The Climate Issue - Our Heating World
The planetary climate balance is changing, and it is now beyond doubt that human activity is the primary reason for this.
According to the latest IPCC report (2014): "Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia..." This means the planet is getting hotter and we are the main cause!
Click here for graphic that shows what is really warming our planet
The nations of the world (All Of Them) agreed in Paris in late 2015 to limit the warming of the planet to 'well under 2 degrees Celsius' (against pre-industrial levels; see the Paris Climate Agreement). The idea is that the temperature increase will not rise any further. If we don't keep it under this limit, then all bets are off; it is highly likely that we will not be able to stop catastrophic changes to the climate.
November 2015, the world reached, for the first time, 1° C above the agreed base line. 2015 was the hottest on record .. until 2016 set a new record as the hottest global average surface temperature. In 2017 was the 2nd hottest year since 1880 (when records began). Many scientists now think it is too late to just stop putting CO2 into the atmopshere (the warming will now take place even if we stop all emissions immediately), we have no choice to remove emissions as well. That is much harder than stopping them getting into the atmosphere.
Many scientists already think we will hit 4 - 6 degrees increase. If that happens, our planet risks becoming unlivable for the types of societies we have created.
The world we grew up in no longer exists
We can no longer return to the 'normal' climate many of us knew. We can no longer 'solve' climate change. We now have to learn to live with it, adapt the best we can and, most of all, not make the future any worse.
The risks are huge. Massive heatwaves, highly charged storm systems, serious flooding, long term droughts and huge migrations of climate refugees risk overwhelming our communities and our economic, political, security and food production.
These risks are not just academic. They are currently changing our lives and will force upon us profound changes to the way we live our lives. As Naomi Klein argues, ‘This changes everything’.
Acting urgently is now mandatory; we can reduce emissions, we can move to clean energy, we can create a climate-safer future and we can adapt to the changes that are increasingly felt.
We can still create a future well worth living for!
This is why we have created this concert. We must act, force our leaders to act, challenge those corporate leaders who are placing private profit over community well-being, divest from fossil fuels and reinvest urgently in green technology.
But we must also have hope, find joy and reassurance in our solidarity, action and creativity.
And that is one thing music can help with!
CARBON AND THE WARMING OF THE EARTH
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is an important part of the earth's atmosphere, that thin blanket of gases that surround out planet. It helps moderate the planet's temperature by trapping just the right amount of heat from the sun
For at least the past 800,000 years the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere was between 230-280 parts per million (ppm). From about 12,000 years ago until today, the climate was unusually stable (which is why agriculture revolution got kick started then and not earlier). CO2 levels did not fluctuate much until the start of the Industrial Revolution when we started burning coal (and later oil) in huge amounts.
Then CO2 started to rise. And as it rises, it also causes the earths average temperature to rise, because more CO2 traps more heat. Some of that heat goes into the oceans, which is one reason Australia's great barrier reef is threatened and unlikely to survive over the next few decades.
Some of that heat makes drought more likely in some parts of the world, and when it does rain, because there is more water in a heated atmosphere, those floods will be increasingly devastating.
Australia is seeing hotter and hotter summers with new temperature records being broken regularly. And the heat waves that follow are often deadly. There is a serious risk that parts of Australia will become unlivable in a few decades due to dangerous temperatures and humidity.
The solutions now are tough; we have to slow down and quite quickly stop greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere and the oceans. The atmosphere belongs to everyone, including future generations.
Music for a Warming World believes that this is now a global crisis. This is not a happy message but it is a real message. Continually dumping carbon into our atmosphere will create an unlivable world for most people (let alone the cost to other species, what is being called the 'sixth extinction'.
Join with us in playing a role in changing our future.