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Scientists' verdict: An almost dystopian future is on the way

A majority of the world's leading climate scientists believe we will reach 2.5 degrees Celsius this century. Many believe it will be worse than that.

This is demonstrated by a major new poll conducted by The Guardian, in which researchers expressed concern about “major societal upheaval over the next five years.”

But the powers taken by the rulers of the world would not exist, of course – and the reasons for this are located in a point in our frontal lobe.

It's a devastating survey Watchman Presents: Hundreds of the world's leading climate scientists predict that global temperatures will rise to at least 2.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels this century.

Worse still, 42% of them believe that temperature rise will exceed three degrees. Only six percent think we can handle 1.5 degrees.

The Guardian contacted 843 scientists and editors involved in IPCC reports since 2018. Almost half, 380 people, responded.

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Major societal unrest

The result, of course, while not surprising, is deeply disappointing. Many researchers see one “forlorn” The future is coming.

“I think we are headed towards major societal disruptions over the next five years,” Greta Bickel, a professor of marine ecology at the University of Tasmania, told The Guardian. He added: “(The authorities) will face one extreme event after another, and food production will be disrupted. I could not be more desperate about the future.”

“I am very concerned about the costs in human lives,” says Professor Leticia Cutrim da Cunha, of Rio de Janeiro State University.

We know very little

What does the future mean by three degrees? Yes, that would likely turn the Amazon into a savannah, eventually lead to the complete melting of the Greenland and West Antarctica ice sheets, and render many places on Earth essentially uninhabitable. Hunger will spread, and social systems as we know them today will be threatened. Mass migration, famine and the conflicts that follow are what awaits us in this case.

The problem is that three-degree scenarios (and even scenarios involving much warmer temperatures) are just that Underrepresented in search. studies We were able to show how the IPCC in its recent reports has mostly focused on scenarios where temperature rises are less than 2 degrees Celsius, which is of course problematic because a temperature rise above 2 degrees is highly likely at the moment.

We know less what matters more.

But thoughtful risk management requires that we do just that It takes into account mild and severe consequences. We carry home fire insurance, not because we think there will be a fire tomorrow, but because we realize there is a risk, even if it is small.

Built-in short term

But when it comes to climate, our awareness of risks lags painfully behind. Yes, on the contrary, those who stir up trouble due to their lack of foresight and understanding of risks are often ridiculed as doomsday and doomsday prophets.

It is not easy to analyze why this is, but part of it can be attributed to our inability to think long-term. Short-termism is ingrained in our DNA – we adapt to prevailing circumstances. Political leaders like to talk about future generations, but their plans are often trumped by financial terms tied to the next election.

We have despaired and found it difficult to relate to the future.

Don't bother us

When we think about ourselves, it shows Scans This is done using an MRI camera, usually stimulating an area of ​​the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex. However, when we think about other people, activity in the same area decreases. The less we feel we have in common with the people you are thinking of, the less activity there will be.

But the strange thing is that the same thing happens when we think about our future selves. Studies show that when you imagine yourself in the future, your prefrontal cortex stops acting like you're thinking about yourself, but instead you're thinking about someone else.

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Our brain acts as if our future self is someone we don't know well and don't care much about.

The short perspective will remain dominant. This is also why humanity is putting off all strong measures until the climate crisis is standing in the hall and knocking on its door.

And he will be there suddenly, faster than anyone can imagine.