Northwest UU Justice Network

Shocking Signs of Impending Peril

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Are We Passing Tipping Points?

Did we leave this on the back burner too long?  IPPCC says we have 12 years left to get to carbon neutral. 

“It’s like a deafening, piercing smoke alarm going off in the kitchen. We have to put out the fire,” said Erik Solheim, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program  The bottom line, the report found, is that the world is woefully off target.

“Net zero must be the new global mantra”- To avoid surpassing 1.5 C rise we must reduce GHG emissions precipitously by 2030. We have two choices: stop emissions entirely by 2050 or remove the amount of carbon dioxide from the air which humans put there since the industrial revolution.

“What is needed is a WWII like mobilization.” Lester Brown Earth Policy Institute, 2007

1.5 degrees is the new 2 degrees,” said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International, who was in Incheon for the finalization of the report.

 The report is the work of 133 scientists which has been peer-reviewed, developing 34,000 comments. Note: IPCC reports are the product of not only science, but negotiation with governments over its precise language.They have been criticized often for their understatement of the crisis. 

The report found that holding warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius could save an Alaska-size area of the Arctic from permafrost thaw, muting a feedback loop that could lead to still more global emissions. The occurrence of entirely ice-free summers in the Arctic Ocean goes from one per century to one per decade between 1.5 and 2 degrees, it found — one of many ways in which the mere half a degree has large real-world consequences.

meanwhile in the tropics...The Bugocalypse

“Hyperalaming” is how one scientist calls a new study demonstrating a dramatic decline in rainforest insects and animals

Insects around the world are in a crisis, according to a small but growing number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A number of long-term studies showing dramatic declines in invertebrate populations. A new report suggests that the problem is more widespread than scientists realised.

"If the tropical forests go it will be yet another catastrophic failure of the whole Earth system," he said, "that will feed back on human beings in an almost unimaginable way."

In 2014, an international team of biologists estimated that, in the past 35 years, the abundance of invertebrates such as beetles and bees had decreased by 45 per cent. In places where long-term insect data is available, mainly in Europe, insect numbers are plummeting. A study last year showed a 76 per cent decrease in flying insects in the past few decades in German nature preserves. This trend is happening in North America also.

The scientists attribute the crash to climate. In the same 40-year period as the arthropod crash, the average high temperature in the rainforest increased by 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures in the tropics stick to a narrow band. The invertebrates that live there, likewise, are adapted to these temperatures and fare poorly outside them; bugs cannot regulate their internal heat.

Why are bugs important? Thirty-five per cent of the world's plant crops require pollination by bees, wasps and other animals. Arthropods are also more than just pollinators. They are the planet's custodians, toiling away in unnoticed or avoided corners. They chew up rotting wood and eat carrion. "And none of us want to have more carcasses around," Mr Schowalter said. Wild insects provide $57 billion (£50 billion) worth of six-legged labour in the United States each year, according to a 2006 estimate.




Piazzon, G. (2018). Shocking Signs of Impending Peril. Retrieved from


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