“We might pray for time. But the evidence before us suggests that we are set for disruptive and uncontrollable levels of climate change, bringing starvation, destruction, migration, disease and war.”
Last year a professor at the University of Cumbria by the name of Jem Bendell released an academic paper on climate change. Alongside the exploration of topics such as deforestation, melting ice caps and the death of coral reef, this paper also aimed at analysing the implications of these events on our ecosystems, economies and societies.
We all know global warming is happening, it’s only a small minority of people who don’t acknowledge its existence. Some fun facts from this paper though about climate change which aren’t all that fun.
- Seventeen of the 18 warmest years in the 136-year record all have occurred since 2001
- Between 2002 and 2016, Greenland shed approximately 280 gigatons of ice per year. To put that one into perspective that’s approximately 280,000,000,000 tons of ice or 280,000,000,000,000 kg.
- About half of the world’s coral reefs have died in the last 30 years, due a mixture of reasons though higher water temperatures and acidification due to higher CO2 concentrations in ocean water
The problem is that people see these facts and think, well that’s terrible. But, don’t actually think about what impact these changes will have on us. What happens when your water stops running, or you need to rely on you neighbour for food and warmth? When civilisation collapses around us who do we turn too? These are of course all hypothetical questions and there are debates around whether or not it’s right to publish this idea of hopelessness to the masses when the idea of being hopeless is so final.
Ultimately though it is a theoretical paper, aimed at presenting readers with the chance to reassess their work and life, in the face of an inevitable near term social collapse due to climate change. The paper reviews some of the reasons why collapse-denial may exist, in particular, in the professions of sustainability research and practice, therefore leading to these arguments having been absent from these fields until now.
The author believes this is one of the first papers in the sustainability management field to conclude that climate-induced societal collapse is now inevitable in the near term and therefore to invite scholars to explore the implications.
I suppose for people reading this are thinking how near is the death of civilisation as we know it to climate-induced societal collapse.
According to this paper about a decade.
For those not used to reading academic papers; it is heavy, but there is also an audio version which again we will post a link to which might be easier to digest here
We’d recommend everyone gives this paper or the audio a crack because this topic is a really important one that we could all benefit from learning about.
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