Climate change realities are upon us. The scientific evidence is clear. NASA tells us that the current warming trend is of particular significance because it is unequivocally the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and is proceeding at an unprecedented rate. Human activities have warmed the atmosphere, ocean, and land and widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere have occurred. Satellites and other technology have enabled scientists to collect many different types of information about our planet and its climate on a global scale. This body of data, collected over many years, reveals the signals of a changing climate. The planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (1 degree Celsius) since the late 19th century. This has been driven largely by increased carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and most of that warming has occurred in the past 40 years – with the seven most recent years being the warmest. The oceans are warming, the glaciers are retreating, sea levels are rising, and we are seeing a number of extreme weather events. Record high temperatures are increasing and intense rainfall events like tornados and hurricanes are on the rise.
So, what do those who deny climate change say? Normally, it starts with “the planet really isn’t warming up, so we don’t need to do anything”. It then progresses to “Ok, the planet may be warming up, but since there has always been climate change, human activities must not be to blame. Thus, nothing needs to be done”. From there it seems to move to “OK, global warming may be happening, and it might be due to carbon dioxide emissions, but this global warming seems to have some benefits, like allowing pineapples to grow in Russia, and since there is some benefit, we still don’t need to do anything”. From there, it moves to “OK, science is now in consensus that global warming exists, but any science which has a “consensus” is suspicious, so we have a duty to disagree about climate change”. Finally, it gets to “OK, climate change is real, it’s caused by humans, and it’s bad. But, we have many other global challenges that are also bad, so why spend our resources on this one?”
Climate change realities are just that – realities. If we rapidly reduce global CO2 emissions, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050, it is extremely likely that we will be able to keep warming below 2°C. If we do this, it is likely that global average temperatures will gradually recede to around 1.5°C by the end of the century. However, if we fail to address this, the results will make COVID look mild by comparison for our children and grandchildren.
With over 150 consultants worldwide, Lee Enterprises Consulting is committed to doing its part in combating global warming. We have the diverse experts and geographical reach to assist in virtually any bioeconomy project. Our highly qualified teams bring a unique integration of technical, scientific, regulatory, and hands-on experience to any project. Look at our experts and the services we provide. Most of our experts are also available to advise and serve as expert witnesses in bioeconomy litigation matters. For the larger projects, we specialize in putting together full-service, interdisciplinary teams with one point of contact. See a video about LEC here. Call us at 1+ (501) 833-8511 or email us for more information.