individually? The discourse is well known – but it is about transforming the way we live and consume, which especially involves “healthy food from sustainable and local agriculture”, a reduction of waste in general, food and energy in particular.

Because peeing in the shower, preferring the bike or feet over the car, only buying what you really need, recycling, eating locally and in season, turning off the light, preferring baking soda and elbow grease over aggressive products, in short following these thousands of simple recommendations to implement on a daily basis will ultimately pay off. Yes, yes, we believe in it …

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