Thursday, December 28, 2023

Climate Wins In 2023

Environmental & Science Education, STEM,Global Change, Climate Change, Sustainability, Earth & Space Science, Earth Systems, Biodiversity, Nature of Science, History of Science

Ed Hessler

Nature Briefing of the British science journal Nature, has a relatively new offering titled Anthropocene. On December 18 was posted a link to an essay on climate successes for 2023. The announcement said that "they inspire optimism (providing) more space to breathe."

Katarina Zimmer is the author of  "Your 2023 Climate Wins, Wrapped"in the Atmos section of Nature Briefing Anthropocene.

Zimmer begins by quickly reviewing the standard story "This year didn’t just break records. It smashed them." This accurate salvo is followed with what the article is about. "Yet what often gets overlooked is the fact that, just as climate impacts are growing, so are the actions to tackle them. 2023 has seen some remarkable progress towards reducing emissions...." continuing with "The climate story ... is not just one of worry, but also one of hope—a story about all we stand to lose but also all there is to save." This is followed by a short discussion of what is ahead.

These are the divisions

--Leaving Fossil Fuels in the Dust

Johnathan Foley of Project Drawdown told Zimmer there are signs that we are approaching "a stage when ... the alternatives to fossil fuels (will be) cheaper, better, cleaner, more secure" which will serve to move politicians to support them, displacing fossil fuels as alternatives.”

--Legislation and Litigation

This includes a review of important legislation and the increasing role of litigation in the courts.

--In Defense of Nature

Includes the adoption of nature friendly treaties, the slowing of deforestation in the Amazon, cleaning up of plastic pollution (Norway), the increase of solution-based climate change stories in the media, lower projections of temperature increases (but still dangerous in many ways to all earth systems: geosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere and changes in behavior and practices we can do ( a familiar and overlooked list of items. I want to add that these will not "solve" this problem but if practiced might have an effect).

Susan Joy Hassol of Climate Change closes the article by saying to Zimmer "surely, with all of this effort, we are going to make a difference. We're not going to avoid dangerous climate change because that ship has sailed. It's already dangerous. But we can avoid catastrophe."
Let's hope and work toward making that true.

Zimmer's article can be read online. The estimated reading time is 14 minutes. Authorship in this briefing is designated with "words by". Names, organizations, etc., are linked in the essay. 
Unless I missed it COP-28, the recently concluded UN Climate Change Conference isn't mentioned so here it is. And because there has been considerable reporting and comment, positive and negative, you can look for it in a search.

Zimmer's task was formidable - no one can include all that needs to be said - but I find it useful and it led me to some thinking about climate change which I hope to check in future. However, you can judge how valuable Zimmer's summary is.

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