January 30, 2023

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Klimaforskere

Will nature clean up after the party? – Speech

starting point for NRK discussion on December 1st It was a conversation between committed and concerned young climate activists and us researchers. We have constantly emphasized the seriousness of the situation, and that we are walking mostly with young people.

However, someone clearly has realized that we’re standing for one “Relax, this will be fine” attitude. And, unfortunately, the impression was reinforced by the subsequent NRK online status With the headline: “Climate Scientists Want to Reduce Climate Anxiety; Nature Will Clean Up After the Party,” a title that does not align with the content.

Let it be absolutely clear; The situation is very serious on the planet, both in terms of climate change and nature loss, two crises that reinforce each other.

* We could reach real tipping points in climate and ecosystems: the melting of permafrost, the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, and the collapse of inalienable ecosystems like the Amazon.

* We have lost large parts of the world’s nature, and the loss continues: CO2The concentration is close to 420 parts per million, a level not seen on the planet for several million years, and we’re on track for 2.5 degrees of warming, even with the commitments signed so far as part of the Paris Agreement.

Nobody can say exactly What will this entail in terms of extreme weather of various kinds, and how will it affect the planet and society, other than the fact that it will cost dearly in terms of human suffering and devastating nature.

And the costs of climate change will far outweigh the efforts required to avoid it. This effort will not necessarily be costly, but it will require restructuring of the economy in the future.

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Climate change is already the greatest global threat to human health, and it is one of the greatest security policy challenges we face. The geopolitical consequences would also be wide ranging. The designation “red symbol for humanity” is therefore justified, something we also expressed in the discussion.

But there are some There are mitigating considerations as well. First and foremost, the basic fact that the planet is going to survive, we are not destined for ultimate doom. Secondly, there is every reason to expect that humanity will also succeed.

The areas where there are people today could be considered uninhabitable, due to frequent severe weather or poor farming conditions, with all the suffering and migrations that entail.

Our central point, however, is that we must avoid indifference based on the feeling that “the race is over,” that the future has been canceled out, precisely in order to prompt efforts from young people and others.

Every tenth of a degree of global warming we can avoid, every square kilometer of nature we can save, has an impact. And while it’s important to clear up misconceptions like that 69 percent of the world’s species have gone extinct since 1970 (a claim that, mind you, doesn’t come from the youngsters in the painting), it’s exciting to say at the very least, we’ve got an average decline. ​In animal numbers by 69 percent – and a significant increase in the rate of extinction.

And so it is More than serious enough, for both society and nature, without having to go beyond what the research says. Our mission is simply to stand our ground, and the efforts of each and every one of us count in the effort to right the planet’s crooked course.

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As researchers, we have a responsibility to communicate what the science says. We, and many others, have long carried the message about the magnitude of the challenge we face, and very little has been done to meet it.

Fortunately, acceptance of our need for climate policy has grown internationally in recent years.

Climate and nature crises are now at the top of the political agenda, and commitment is growing by the day, even if the main results in the form of emissions cuts and reduced pressure on nature are yet to be achieved.

the next ten years Absolutely crucial to changing course. Our solutions must be built on the best of knowledge. Therefore, we must also speak up when certain messages go further than there is a basis for them.

And will nature clean up after the party? It does help, but it cannot solve problems in the short term. Nature currently takes care of half of our carbon dioxide2emissions, and the oceans get 90 percent of their energy from global warming. These are normal services that we must take care of, if the situation does not get any worse than it is.

Even if the house is standing after the party, there will be a lot of broken furniture, fire damage to the parquet and water damage to the bathroom. It will take a long time to clean up, and in the meantime it can be very unpleasant to live here. The solution is to cut emissions, reduce consumption and adapt to climate change. Currently.

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