The science is unequivocal – we find ourselves at a critical juncture in history.
Our planet is now 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times, and the consequences are becoming increasingly evident. From heightened instances of floods and wildfires to unprecedented weather events, we're already witnessing the grim reality of a changing climate.
The question that looms large is not whether catastrophe awaits us but rather how severe it will be. Alarming projections suggest we could surpass the 1.5-degree mark within a decade and are on a current trajectory to reach a catastrophic 2.7 degrees by the end of this century, ushering in a world marred by mass starvation, mass migration, and societal collapse.
Beyond this, there's the haunting prospect of irreversible tipping points being triggered, as we move beyond 1.5, a scenario where our efforts to curb rising temperatures will prove futile, leading us into a 'hothouse' human extinction event.
What we must emphasize is that this description of possible futures is not confined to the fringes of speculative scientific thought but is rooted firmly within the mainstream consensus view.
Amidst this grim backdrop, scientists are unequivocal in their message: we must take swift and decisive action to significantly reduce global fossil fuel emissions. This imperative task is the only way to avert the worst-case scenarios painted by climate projections.
However, a disconcerting reality shows that what is needed to avoid worst case scenario is for a social and economic revolution as a small fraction of the global population, driven by the desire to maintain their wealth, power, and the status quo, appears to be pushing us closer to the precipice of climate breakdown, seemingly indifferent to the plight of the many who will suffer.
The Stark Inequality:
A recent study by Oxfam paints a vivid picture of this inequity. The wealthiest 1% of the global population, a mere 70-80 million individuals, emit twice as much carbon as the poorest 3.1 billion people. This alarming statistic highlights the stark divide in carbon emissions, driven by extravagant, carbon-intensive lifestyles of a few, in contrast to the carbon simplicity of the majority.
The climate crisis is the defining challenge of our era, and it calls for immediate and collective action. It's imperative that we recognize the stark inequality in emissions and the responsibility that falls upon the world's wealthiest to reduce their carbon footprint drastically. The urgency cannot be overstated. We must rally together, holding those in power accountable, and implement policies that prioritize the preservation of our planet over profits.
While the challenges ahead may seem insurmountable, our collective will and determination may perhaps have the power to turn the tide. The future is still open , and with a shared commitment to change, we may yet steer our world away from the worst case scenarios.
For an indepth teaching series you may be interested in the video series ‘Following Jesus in a World of Climate Breakdown’ .