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An important new climate science report was just released, and the results aren’t exactly cheerful.
The new report is long and dense, so we thought we’d boil it down. Since we’re quite fond of science and numbers at 350.org — after all, we’re named after the safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — we wanted to share a few of the key numbers from the new climate report:
- 95-99%: that’s the level of certainty that scientists have that humans are causing the world to heat up. To put that into context, that’s the same level of certainty scientists have that cigarettes cause cancer. That’s what scientists call “unequivocal”. The debate on the basics of climate science is over.
- 1 Trillion: the global “carbon budget” in metric tons. That’s the amount of CO2 we can release into the atmosphere while keeping global warming under 2 degrees Celsius — what many scientists have identified as a red line for our planet. We’ve already burned through about half of that carbon budget. Translation: we need action. ASAP.
- 1,2,3: the ranking of the last three decades in the “warmest decades in recorded history.” In other words: the planet is heating up, and we’re breaking new climate records every day.
But there are a few numbers you should know about climate change that aren’t in the latest report — numbers that give us reason for hope:
- 100%: that’s the expected growth in global installed solar power over the next two and a half years! That’s a doubling our solar capacity in a mere 30 months. The renewable energy revolution has begun.
- 20,000: that’s the number of events, protests, and rallies we’ve organized at 350.org. We added over 200 to that number last year with our “Draw the Line” day of action. We’re everywhere, and we’re active.
- 100,000: that’s the number of new activists to have joined 350’s global network in the last few months. We’re growing — and fast.
I believe in people power. I think social movements can force the kinds of major societal changes needed to halt climate catastrophe. That’s why I’m so proud of what we’re doing at 350.org with our partners all over the world.
But we’re not doing enough. To scale this movement to truly meet the challenge of the climate crisis, we need your help. We’ve got big plans that we’ll be rolling over the coming months — but to make them work, we need to be able to cover our costs.
Can you pitch in to support this movement’s growth? Click here to make a donation.
This new climate report has made one thing completely clear: we need to act boldly, quickly, and all together.
Let’s do it,
May Boeve for the whole team 350.org
P.S. Our social media team just made this great graphic about the new report — can you take a moment to share it on Facebook?
One important note: some scientists criticize these reports for being both too conservative and behind the curve. The group behind the report — the “Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change” or “IPCC” — is a collaboration of 800 climate scientists around the world. The body is considered the foremost global authority on climate science, and integrates the research of more than 9,000 studies. But because of the size, scope, and consensus-based nature of these reports, they are often “lowest common denominator” science, and there’s a pattern of them underestimating the scale and severity of climate change and its impacts. You can learn more about this at this Wikipedia article.
More Info and Resources
U.N. Climate Panel Endorses Ceiling on Global Emissions – The New York Times
What 95% certainty of warming means to scientists – AP Article
IPCC climate report: human impact is ‘unequivocal’ – The Guardian