The latest report of the U.N.'s top climate science panel (IPCC) released last week is an urgent call to take strong action now to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Current levels of warming have already reached 1 degree Celsius above preindustrial levels and will continue to rise with business as usual. The Arctic region has already seen levels of warming above the global average, with dramatic results in increased levels of melting sea ice and leaking methane from thawing tundra.
The IPCC call to rapidly phase out the use of coal, oil, and gas is even more ambitious than what's called for in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement that aimed to contain planetary warming to 2 degrees Celsius. What is most striking about the new IPCC report—apart from its implied call for a global climate Marshall Plan—is the contrast of its message to the priorities of the Trump administration, a loyal servant of the fossil fuel industry.
We still have a window of opportunity to make the necessary changes to prevent climate chaos. As Al Gore says, "We have the solutions now ... renewable sources are going to be cheaper than fossil fuels." Citizens of San Luis Obispo County can make an impact locally to move to a greener alternative by voting yes on Measure G in November's upcoming general election. Measure G will protect our water by banning fracking and new oil well development. Vote for a healthy environment on Nov. 6.
San Luis Obispo