[Coral-List] Newest IPCC report not very hopeful

Alina Szmant alina at cisme-instruments.com
Tue Mar 1 20:27:41 UTC 2022

Hi Franziska:

I never said it was one or the other. In fact I was clear that it is both. But the global economic is driven by growth in consumerism  and the policy people won't or haven't yet taken actions to take measures that affect consumerism. In fact , most large enterprises see the global poor as a huge new market for their stuff, so increasing the standards of the 1 billion poor (which of course is the right thing to do) will increase global consumption of goods by a lot more than the figures you cite. It's a pandoras box. Look at China as an example, one of the poorer and lower consumption countries with a huge population.  With their increase in standards of living they now exceed the Western countries in their production of green house games.

But the bigger issue is the narrow-minded focus on fossil fuel consumption vs at all of the environmental destroy that is per capita to grow food, provide housing, education, employment and recreation to each person on Earth. Education of girls and helping women become independent of men who force them to bear children is defined imperative but just as imperative is a loud and clear global message about the need for every woman to limit births to one or two child regardless of culture.


Dr. Alina M. Szmant,  CEO
CISME Instruments LLC

-------- Original message --------
From: Franziska Elmer via Coral-List <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Date: 3/1/22 1:55 PM (GMT-05:00)
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Newest IPCC report not very hopeful

Dear Alina and all,

Yes, the latest IPCC report looks dire, but shouldnt be suprising to us as the papers it summarizes have been published before 2018 and we likely have read them already and are up to date.

We as scientists were given 1 task in this crisis: ringing the alarm bell in a way that it is heard by the powerful and by the masses. We have failed so far, as most leaders and most citizens still don’t understand the dire situation we are in. We are planning a big action in begin of April that will ring the bell louder than ever, if you want to take part, please send me an email.

Regarding Alina´s statement on population growth:

Project Drawdown has been very successful at informing people that education of girls and family planning is the solution that will have the biggest impact on climate change as a single action and therefore highlight how population growth is fueling the climate crisis. However, unlike Alina, they would never say that population growth is the main reason for the climate crisis and halting population growth is the only action we need to take. The leaked summary for policy makers of the IPCC Working group III report that is due to come out in April actually shows that the consumption part in the simplified equation
Pollution = Population x Consumption is a stronger driver of climate change than population growth and that growth based economies are an important driver of Climate change.  Here a few excerts of it:

“Some scientists stress that climate change is caused by industrial development, and more specifically, by the nature of social and economic development produced by the nature of capitalist society, which they therefore consider ultimately unsustainable.”

“The top 10% of emitters globally, who are the wealthiest 10%, contribute between 36% and 45% of emissions, which is 10-times as much as the poorest 10%. […] If 10-30% of the population were to demonstrate commitment to low-carbon technologies, behaviours and lifestyles, new social norms would be established.”

While the report makes clear that wealthy people must reduce emissions to save lives, it also advocates for meeting the needs of the world’s 800 million people who lack access to electricity: “It is not incompatible to struggle against energy poverty and climate change simultaneously”. Changing the behaviour of the top 10% is more consequential, while “increasing the consumption of the poorest to basic subsistence levels would not increase emissions much.” New research in Nature shows “lifting more than one billion people out of poverty, leads to only small relative increases in global carbon emissions of 1.6–2.1% or less. To ensure global progress on poverty alleviation without overshooting climate targets, high-emitting countries need to reduce their emissions substantially.”

Alina, as a scientists, I urge you to analyze these findings and widen your view on what drives climate change and what can help to hamper it.


Franziska Elmer

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