Clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe

Scientific American (17 Jan 2019) headlines the annual World Economic Forum report, which identifies climate change, extreme weather and biodiversity loss as among highest global risks

The institution’s annual analysis of economic dangers worldwide named extreme weather, natural disasters, man-made environmental disasters, biodiversity loss and failure to adapt to climate change as the chief perils to society.

Of all the risks to the globe, “it is in relation to the environment that the world is most clearly sleepwalking into catastrophe,” the WEF said in its Global Risks Report. “The results of climate inaction are becoming increasingly clear.”

The report noted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s October 2018 analysis that “bluntly said … we have at most 12 years to make the drastic and unprecedented changes needed to prevent average global temperatures from rising” 1.5 degrees Celsius, roughly 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Limiting global temperature increase to that amount is the goal of the international Paris Agreement.