A former Australian defense chief and senior royal navy commander have endorsed a terrifying new report of how human civilization could collapse entirely in the coming decades, due to climate change, reports Vice.
The analysis was published by the Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration, a think-tank in Melbourne, Australia. It describes climate change as “a near- to mid-term existential threat to human civilization,” and describes what continuing business-as-usual practices could lead to in the next 30 years.
The paper also notes that the “extremely serious outcomes” of climate change are indeed far more probable than conventionally assumed, but are still nearly impossible to quantify because they “fall outside the human experience of the last thousand years.”
The report warns:
“[Our] planetary and human systems [are] reaching a ‘point of no return’ by mid-century, in which the prospect of a largely uninhabitable Earth leads to the breakdown of nations and the international order.”
The analysis states that in order to avoid this scenario, efforts “akin in scale to the World War II emergency mobilization” must be taken, this time focused on rapidly building a zero-emissions industrial system.
Humans’ current trajectory will likely ensure at least 3 degrees Celsius of global heating, which could trigger amplifying effects and therefore cause further warming. This would drive the rapid collapse of key ecosystems “including coral reef systems, the Amazon rainforest and in the Arctic.”
The results for humans would be devastating. One billion people would be forced to escape unlivable conditions, and two billion would face water scarcity.
Agriculture in the sub-tropics would collapse, causing global food production to suffer dramatically.
“Even for 2°C of warming, more than a billion people may need to be relocated and in high-end scenarios, the scale of destruction is beyond our capacity to model with a high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end.”