Global Warming: an Unwelcome Leak

(FILES) This file photo taken on April 2, 2020 shows a dried area of the Penuelas Lake, in Valparaiso, Chile. (Photo: AFP)

Extinction of species, rising water levels causing the disappearance of coastal areas and massive migrations especially in Southeast Asia, recurrence of climatic disasters throwing into misery millions of human beings: The draft report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was leaked on June 23 by the news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP), sends shivers down one’s spines.          

This infernal cycle could be triggered if the increase in temperature reaches 1.5 degree—a threshold that, according to the World Meteorological Organization, could be crossed as early as 2025, that is, virtually tomorrow.

For those who believe that global warming is caused by human activity, lifestyles and consumption patterns must completely and immediately change to avoid this disastrous fate. No, no and no will answer the climate-change skeptics for whom nothing is new under the sun since the Earth has been the Earth and who will vilify those experts.   

The work of more than 200 experts, this confidential working paper that was “leaked” to AFP was not meant to end up in the public sphere before early 2022 when it is meant to be approved by international institutions after having gone through the hands of around 1,000 reviewers and having discussed approximately 40,000 comments as one of the people in charge of the IPCC has stressed.        

In other words, those non-official pages, which predict that in the near future, that is, in 30 years of so, millions of people will terribly suffer on our planet, is a scientific work but at the same time is not since it is not finished. Can we assume that, after it has been reviewed, we will be happy to read in this report that, after all, things will not be that bad? We shall see.   

This leak may have been deliberate: Considering the urgency described in this report, some people may have thought it was urgent to alert public opinion and leaders of the countries this concerns in order to move the process in the direction they wish during the next world meetings on the topic.

And then, this leak may not have been premeditated and AFP simply did its job by disclosing this document to the public.

In any event, what comes out of this is that the experts’ opinions we so much need to take action in the right direction on this vital issue of global warming end up weakened as soon as the result of their work is made public, the experts themselves telling us that all this is only a progress report.         

As scientists’ views are more and more questioned and experts themselves offload their disputes on social media in front of a public that only hears what it wants to hear, this leak is not conducive to clarifying matters about our own future for the poor human beings that we are. And finally, regarding this issue, doubt will incite inertia, leaving on their own those who already are on the frontline of global warming.      

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