19 November 2021


It is over. COP26 was supposed to be historic. And I suppose it is historic, actually; just a historic failure. When we came out of COP21 in Paris, it soon became clear that that left us hurtling towards a 3° temperature rise by the end of the century. Climate Action Tracker was thinking quickly, and seems to have already calculated we are now heading for a rise of 2.4°, assuming that everyone will stick to the promises made during the climate conference. And of course that is an improvement on 3°, but it is still way, way too much. And the IPCC report that came out earlier this year made it abundantly clear: we needed to act now and otherwise it would be too late. We didn't act. And the president of the conference knows it. I found his final address touching. 

I hope that everyone who has children will be teaching them a lot of resilience because they will be needing it. We will be heading into some unprecedented super-interglacial. I can't imagine it'll be easy to make that transition. I might not live to see it. But other people will. It will be scientifically fascinating. What would a super-interglacial look like? Imagine the people like Agassiz, who were the ones who realised that there was such a thing as a glacially cycle, finding out that within some 250 years we would have broken the entire cycle! Humans are strange creatures.

Pic by UK government

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