“Summer 2018 will go down in history as the moment that humanity awoke to the urgency of the climate crisis. Paul Allen looks at what we can do about it.
“This summer saw the release of two important new reports. Trajectories of the Earth System in the Anthropocene highlighted the risk that if we cross a key threshold, self-reinforcing feedbacks could trigger a ‘Hothouse Earth’ pathway. What Lies Beneath: The Understatement of Existential Climate Risk reminded us that climate research has tended to underplay the risks, and that the lower-probability, higher-impact events are now becoming more likely. But above and beyond academic research, stories and first-hand experiences from the increasing number of extreme weather events across the globe have deeply connected us to the fact that humanity is opening the door to a very serious climate emergency. Fortunately, there is a story to be told about what we can – and must – do rapidly to change our trajectory.
“Humanity must now make some important choices. Fortunately, hundreds of people around the world have been working hard to develop robust models of possible climate-stable futures at global, regional, national and sub-national scales – from Tanzania to New York State, and from South Asia to the Baltic.”