Can we actually solve climate change? Probably not.

Climate change is perhaps the most prevalent environmental and socioeconomic issue in the world today and has already had profound impacts of natural and human systems around the globe. It will continue to exponentially affect these systems, and the goal of the IPCC is to mitigate climate change so that it does not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius. It will take an unprecedented change in nearly all aspects of human civilization coupled with the success of certain technological fixes to accomplish this (IPCC Press Release, pg. 1). The most important technological fix to address rising temperatures is the implementation of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR). While CDR by itself is highly unlikely to mitigate climate change and CO2 emissions enough to keep rising temperatures below the 1.5-degree Celsius threshold, it may be used to compensate for an overreach of CO2 emissions from society (IPCC Headline Statements, C3). An effective socio-technological fix may be employed in time to mitigate climate change below 1.5 degrees Celsius but would require an unprecedented scale and rate of change in all systems pertaining to energy, land use, urban and infrastructure, and industrial systems (IPCC Headline Statements, C2). This can be achieved through rapid large-scale societal, cultural, and technological changes that all reduce CO2 emissions and mitigate climate change.

 

It is absolutely and unequivocally false that climate science is still in its infancy and is too young to be reliable. The science of climate and climate change has been around for nearly 200 years and is one of the most unified fields of science. The vast majority of climate scientists agree that climate change is real and happening primarily through human emissions of greenhouse gases. To ignore or discount this science is to be willfully ignorant, and we are at a time where that attitude could prove to be detrimental to humanity.

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