The Climate Emergency Era has begun, and it is not currently known how long it will last, or if it will end.
The Press Release (October 8, 2018) for the “Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C” included the following--
“Limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society….” (paragraph 1)
Since that IPCC Special Report was released, “over 1200 local governments in 26 countries have declared a Climate Emergency” (as of December 1, 2019).
Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions have not yet peaked--they are still increasing (NASA)(monthly readings).
“Renewables (while) supplying more than 26% of global electricity, provide only 10% of the energy used for heating and cooling and just over 3% for transport.” [From the “Renewables 2019: Global Status Report” (REN21) Press Release (June 18, 2019; p. 2, paragraph 3)]
even though “Global net human-caused emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) would need to fall by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030, reaching ‘net zero’ around 2050” [from “Summary for Policymakers of IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C” (October 18, 2018 press release, paragraph 10)] [What 45% by 2030/’net zero’ around 2050 looks like in a graph (from Gary Peters, Research Director, Center for International Climate Research--CICERO; Oslo, Norway)(@Peters_Glen on Twitter)] (Note: …and increasing negative feedback loops in 2019 suggest “net zero” ASAP)--
“Governments are planning to produce about 50% more fossil fuels by 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 2°C and 120% more than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C” [Press Release for “Production Gap 2019 Report” by Climate Analytics, CICERO, UNEP et al; (November 20, 2019; section “Key Messages”, first sentence)]
“Between the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2016 and the end of 2018, cumulative bank finance for fossil fuels amounted to USD 1.9 trillion.* (And) Global subsidies for fossil fuel consumption reached an estimated USD 300 billion in 2017… with at least 73 countries providing subsidies of more than USD 100 million each.” (See Figure 5)” [From “Renewables 2019 Global Status Report” by REN21 (released June 18, 2019; p. 34)] [*see also “Banking on Climate Change: Fossil Fuel Finance Report Card 2019” by Rainforest Action Network et al, (March 20, 2019; p. 3, paragraph 2 in Executive Summary)]
Most projections for limiting Global Heating to 1.5oC require three decades of unprecedented cultural transformation, with the decade 2020-2030 being very, very important because--
--if our collective efforts during the decade 2020-2030 are not successful, cascading negative tipping points, some of which may have already been triggered, could cause global tipping points-- [reference: “Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against” by Johan Rockström,, Stefan Rahmstorf, Will Steffen, et al. in Nature Journal (November 27, 2019)--and--Guardian article “Climate emergency: world 'may have crossed tipping points’” by Damian Carrington (November 27, 2019)]—
--and many parts of the Earth may become uninhabitable, for both humans, and most other forms of life (increasing already accelerating species extinction) [Currently a) “Nature is declining globally at rates unprecedented in human history--and the rate of species extinctions is accelerating, with grave impacts on people around the world now likely….” b) “… around 1 million animal and plant species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades, more than ever before in human history.” [from article “UN Report: Nature’s Dangerous Decline ‘Unprecedented’; Species Extinction Rates ‘Accelerating’”--about the new report from The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) (May 6, 2019) (paragraphs 1 and 10)]
Even-- “The editor of The Lancet, one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world, has come out officially asking all health professionals to engage in non-violent social protest to protect people from the climate and ecological breakdown.” [From tweet with video by @DoctorsXr; (October 24, 2019)]
“The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected (figure 2, IPCC 2018). It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity (IPCC 2019). Especially worrisome are potential irreversible climate tipping points and nature's reinforcing feedbacks (atmospheric, marine, and terrestrial) that could lead to a catastrophic “hothouse Earth,” well beyond the control of humans (Steffen et al. 2018). These climate chain reactions could cause significant disruptions to ecosystems, society, and economies, potentially making large areas of Earth uninhabitable.” [From statement “World Scientists’ Warning of a Climate Emergency”, with more than 11,000 scientist signatories from around the world (November 5, 2019; paragraph 7)]
1) Cultures of violence, greed, corruption, and overindulgence have become so common that many of us accept such as inevitable
2) There is much that can go wrong if government--and non-government--policies for the unprecedented cultural transformation needed do not provide appropriate, responsible and compassionate assistance to the poor and disadvantaged, and/or to people who did little to contribute to Greenhouse Gas Emissions
3) “Billions of people still lack safe water, sanitation, and handwashing facilities: 844 million lack basic water services, 2.1 billion lack safely managed drinking water, 4.5 billion lack access to safely managed sanitation, and 892 million still practice open defecation. Only 27 percent of the population in least developed countries has access to soap and water for handwashing on premises.” [From “Highlights – SDG 6 Synthesis Report 2018 on Water and Sanitation” at UN Water website (see p. 1, first bullet)]
4) “Forced displacement owing to conflict, violence and persecution continues to rise, with the number of people of concern to UNHCR increasing. Their plight is part of a broader flow of human mobility, driven by many overlapping elements: resource-based and other conflicts that often transcend borders; growing inequality; the exploitation of ethnic, religious and other divisions by unscrupulous political leaders; and collapsing eco-systems and weather-related disasters.” [From “Foreword by High Commissioner Filippl Grandi” (p. 6, paragraph 1) in “Global Appeal 2020-2021” by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) at the UNHCR website]
5) During the three to eight decades of unprecedented cultural transformation needed to achieve, and adjust to, Zero Carbon economies, it is very likely many serious blind spots will be discovered--issues which are far from being fully appreciated now, and issues which are serious enough to cripple our best efforts, if not remedied (Ex: most of us do not have a clear idea of what is necessary to achieve Zero Carbon for a town of 10,000 people.)
There is an extremely long list of organizations and institutions [news sources, governments (international, national, local), banks, think tanks, NGOs, etc.] who have civic responsibility and community service obligations to be responders to this Climate Emergency, but who are not moving with sufficient urgency.
We are at one of the most critical crossroads in the history of life on Planet Earth… and human nature, with its flaws and shortcomings throughout the ages, is now being asked to look at itself a little more closely than before.
Surely, now would be a good time for the “better angels of our nature” to be the source and origin of as many of our thoughts, words, and deeds as possible.
Thousands of Positive Tipping Point Related Organizations…
I believe we can succeed at limiting Global Heating to 1.5oC--and I believe the results of our efforts can include a significant majority of people living in fair, just, peaceful and sustainable communities. What we need now is for as many people as possible to know what their own personal best action plans will look like--to be a positive contribution to the unprecedented cultural transformation needed. And then we need as many people as possible to be able to re-assess their own personal best action plans as circumstances change, in the years and decades ahead. Fortunately, there are thousands of organizations and institutions around the world which can contribute essential guidance at this critical time (I have listed 616 in 30 categories in Appendix 10 of my 157 page paper “Brainstorming Zero Carbon ASAP Campaign”) (… and have also created a sample list of 231 such organizations and institutions).
In the “Brainstorming Zero Carbon ASAP Campaign” paper, I advocate for accumulating 5-10 page overviews on how to achieve Zero Carbon ASAP--including guidance on adaption--from these thousands of positive tipping point organizations and institutions (overviews which will be updated as needed, for the duration of the emergency). I understand there are websites (Ex: Better World Info --a very well organized central information hub and Internet directory), which provide access to much key information--and such websites would inform this effort. However, what is proposed here is to provide key local leaders with--
a) an easily accessible illustration of how many well-known organizations and institutions have years and decades of on the ground and peer-reviewed experience which can be very helpful in achieving positive tipping points, and Zero Carbon ASAP
b) quick summaries in key Climate Emergency Action fields of activity which can be easily accessed by both local leaders and local residents
(Here is one example of what a 5-10 page overview might look like, from the webpage “Actions Required” at ClimateEmergency.com).
Such 5-10 page overviews, organized for easy access on a clearinghouse website, can--
1) provide a clear visualization of transformations needed in every aspect of our lives--since different organizations will focus on priorities in their fields of activity (food systems; water scarcity; migration, housing; land rights; biodiversity; civic engagement; peacebuilding; emergency assistance, etc.)
2) provide the equivalent of a needs assessment for local communities, of the kind which precedes local Community Visioning (many overviews of visioning best practices; excellent example of visioning in 13 minute documentary) [Note: Community Visioning Initiatives can be described as a series of community meetings designed to maximize citizen participation in identifying challenges, and in solution-oriented activity.]
3) provide focus and urgency for local surveys of key leaders (prior to Visioning; surveys which identify local-specific challenges and local-specific solutions)--the responses to which can demonstrate the need for Community Visioning, and many Neighborhood Learning Centers
4) open up many new lines of discussion on how people can work through differences, get on the same side, and help each other
5) build awareness that everyone’s investments of time, energy, and money (“votes” which are made more frequently than election votes) can have a positive and cumulative effect on the solutions-investment-training-employment sequence--and create countless solution-oriented jobs 6) be a great asset to the “over 1200 local governments in 26 countries (that) have declared a Climate Emergency” (as of December 1, 2019)
…as Catalysts for Thousands of Local Community Visioning Initiatives
Thousands of local Community Visioning Initiatives, in communities around the world, can activate the most possible human participation (by way of 6-12 months of workshops, meetings, brainstorming, and prioritizing challenges and solutions) (with the process repeated periodically in the future), and help build a high level of consensus for specific action plans in the shortest amount of time, with support from--
1) Universities, colleges, and thousands of positive tipping point related organizations and institutions creating related curriculum--and offering classes, workshops, and teacher training--to support the development of Neighborhood Learning Centers
2) Neighborhood Learning Centers helping to create the necessary knowledge base and skill sets by providing accessible space for workshops, discussion, information sharing, mutual support, encouragement, fellowship, and friendship
3) Local newspapers supporting this multi-faceted solution-oriented path with ongoing coverage--and a new section for reader contributions which identify helpful people and valuable resources, and reinforce important community goals
4) Residents (especially those who are unemployed) volunteering time and energy to assist with Community Visioning and Neighborhood Learning Centers, and to advance resulting action plans--who then could receive, as compensation, local currency (which, because it can only be spent in local community businesses, helps support the local economy)
5) Job fairs at the end of the Community Visioning Initiative process, which provide opportunities for all key stakeholders in the community (businesses, organizations, institutions, government, etc.) to demonstrate their upgraded awareness--and their interest in the welfare of the community--by offering and facilitating new employment opportunities.
6) Local leaders of religious/spiritual traditions stepping up on every frontline possible to help people understand the urgent need to
a) sacrifice personal desires for the greater good
b) choose forgiveness, reconciliation--and abstaining from violent conflict resolution--as a way of bringing cycles of violence to an end
c) create community life and cultural traditions which “… bring to the fore how many good people there are, how many ways there are to do good, and how much happiness comes to those who extend help, as well as to those who receive it”.
… May be a Way of Successfully Managing the Unprecedented Cultural Transformation Ahead
Education during the process of a comprehensive Community Visioning Initiatives, and especially in Neighborhood Learning Centers, can result in residents everywhere knowing--
1) if they are in an area of surplus (in which case their surplus can help others with emergency needs)
2) where to buy what material purchases they absolutely needed to make--so that they contribute the most possible to carbon-neutral supply chains
3) what kind of businesses to boycott so that the most Zero Carbon and circular local economies can be established in the shortest amount of time
4) more about the skills and processes which help people work through differences, get on the same side, and help each other
1) make best use of the knowledge and skills each one of us has
2) provide more and more opportunities for people to encourage and support each other in the everyday circumstances of community life.
If this kind of selective buying is done in cooperation with thousands of Community Visioning Initiatives with supporting Neighborhood Learning Centers, it may be a way of successfully managing the decades of unprecedented cultural transformation ahead… and it may be enough of a downsizing of the Total World Energy Demand to match up with the efforts at supplying electricity from 100% renewable energy sources. Also, once it becomes clear that local residents are “getting together” on selective buying, and that thousands of local communities are determined to “drive” local economies to Zero Carbon, changes may come more quickly in the news organizations, governments, banks, international corporations, etc., which have, up to this point in time, been slow to respond to this Climate Emergency.