Time to take up smoking, everyone! The planet is going to shit so fast, drought will probably get to you before the cancer does.
On Monday, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a depressing new report about just how fucked we are when it comes to global climate change. According to the IPCC, on the path we're currently careening down, the planet will increase in temperature by 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2030, a mere 12 years away.
One-and-a-half degrees Celsius (or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) might not sound significant, but it is, and we're already two-thirds of the way there. A temperature increase of this magnitude will, according to the IPCC lead to an increase in catastrophic storms, floods, wildfires, droughts, and food shortages for hundreds of millions of people, particularly those in already vulnerable areas, like Cape Town, South Africa, which nearly ran out of water this year. While people living in poverty and vulnerable areas are more fucked than we are in Seattle, the U.S. is already seeing the effects of climate change, from hurricanes in North Carolina to wildfires in California and floods in Houston.
Keeping global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels was the goal of the agreement that resulted from the Paris Climate Accords—which, of course, Donald Trump refused to ratify, one of only three countries on the entire planet to refuse to go along. (The others were Syria and Nicaragua. Even North Korea agreed to comply.) Without drastic action—not now, but yesterday—the Earth will, in all likelihood, reach the 1.5 degree threshold in the next 12 years. And then it will get worse. At 1.5 degrees, an estimated 10 percent of coral reefs will survive ocean acidification; at 2 degrees, only 1 percent will. In other words, we're fucked.
The White House, of course, is too busy throwing campaign rallies and blowing the coal industry to give a shit, but climate change is real, it's here, and it will not get better with Donald Trump in office and the GOP running the show. Remember that 1.5 degrees when it comes time to vote.