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‘We’re not doomed yet’: climate scientist Michael Mann on our last chance to save human civilisation
In his new book, Our Fragile Moment, US climate scientist Michael Mann examines 4 billion years of climate history and concludes that we are at a ‘fragile moment’ where our fate hangs in the balance. He believes that if we can keep warming below 1.5C, then we can preserve this moment, but if we go beyond 3C, it’s likely we can’t. Mann also expresses his concern about the rise of climate doomism and the weaponization of climate history by polluters. He believes that the obstacles to keeping warming below catastrophic levels are political rather than physical or technological, and he calls for people to vote in order to elect politicians who will act on our behalf. He also criticizes Elon Musk and Prince Alwaleed bin Talal for their roles in promoting climate denialism.
What is the new book by Michael Mann titled?
The new book by Michael Mann is titled Our Fragile Moment.
What are the stabilising mechanisms in the Earth's climate according to Mann?
The stabilising mechanisms in the Earth's climate according to Mann are when life itself has helped keep the planet within bounds that are tailored to life.
How much has the Earth's temperature increased since life began?
The Earth's temperature has increased by 30% since life began.
What is the danger of going beyond 3C of global warming?
The danger of going beyond 3C of global warming is that it is likely we can't preserve this fragile moment and it is potentially civilisation-ending bad.
What is Michael Mann's assessment of the potential victory for Donald Trump in the 2024 US presidential election?
Michael Mann's assessment of the potential victory for Donald Trump in the 2024 US presidential election is that it is "a move away from democracy towards fascism, and there is no path to meaningful climate action that goes through fascism rather than democratic governance".
👍 The article provides an insightful analysis of climate history and its implications on current events, offering a hopeful perspective for the future.
👎 The article fails to provide concrete solutions to the climate crisis and relies heavily on opinion instead of evidence.
Me: It's about how renowned US scientist Michael Mann believes that we're in a 'fragile moment' and that we have a chance to still act to save human civilisation. He points to 4 billion years of climate history to make this point. He also talks about how climate change is already causing devastating extreme weather around the world and how this has given urgency to the call for action. He also talks about how the current climate policies and action are leading to about 2.75C of warming, but if we go beyond 3C it's potentially civilisation-ending bad.
Friend: Wow, that's really eye-opening. It seems like we need to take action now before it's too late.
Me: Absolutely. Mann also talks about how the polluters are trying to convince us that it's too late to do anything, but he wants to dispel that notion. He believes that ending the climate emergency is still possible but we need to overcome the political obstacles that are preventing us from doing so. He also criticizes the UAE hosting the UN's major climate summit, Cop28, as they have the third biggest net zero-busting plans for oil and gas expansion in the world. He also talks about how Elon Musk's running of the social media platform X is promoting climate denialism and how Rupert Murdoch's media empire is attacking renewable energy to serve the interests of petro-states like Saudi Arabia. So, it seems like we need to be aware of the political forces at play and take action to counter them.
- Educate yourself on the climate crisis and the current state of the environment.
- Participate in local climate action initiatives and support organizations that are working to address the climate crisis.
- Vote for politicians who are committed to taking meaningful action on climate change.
- Climate Crisis
- A global emergency caused by human activities that are leading to an increase in global temperatures, extreme weather events, and other environmental changes.
- Hockey Stick Chart
- A graph showing how global temperatures have increased over the last century.
- Great Oxidation Event
- A period of time 2.7 billion years ago when primitive bacteria started producing oxygen, leading to the destruction of the potent greenhouse gas methane in the atmosphere.
- Snowball Earth
- A period of time 2.7 billion years ago when the Earth was covered in ice due to the destruction of the potent greenhouse gas methane in the atmosphere.
- The temperature increase that is considered to be the threshold for catastrophic climate change.
- The temperature increase that is considered to be potentially civilisation-ending.
- The 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will be held in the United Arab Emirates in November 2021.
- A form of government characterized by authoritarianism, nationalism, and racism.