Apple Magazine

UN: HUGE CHANGES IN SOCIETY NEEDED TO KEEP NATURE, EARTH OK

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Humans are making Earth a broken and increasing­ly unlivable planet through climate change, biodiversi­ty loss and pollution. So the world must make dramatic changes to society, economics and daily life, a new United Nations report says.

Unlike past U.N. reports that focused on one issue and avoided telling leaders actions to take, the report combines three intertwine­d environmen­t crises and tells the world what’s

got to change. It calls for changing what government­s tax, how nations value economic output, how power is generated, the way people get around, fish and farm, as well as what they eat.

“Without nature’s help, we will not thrive or even survive,” Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. “For too long, we have been waging a senseless and suicidal war on nature. The result is three interlinke­d environmen­tal crises.”

Thus the 168-page report title is blunt: “Making Peace With Nature.”

“Our children and their children will inherit a world of extreme weather events, sea level rise, a drastic loss of plants and animals, food and water insecurity and increasing likelihood of future pandemics,” said report lead author Sir Robert Watson, who has chaired past UN science reports on climate change and biodiversi­ty loss.

“The emergency is in fact more profound than we thought only a few years ago,” said Watson, who has been a top level scientist in the U.S. and British government­s.

This year “is a make-it or break-it year indeed because the risk of things becoming irreversib­le is gaining ground every year,” Guterres said. “We are close to the point of no return.”

The report highlighte­d what report co-author Rachel Warren of the University of East Anglia called “a litany of frightenin­g statistics that hasn’t really been brought together:”

• Earth is on the way to an additional 3.5 degrees warming from now (1.9 degrees Celsius), far more than the internatio­nal agreed upon goals in the Paris accord.

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