The World Bank’s latest warning on the climate crisis:
Climate change is already having an effect: Arctic sea ice reached a record minimum in September, and extreme heat waves and drought in the last decade have hit places like the United States and Russia more often than would be expected from historical records, the report said.
Such extreme weather is likely to become the “new normal” if the temperature rises by 4 degrees, according to the World Bank report. This is likely to happen if not all countries comply with pledges they have made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Even assuming full compliance, the world will warm by more than 3 degrees by 2100.
In this hotter climate, the level of the sea would rise by up to 3 feet, flooding cities in places like Vietnam and Bangladesh. Water scarcity and falling crop yields would exacerbate hunger and poverty.
Extreme heat waves would devastate broad swaths of the earth’s land, from the Middle East to the United States, the report says. The warmest July in the Mediterranean could be 9 degrees hotter than it is today — akin to temperatures seen in the Libyan desert.
At least someone is doing something about it:
Last year, the Bank doubled its funding for countries seeking to adapt to climate change, and now operates $7.2 billion in climate investment funds in 48 countries.
But here in America — one of the top producers of carbon emissions — we’d rather have our gigantic SUVs and our equally gigantic slabs of beef. Sure, we’ll weep and pray and donate whenever the TV shows us rock stars singing sad songs about the latest disaster, but will we ever change?