McKibben: Last Week’s Climate Report “landed … with a gentle plop”

Spread the love

From Watts Up With That?

Essay by Eric Worrall

Bill McKibben. Screenshot from Michael Moore’s “Planet of the Humans”

McKibben believes the reason the IPCC’s increasingly frantic climate warnings are being ignored is people don’t believe they can make a difference.

Climate change is the legacy of people over the age of 60. That’s why we must protest

Bill McKibben
Tue 28 Mar 2023 00.38 AEDT

I’m proud to be part of Third Act, a climate activist organization for people over the age of 60

The brutal truth is that last week’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report didn’t have the effect it should have had, or that its authors clearly intended. Produced by thousands of scientists who synthesized the work of tens of thousands of their peers over the last decade, and meticulously drafted by teams of careful communicators, it landed in the world with a gentle plop, not the resounding thud that’s required.

In China, the world’s biggest emitter, official attention was focused instead on Moscow, where Xi Jinping was off to do a little male bonding with fellow autocrat Vladimir Putin, incidentally the world’s second largest producer of hydrocarbons. In America, the historical emissions champ, we were riveted by the possibility that would-be autocrat Donald Trump might be indicted. In the New York Times, our planet’s closest thing to a paper of record, the IPCC report was the fourth story on the website.

The reason, I think, is a disconnect between the dire words of the report and the actions most people feel they can effectively take. If the world has begun to fall off a cliff – due, as the report says, to a lack of political commitment – then installing a heat pump in your basement seems like a useful gesture but also not enough. “The climate timebomb is ticking,” the UN secretary general, António Guterres, said. If a bomb is about to go off, you need to actually do something.

…Read more:

“It landed in the world with a gentle plop” – I wish I’d thought of that line.

The problem is not the disconnect between the words of the report and the actions people feel they can take. The problem is the disconnect between the IPCC and their credibility.

For more than 30 years we’ve been listening to the United Nations and other tax money guzzling organisations try to scare us with imaginary climate hobgoblins, ozone holes, acid rain, it’s a long list of utter nonsense.

If the IPCC wants to make more than a “gentle plop” in the world with their apocalyptic but widely ignored pronouncements, they need to start getting some predictions right.