Here's the ammunition...

 As I write, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is about to publish their latest report. I reckon it should be called "Have you been paying attention?"

This will be the most comprehensive report of its kind and it will provide the most up to date assessment of the effects of climate change in the coming decades.

The last time this panel got together, in 2013, they weren't absolutely convinced that extreme weather events could be ascribed to climate change, itself caused by human activities.

Now, thanks to advances in the science and the computer modelling available, I am sure they will be unequivocal in that assertion.

There will still be  plenty of people who believe it's all a hoax, citing natural patterns, but they are gradually being edged out into the cold, as it were. I don't mean to pick a fight with the climate sceptics, there's no need; nobody has a serious debate with a flat-earther. 

By the time these words are in print, the new report will have been released and apparently it is going to be a 'massive wake up call'. 

Well that'll make a difference won't it? Let's give them a shock - that will jolt them into action.

Except that it won't; the people will, by and large, continue to follow the path of least resistance, which does not involve going to great lengths to reduce, reuse, and recycle. Most of us won't choose the more expensive, more environmentally friendy, or less environmentally damaging, options if they don't have to.

Actually my preceding paragraph misses the point of the IPCC; it is not designed to frighten you and me into being better guardians of the planet - although that might be a side benefit. No, the point is, and the clue is in the name, to give governments the information and therefore the ammunition and courage they need to make the hard decisions. To introduce measures for the benefit of the planet which are inevitably going to be unpopular with their electorates but ultimately good for the planet. 

Of course, in many countries where the concept of the electorate counts for nothing, environmental considerations count for even less, so we can discount the possibility of any constructive input from them. It has been said that without immediate action from China the rest of the world has no chance. This is because, as the world's largest emitter of greenhouse gases - more than a quarter of the global total, China is the main player. President Xi has said that China will be carbon neutral by 2060 but he hasn't said how. One wonders, since they are still busy building coal fired power stations.

Let's just hope that enough governments are sufficiently moved by the findings of this latest report to take enough action to make a difference.  It's serious but it's not all doom and gloom: With big changes, which must be driven by governments there is hope of averting the worst effects of climate change. 

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