Last weekend, I went to a series of talks put on by the Somerset Wildlife Trust. Of the 4 speakers, 3 had played central roles in the research and publication of the recent IPCC report on Climate Change. One of the speakers had been awarded a Nobel prize, for his work on Climate Change science. The talks focussed on Climate Change and its impact on flora and fauna, and all 4 talks were revelatory - in the worst possible way!
My summary of the headline facts:
We are almost certain to hit 1.5 degrees C of warming (above pre-industrail averages), by 2040.
Current modelling shows that we are destined to reach 4/5 degrees C of warming (above pre-industrail averages), by 2200.
At 3 degrees C, almost all insects will be extinct.
At 2 degrees C, the planet’s birds will be significantly depleted.
At 3 degrees C, 50% of all the planet’s flora will have gone.
It is likely that insects will the first complete class of fauna to completely disappear.
Across the British Isles there are likely to be pocket sanctuaries - for example; the west coast of Ireland, Cornwall and Scotland. Across the planet there will be other sanctuaries - Japan, New Zealand.
Birds, which migrate long distances, are likely to be decimated as resources on their flight paths are wiped out.
Scientists understand little about the systemic interactions which take place between species, at an ecosystem level. No-one can predict what feedback loops may emerge as, for example, 50% of all flora has gone.
And possibly, the most shocking point made over the course of the two hours - not a single politician had made contact with any of the scientists, since the publication of the recent IPCC report. How is that possible?
And how is this possible:
The reach and impact of this man is beyond almost anyone on the planet, yet he choses to walk softly through these issues. Why? We are facing a cataclysm. Didn’t he learn anything, given the huge impact the Blue Planet 2 program had on how plastics are perceived. One television program educated a largely ignorant populace and changed behaviours, within that populace. Why not replicate this? What is his problem? Surely he has a responsibility to raise awareness? Is David, and his inflated profile, now part of the problem?