InternationalStacy M. Brown

UN Issues ‘Code Red for Humanity’ in Climate Change Report

A United Nations panel on the climate released a scathing report Monday about a manufactured atmospheric crisis that has jeopardized the world’s future.

“Widespread and rapid changes in the atmosphere, ocean, cryosphere, and biosphere have occurred,” concluded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the U.N.’s body for assessing the science related to climate change.

“It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land,” wrote the authors of the report, titled “AR6 Synthesis Report: Climate Change.”

Two hundred and thirty-four authors from 66 countries analyzed more than 14,000 scientific papers about climate change for the report, which officials will present during climate talks later this year.

The report came as the Biden administration announced three pre-disaster funding opportunities to help states and communities prepare for significant disasters they said are costing lives and livelihoods and devastating local communities and businesses.

Administration officials said the programs would allow communities to apply for nearly $5 billion to increase their preparedness in advance of climate-related extreme weather events and other disasters and improve their ability to recover after these events.

They include $1 billion in funding for the administration’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program for fiscal year 2021.

This program provides grants to states, local communities, tribes, and territories to proactively reduce their vulnerability to natural hazard events before they occur and make themselves and the nation more resilient.

The money also includes $3.46 billion in funding for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

The 59 states, tribes, and territories that received a major disaster declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic will be eligible to receive 4% of the disaster costs.

That figure relates to mandates to invest in mitigation projects that will help better prepare and protect communities from natural disasters and the impacts of climate change.

Finally, $160 million in funding is earmarked for the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program for the Fiscal Year 2021 to reduce or eliminate the risks of repetitive flood damage to homes and buildings insured by the National Flood Insurance Program.

Still, the U.N. report counts as a stunning rebuke of ignorance toward global warming.

The report noted that warming temperatures continue to drive more extreme events in every part of the world, which is in danger of experiencing more heatwaves, longer warm seasons, and shorter cold seasons.

If temperatures increase an average of 2 degrees, the researchers found that will threaten human health and agricultural systems.

The study concluded that the average global temperatures had increased as much as 1.3 degrees Celsius, and “some recent hot extremes over the past decade would have been extremely unlikely to occur without human influence on the climate system.”

Regardless of any preventative measures, the researchers found that global surface temperatures will continue to increase until 2050.

Without a drastic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the world will exceed 1.5 degrees of warming in 20 years.

Immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions must occur, the panel wrote.

“Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe,” the report said. “Evidence of observed changes in extremes such as heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and tropical cyclones, and their attribution to human influence, has strengthened.”

Former Vice President Al Gore, a longtime environmental advocate, said climate action must occur immediately.

“We cannot rely on vague pledges with distant deadlines,” Gore said. “We need concrete plans to phase out fossil fuels in the near term. As the scientists at the IPCC make clear, there is no time left to waste.”

Stacy M. Brown

I’ve worked for the Daily News of Los Angeles, the L.A. Times, Gannet and the Times-Tribune and have contributed to the Pocono Record, the New York Post and the New York Times. Television news opportunities have included: NBC, MSNBC, Scarborough Country, the Abrams Report, Today, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, Imus in the Morning and Anderson Cooper 360. Radio programs like the Wendy Williams Experience, Tom Joyner Morning Show and the Howard Stern Show have also provided me the chance to share my views.

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