Guy McPherson, scientist and professor emeritus of natural resources and ecology at the University of Arizona, joined Radio Sputnik’s Political Misfits on Thursday to discuss energy and the climate as US President-elect Joe Biden plans for the US to rejoin the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.
McPherson told show hosts Michelle Witte and Bob Schlehuber that rejoining the lukewarm international agreement will be too little, too late, since “there is no known way, including technology and social change, to restabilize or reduce the global average temperature.”
“We want to hold the global average temperature at below 2 degrees Celsius above the 1750 baseline, and the real goal is to make an effort to keep it below 1.5 degrees Celsius above the 1750 baseline - and both of those goals pose a significant challenge,” he said. “That’s problematic, and of course, we continue to move in the wrong direction."
The Paris Agreement is an international deal that was created within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2015. Countries that are part of the deal set limits on their greenhouse gas emissions, the primary cause of man-made climate change.
Despite the fact Biden has announced his intent to have the US rejoin the agreement, that will still not be enough to revert the effects of climate change, McPherson said.
“There’s nothing to be done, because there’s nothing that can be done at the societal level or at the level of the country to turn this ship around. The Titanic hit the iceberg, and it’s going down,” McPherson pointed out.
“What I suspect is that Biden will be in office when we have the first ice-free Arctic Ocean, and that alone will drive climate change enough in the really wrong direction - and drive our species and probably all life on Earth to extinction. And so now is the worst time to be an incoming president, because history - to the extent there is any - is about to hit you with the cause of the loss of all life on Earth. Who wants to be in that position?” he added.
“There is no mention of an ice-free Arctic in the last five years [in the corporate media]. There’s a wonderful paper written for and published by the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science. It was published in 2012. It indicated that we would have an ice-free Arctic in 2016, plus or minus three years, indicating that 2019 was the last year it might have happened. It didn’t happen in 2019, and it didn’t happen in 2020.”
“However the refreeze this year, 2020, has been stunningly slow. We are stuck at almost the exact same level of ice as we had at the end of the melt season toward the end of September, and so here we are, nearly two months later, and we have almost the exact same level of ice in the Arctic as we did two months ago. The refreeze is just not progressing at all,” McPherson added.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.