By Christian Morris, Climate X Change, Aug. 12, 2021
This week, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reaffirmed what scientists, advocates, and scholars have been telling us for years: our planet is in dire straits, and human activity (the burning of fossil fuels) is “unequivocally” the cause. This first phase, called Working Group I, of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6), covers the physical science of climate change and the state of our climate right now. The IPCC assessments, which are compiled by top scientists and experts on a volunteer basis, go through a rigorous review process and are subject to public comments ahead of finalization. They are some of the most significant pieces of international climate science to date.
IPCC reports often gain a lot of media attention, which is good and bad. Good because it can help communicate the latest findings around climate science and the need to act, but bad in that it demonstrates the continual gaps in our climate communications. Many headlines on articles frame the new AR6 as a “code red for humanity.”
While it’s true that action on the climate crisis is needed now more than ever, the message of “code red” only perpetuates the climate alarmism that we know doesn’t help solve the problem. It works against us. While the report itself does well in terms of messaging strategies, the media still has a ways to go in both messaging and covering these climate events. The media is inundated with IPCC coverage, but news outlets often don’t regularly cover climate change at all. Emily Atkin writes in her recent HEATED newsletter, “If this is the only day we communicate climate science to the public, it’s no wonder people don’t understand the problem.”
IPCC reports are hard to digest, and this article doesn’t go nearly as in-depth on the report as many others. Below is a small resource hub, which is meant to provide additional readings and threads on the IPCC report, ways to take care of yourself, and pathways for immediate action.
- The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report
- “Scientists react: What are the key new insights from the IPCC’s WG1 report?” | Carbon Brief
- “Key takeaways from the new IPCC report,” | Yale Climate Connections
- “A Hotter Future Is Certain, Climate Panel Warns. But How Hot Is Up to Us.” | New York Times
- “Some Irreversible Change to the Climate Can Still be Headed Off, Report Says “| National Geographic
- Video: Dr. Michael Mann Discusses the IPCC AR6 on BBC
Full Climate X Change Article HERE