IPCC warns, “We’re running out of time.”

… but it is still possible to race against fate

“Skating over thin ice, the only hope of salvation lies in speed,” wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson, first creating the metaphor to describe a risky condition that has an impelling caution as its only chance of escape.

By a strange fatality, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, commented on the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with an image similar to that of the writer, but now anything but metaphorical: “Humanity is poised on a thin layer of ice, which is melting fast.”

The IPCC, established in 1988 to provide an international policy with a scientific basis through which to deal with climate change, released the AR6 Synthesis Report Climate Change 2023 on March 19: 36 pages that succinctly illustrate the planet’s dire state of health and foreshadow “speed” as our only chance of “salvation.”

In 2018, the IPCC had already highlighted the “unprecedented” challenge we would have to face to keep global warming below the 1.5 C° threshold. A losing battle, considering that, as the report states, what has been done so far has not been sufficient: the “current plans,” but also the “pace,” “scope,” and shortcomings of previous plans have been utterly unsuccessful in solving this global crisis that is gradually dragging us into a future defined as “dangerous.”

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