It's not surprising that Dyer wasn't very impressed with this week's report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or the milquetoast attitudes of the governments that commissioned it. Governments, he claims, are afraid of putting themselves on the hook to actually do something about it.
...governments don’t like to talk about the mass movements of refugees and the civil and international wars that will erupt when the warming cuts into the food supply. And they don’t want to talk openly about the feedbacks.
Governments take climate change very seriously these days, but they worry too much frankness about the cost, in lives, of going past 1.5 C will create irresistible pressure on them to take radical action now. In the ensuing struggle between the scientists and the politicians, the executive summary always gets toned down.
What got removed from the summary this time was any mention of “significant population displacement concentrated in the tropics” at plus-two C.
Even worse, “tipping points” barely are mentioned in the report. These are the dreaded feedbacks – loss of Arctic sea ice, melting of the permafrost, carbon dioxide and methane release from the oceans – that would trigger unstoppable, runaway warming.
They are called feedbacks because they are self-reinforcing processes unleashed by the warming we already have caused.
If you don’t go into the feedbacks, you can’t talk about runaway warming, and going to four, five or six degrees C higher average global temperature, and hundreds of millions or billions of deaths. And if you don’t acknowledge that, you will not treat this as the emergency it is.