Ocean Mist

Issues and trends shaping our environment, health and economy

12 Feb 2020

Future Earth

Posted by Michael Keating

A group of scientists from around the world has warned the environmental challenges facing us are so great that it is too late for incremental change. In a far-reaching and detailed report, they say only a historic and transformational change unprecedented in modern history will save us. The 222 scientists from 52 countries provide a snapshot of our world as it heads into a crucial decade in which environmental crises are becoming more severe and some risk becoming irreversible. Their report, Our Future on Earth 2020 warns a number of overlapping environmental breakdowns could tip us into a global systemic crisis. It would bring include extreme weather, such as droughts and floods, major biodiversity loss, water shortages and lower food production. There would be an increased likelihood of wildfire, heat death, water shortages, and power outages

On a more optimistic note the report says: “we are a vast global population facing unprecedented environmental challenges, yet we still have the time and the capability to prevent extreme outcomes, such as runaway climate change and wildlife extinctions.” However, making the changes needed will require much more than tinkering with the existing system. It warns that “transformative change goes well beyond incrementalism or reform, both of which allow existing practices, goals, and structures to stay in place. We need to rethink how we design economies and do business; how we produce and distribute the food we eat – even what we eat; how we design and construct our homes, workplaces, and communities; and how we get from place to place.” The needed changes to how we live and do business will be disruptive. We have to deal with the complexity of the problems and solutions while many people want simple answers.

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