06 April 2014

We're Getting Close to a Breakthrough in Public Understanding of Climate Change, But World Leaders Are Still Dense

The IPCC AR5 WGII SPM is out. Isn't that exciting? Wait, what?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report Working Group II Summary for Policymakers is out. It's the one that looked at impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, and despite the shenanigans that only people who read the technical (scientific) report before the policymakers' report will see, it's making waves where IPCC reports don't normally make waves ... at my school, for example, and at my favourite sushi restaurant.

My school principal told me the other day that students should be learning how to grow food because the UN said so (or something like that). As the teacher who designed, fundraised for and installed (with my students and their families) the school garden -- I'm someone who has known for years that students should be learning how to grow food. Alas, my colleagues, for the most part, don't see food growing as a curricular pursuit, so it's not as effective a program as I'd hoped.

It was interesting to hear my boss and some folks at the restaurant talk about the latest instalment of the IPCC's fifth report. Suddenly it's serious! Suddenly it's about food security and water sources! And it's about bloody time! 

I can tell that it's finally getting into the general public's awareness by how much the loony tune deniers are out in full force, telling bigger whoppers than ever. A natural health newsletter that purports to have millions of subscribers responded to the Working Group II report with headlines like "Plant use of CO2 utterly ignored by IPCC" and "The UN goal is to enslave humanity under a system of dictatorial control." Seriously! The author of this "editorial" has "a background in science and software technology" so that makes him a total expert on climate change and the workings of the United Nations, right?

Anyway, the more frightened the deniers get about "losing" (which I don't understand, because we're all losing), the more ridiculous their claims become. But that's simply a sign that public awareness about climate change is growing.

In the meantime, President Obama's Administration in the United States is "taking public comment about possibly updating standards for existing landfills." Oh yeah, that's gonna solve America's pesky wee climate change emergency! You go, Barry. 

So once again, we have voices telling us on the one hand that climate change is threatening our food and water ... and on the other hand, we see world leaders doing diddly squat about it.

I'm sorry, folks. This is disheartening work. I'm signing off now.

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?