Twelve Years To Save the World? Climate Alarmist Now Says We Have Only 18 Months


A few months ago, addressing a certain Texan’s absurd claim that we had a decade left to deal with climate change, I wrote: “It’s good to see Democrats are treating the amount of time the Earth has left if we don’t address climate change as if it were a government contract. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put in a low bid of 12 years earlier this year. Presidential contender and champion livestreamer Robert ‘Beto’ O’Rourke says he can go even lower: 10 years.”

I’d thought that Beto’s bid would stand as the lowest for a while. However, Matt McGrath, environment correspondent for the BBC, just lowered the bar in a major way.

Not only do we not have a decade to address the problem, we only have months. Eighteen of them, to be precise.

And he’s not just spitballing: “Now it seems, there’s a growing consensus that the next 18 months will be critical in dealing with the global heating crisis, among other environmental challenges,” McGrath said at the outset of the Wednesday article, titled “Climate change: 12 years to save the planet? Make that 18 months.”

Remember, you can’t argue against anything considered a “consensus” or else you’re a bloody denier and need to be consigned to the dustbin of quackery.

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“Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that to keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C this century, emissions of carbon dioxide would have to be cut by 45% by 2030,” McGrath wrote in the piece.

“But today, observers recognize that the decisive, political steps to enable the cuts in carbon to take place will have to happen before the end of next year.

“The idea that 2020 is a firm deadline was eloquently addressed by one of the world’s top climate scientists, speaking back in 2017,” he continued, referring to founder and director emeritus of the Potsdam Climate Institute, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.

“The climate math is brutally clear: While the world can’t be healed within the next few years, it may be fatally wounded by negligence until 2020,” Schellnhuber said.

Do you think that these climate predictions are scaremongering?

It’s pretty convenient that the world decided to pick such a fortuitous date as a deadline to heal it. I mean, it could have picked May 2036 as a tipping point, but no — it decided on 2020. The end of a decade and a date that’s easy to remember.

McGrath also quoted Prince Charles who said, “‘I am firmly of the view that the next 18 months will decide our ability to keep climate change to survivable levels and to restore nature to the equilibrium we need for our survival.'” Oh, good grief.

Alright, so jokes aside, McGrath believes that a series of U.N. meetings between now and the end of 2020 will essentially determine whether or not we’re going to be around much longer.

“The first major hurdle will be the special climate summit called by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, which will be held in New York on 23 September,” McGrath wrote. “Mr. Guterres has been clear that he only wants countries to come to the U.N. if they can make significant offers to improve their national carbon cutting plans.”

And then there’s the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change in Santiago, Chile — known as COP25 — later in the year, followed by COP26 in the United Kingdom in late 2020.

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“The U.K. government believes it can use the opportunity of COP26, in a post-Brexit world, to show that Britain can build the political will for progress, in the same way the French used their diplomatic muscle to make the Paris deal happen,” he wrote.

However, that could be when the United States fully withdraws from the Paris agreement, which could complicate matters — particularly if President Donald Trump wins a second term.

He also notes that “[o]ne of the understated headlines in last year’s IPCC report was that global emissions of carbon dioxide must peak by 2020 to keep the planet below 1.5C [2.7 Fahrenheit].”

“Current plans are nowhere near strong enough to keep temperatures below the so-called safe limit. Right now, we are heading towards 3C of heating by 2100 not 1.5.”

And it’s not just meetings on carbon emissions that could determine whether our species will survive.

“While the decisions taken on climate change in the next year or so will be critical, there are a number of other key gatherings on the environment that will shape the nature on preserving species and protecting our oceans in the coming decades,” he wrote.

“Earlier this year a major study on the losses being felt across the natural world as result of broader human impacts caused a huge stir among governments. The IPBES report showed that up to one million species could be lost in coming decades.”

So, of course, there’s a meeting about that in 2020 too, the Convention on Biological Diversity.

“Next year’s meeting could be a ‘Paris agreement’ moment for the natural world. If agreement is found it’s likely there will be an emphasis on sustainable farming and fishing,” McGrath says. “It will urge greater protection for species and a limit on deforestation.”

I haven’t excerpted the entire article here, but I’m not really leaving out any major points. You may realize two problems in this argument from what I’ve quoted thus far.

First, there’s not really any evidence of that whole pesky “growing consensus,” and second, there’s no evidence provided that these meetings will actually do anything.

It feels like the U.N. has been having meetings like this since time immemorial, even if it’s really only been 47 years or so. Those meetings have gotten us to the point where … we have to have more of those meetings in the next 18 months in order to save the world from eventual destruction.

If this is the U.N.’s level of efficacy regarding the environment, perhaps Mr. McGrath’s free-range eggs are in the wrong basket here. This isn’t even to debate whether or not the problem exists. McGrath is putting it in the hands of a world body which currently allows China to sit on its Commission on Human Rights.

McGrath’s article hits all the right notes for these sorts of things, though. It’s properly alarmist. It praises all the right people and things, like teenage climate-change extremist Greta Thunberg and the Green New Deal. It quotes three people on that whole consensus thing: Schellnhuber, an ambassador from Belize and (ugh) Prince Charles.

But that’s not proof. That’s a loose framework of things to hang a scaremongering headline around combined with an eye-rollingly bad solution to it all. But that’s always what this is about: lowballing the amount of time we have in order to fix climate change to get our attention. To Ocasio-Cortez, it was 12 years. Beto O’Rourke, 10. Matt McGrath, 1.5.

At least the first two were basing their hope to save the world around legislation, misguided though that legislation may be. McGrath is hoping that U.N. committees and conferences save the world. Good luck with that.

But the date is the key here. If you set a deadline near enough, you can always count on getting some attention.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture