At our Oct. 20 climate-change forum in Savannah, the scientific evidence presented was both compelling and deeply disturbing. Our discussion was well-timed, given the Oct. 8 release of an alarming report by the highly authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The IPCC warns of dire consequences, even worse than they previously predicted, unless prompt and effective actions are taken to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases unleashed by fossil-fuels — from extraction to processing, distribution, and combustion.
Among the trillions of dollars of destructive impacts, the IPCC predicts are accelerating sea-level rise and coastal flooding, substantial loss of food supplies, and spread of human diseases carried by mosquitoes, microbes, and mass migrations.
To prevent the worst of these accumulating harms, the IPCC says that over half of GHGs must be cut by 2030 and nearly all by mid-century.
That means tripling the rate of growth in using solar and wind-power and phasing-out fossil fuels proportionally.
Though these goals are technically achievable, the politics of the influential multi-trillion dollar fossil-fuel industry do not favor rapid mobilization of the remedy, no matter how vital to human prospects.
Initially, Center for a Sustainable Coast recommends: abolishing $50 billion a year in U.S. fossil-fuel subsidies; aggressive implementation of clean, affordable energy sources (mostly wind + solar), and related research and tax incentives for retaining and restoring forests that absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide.
Electing candidates supporting vital policy reforms is essential if Georgians hope to avoid catastrophic harm to property, health, and our economy.
Center for a Sustainable Coast