In 2015 global warming happened just as predicted. There have been more extreme weather events; in December, for instance we’ve had floods in Britain, Missouri and Argentina, forest fires in California, Australia and the Basque country and we‘ve even had snow in Mexico. Carbon dioxide continued to accumulate in the atmosphere and global temperatures reached one degree higher than pre-industrial levels.
What is strange is that there is no sign of any global public reaction. Green campaigners continue to try to spread the word, but there is no urgent public demand for those in command of the economy to change tack and adopt green energy policies. A two degree rise by 2050 is now almost inevitable. We will see ,for example, the continued decline in Arctic pack ice and the demise of the polar bear, water shortages in Peru as the last glaciers in the Andes disappear and the acidification of the oceans and its disastrous effects on the Great Barrier Reef. There will be greater and more frequent floods, fires and droughts with consequent food shortages.
This we will have to cope with. The challenge now is to avoid temperature rises of 3, 4, 5 and 6 degrees. If you read Mark Lynas’ book Six degrees you will get an idea of what further horrors await. This is why it is urgent to create a popular movement to change the way we live. We need to establish a new moral imperative to save the environment. We spend billions sending scientists into space. We subsidise the exploitation of fossil fuels. Why can’t we invest instead in our children’s future and save the planet?