The judgment of history is too late

Nowhere to hide:

The repeatedly ignored warnings of scientists over past decades have now become reality. Humanity, through its actions, or lack of action, has unequivocally overheated the planet. Nowhere on Earth is escaping rising temperatures, worse floods, hotter wildfires or more searing droughts.

The key aspect of the IPCC report is that the 42-page summary is agreed, line by line, by every government on the planet, with the scientists vetoing any politically convenient but unscientific proposal.

As a result, governments that continue to fail to take action have nowhere left to hide – the crystal-clear report has bust all of their alibis. “Too many ‘net-zero’ climate plans have been used to greenwash pollution and business as usual,” says Teresa Anderson at ActionAid International.

Isn’t it enough to wring our hands? Surely we don’t have to change how we do things too?

The IPCC’s report means all the evidence that will ever be needed is now in place. “The continued dithering to address climate change is no longer about the lack of scientific evidence, but directly tied to a lack of political will,” says Kristina Dahl of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

That means political leaders are now in the dock and the vital UN Cop26 summit in Glasgow in November may be the last hearing at which they can avoid the judgment of history.

They won’t care though. They care about now, not the future and not history.

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