The IPCC weighs in on extinction.

Remember–I’m the simple artist.

This is from a report two years ago that escaped my notice. Fair warning—I’m not a credentialed scientist. I wrote a play about near term human extinction in 2016 that has been performed in the US and now has been screened by a theatre in a video festival that in non-COVID times would have possibly put me in front of a live audience at the Edinburgh Fringe. I’ve interviewed numerous scientists over the last seven years, and our prospects don’t look good. They don’t look as good as they did in 2016, two years after I first met Dr. Guy McPherson. Recently I came across information that points to our demise. I thought I should share it. The implication from what I’ve read so far is that our end-date comes about in 2030.

In 2019, the UN body the IPCC issued a report Titled ‘The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate”. The projection of 2030 as an end-date for human life was put forth by the IPCC, which didn’t come out and say this. But they said global warming of the oceans was irreversible. Here’s the full report, published September 2019.

The report is 1170 pages long, and there are numerous sections. On page 48, they have this to say:  Characteristics of ocean and cryosphere change include thresholds of abrupt change, long-term changes that cannot be avoided, and irreversibility (high confidence). Ocean warming, acidification and deoxygenation, ice sheet and glacier mass loss, and permafrost degradation are expected to be irreversible on timescales relevant to human societies and ecosystems. Long response times of decades to millennia mean that the ocean and cryosphere are committed to long-term change even after atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and radiative forcing stabilise (high confidence). Ice melt or the thawing of permafrost involve thresholds (state changes) that allow for abrupt, nonlinear responses to ongoing climate warming(high confidence). These characteristics of ocean and cryosphere change pose risks and challenges to adaptation {1.1, Box 1.1, 1.3}.

Deoxygenation means loss of phytoplankton, which produce upwards of 60% of the world’s oxygen. Ocean warming is driving them to extinction. The document’s frequent reference to 2030 is meant to mean that the UN’s goals for development in 2030 cannot be met, at least what I’ve read so far. Whether that means (as some said) they’re throwing in the towel is not made clear in the report.

People should remember that the IPCC is a political entity as well as a science group that writes about climate. That means the scientists get together and write a report on what they see as important distinctions in the latest assessment. At that point, the document is handed over to the political entities that may feel the need to clean things up a bit. They’ve been called out before . For example, the Fifth Assessment, released in 2014, was called out by climate scientists at the Tyndall Research Centre in the UK because Dr. Kevin Anderson (among others) read between the lines. In the IPCC’s fifth assessment, they presented a series of Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP’s) with the four possible results of governmental understanding of global warming and prevention.

from the video presentation

Anderson (along with colleagues including Dr. Hugh Hunt) noted that the only RCP’s that were ‘survivable’ all counted on Geoengineering, a science that has not been confirmed. The video is here: My point is that the IPCC has been sugarcoating the bad news for over a decade.

In short, this 2019 report (and the italicized portion above) is from one of the most prominent and respected scientific climate research groups on earth. Again, I’m not a scientist but it seems to me the IPCC is saying we’re facing mass extinction. That’s a very big sea change for them to make.

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