This is the second of two interviews with Philip Sutton, coauthor with David Spratt of a recent report titled “Climate Cod Red: The Case for a Sustainability Emergency.” The first interview reviewed the latest scientific understanding of climate change and established an appropriate target for temperature change and atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.
To summarize our previous interview: the impacts from current levels of warming are already very dangerous and likely to spin out of control quickly unless corrective actions are taken. For example, the Arctic Ocean may be ice free within several years, which would lead to the loss of major ice sheets, rapid sea level rise, and further warming from permafrost melt and global ecosystem damage.
However, most climate change policies aim to limit the average global temperature rise to 2-3 degrees C, or about 3 times higher than what has occurred so far. Given that the Earth is already overheated, these goals are practically useless.
By contrast, Climate Code Red advocates:
Today’s interview will discuss how, with a shared sense of purpose and heroic leadership, humans have the technical and social capacity to go into “emergency” mode and design an economic and environmental turn-around in 10-20 years.