Space pi­o­neer warns: Earth needs cli­mate 're­al­ity check'

The Freeman - - SCI-TECH -

POLAND — The world needs a "re­al­ity check" on the threat posed by cli­mate change, NASA as­tro­naut Mae Jemi­son said at a UN sum­mit to chart mankind's path away from run­away global warm­ing.

Jemi­son, the first African-Amer­i­can woman in space, brought a lit­tle ga­lac­tic per­spec­tive to the COP24 talks in Poland, call­ing on del­e­gates from nearly 200 coun­tries to tackle "the most dif­fi­cult prob­lem we've ever faced."

"When peo­ple say save the Earth, they are mis­taken. This is not about sav­ing the Earth, this is about mak­ing sure we don't con­tinue to dam­age it so much that it doesn't sup­port our life form," she said.

Na­tions must use the United Na­tions sum­mit to agree on a rule­book im­ple­ment­ing the pledges made three years ago in Paris, which aim to limit global tem­per­a­ture rises to well be­low two de­grees Cel­sius (3.6 Fahren­heit), and be­neath the safer cap of 1.5C if pos­si­ble.

The science is clear: the UN's own in­de­pen­dent ex­pert cli­mate body now says fos­sil fuel emis­sions must be slashed by half by 2030 if the Paris tar­gets have any hope of be­ing met.

Cur­rent emis­sion lev­els, which have risen since the 2015 Paris deal, put us on course for tem­per­a­ture rises that ex­perts warn will al­ter life was we know it.

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