We must quickly drive an open, truthful national conversation, to achieve a US consensus on this Climate Mobilization within two years. Public engagement must be galvanized through an extensive warning initiative, thus an Education and Advocacy Campaign will offer personal, face-to-face dialogue in thousands of faith and civic spaces across the nation to awaken citizens to the need for mobilization. A Climate Mobilization Coalition creates a pathway for existing organizations to shift their missions to mobilization; additionally, it furthers the public conversation and opens the space for the mobilization to take root.
Importantly, realize that it only takes 3-4% of engaged, impassioned citizens—those most concerned—to transform the situation.
Now is the time for philanthropy to respond: Ask Philanthropists for the needed climate leadership.
Climate change is an immense crisis, but it is also an immense opportunity to build a just world that works for all.
Now is our moment. This is our call to greatness.
Join us in protecting our future.
Few people, even in the climate movement, understand the scope, scale, and urgency with which we must now operate to protect a livable planet. A pervasive pluralistic ignorance keeps people from admitting we are in a crisis. We now need a compelling multi-faceted Mobilization Campaign to activate a critical mass of Americans, so we can achieve: (1) US leadership in an Emergency Mobilization to rapidly phase out fossil fuels, (2) a rising carbon price, and (3) low-carbon assistance for the developing world.
We must phase out fossil fuels as quickly as humanly possible for a livable climate.
ExxonMobile Refinery, Torrance, CA. Photo: Michael Light.
WE MUST PHASE OUT
FOSSIL FUELS NOW!
The gravity of our situation is clear and convincing. Our task ahead is clear: we either phase-out fossil fuels now or we end civilization and humanity. No one honestly reviewing the data can put forth “gradual reductions” plans, with nations fudging on their current and future usages of carbon fuels, while their diplomats assert Jules Verne ideas—that somehow slurping of CO2 from the air is now plausible. Nor can these disingenuous approaches substitute for the tough reality: we have an emergency and we must mobilize now. All hands on deck! An Emergency Climate Stabilization is mandatory!
Several categories of evidence make the overwhelming case for an immediate emergency Climate Mobilization as an over-riding national priority, and for the necessity of millions of individuals and organizations in the US to take the Climate Mobilization Coalition Pledge. The aim is zero emissions by 2025 in the United States.
More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado) are a consequence of a warming planet.
Photo: PopulationSpeakOut.org, © R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post
Our best chance for a viable future is to stop burning fossil fuels worldwide today. Since we cannot make that happen, our Pledge calls us to end carbon fuels by 2025, feasible with a WW2 type mobilization. The reasons this must be done:
- Recount: It's Time to "Do the Math" Again. David Spratt's report asserts that the world is already experiencing dangerous climate change at just 1°C warming, and if we really don’t want to exceed 2°C, we must adopt a budget with a low risk of exceeding the target. From that perspective, no carbon budget remains. (See text box below). This “recount” makes an overwhelming argument for zero emissions for the US by 2025.
- Jim Hansen’s warning that Greenland and Antarctica will melt ten times faster than heretofore known, “resulting in sea level rise of at least 10 feet in as little as 50 years” is a complete catastrophe, and not just for all of the coastal cities drowned, or the hundreds of millions of climate refugees treading water, but for all of us. Then, no longer holding back, Hansen testified against our government on behalf of today’s children and future generations, “Youth versus Obama: Dr. Hansen's Testimony Against the Government.”
- Kevin Anderson’s October 2015 analysis of the latest IPCC pathways and projections explained that (1) “wealthier high emitting individuals, whether in industrial or industrializing nations, will have to accept radical changes to how we live our lives,” (2) carbon budgets require an “immediate and revolutionary transition in how we use and produce energy,” and (3) "The complete set of 400 IPCC scenarios for a 50% or better chance of meeting the 2 °C target work on the basis of either an ability to change the past, or the successful and large-scale uptake of [speculative] negative-emission technologies. A significant proportion of the scenarios are dependent on both. That is unrealistic."
- Anderson’s “Real Clothes for the Emperor, Facing the Challenges of Climate Change,” from about three years ago expresses why a 10 percent reduction-per-year in fossil fuel use was necessary then to keep climate from destabilizing. It’s more now, and it still confirms why zero emissions 2025 for the US is necessary if we care about our children, the future, or life itself.
- Naomi Klein corroborates Kevin Anderson’s carbon reductions, “8 to 10 percent a year,” in a brutally honest interview, complaining (like Hansen) about the inadequacies of our government and President Obama’s climate plan, related to having any future whatsoever.
- New research related to pulling CO2 from the air in the future (most projections published to meet the 2°C cap assume this magic down the road to make their numbers work) shows that our oceans will still be poisoned, and two examples here and here suffice to explain marine life won't make it, even if we could pull CO2 rabbits out of thin air. Dump CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans collapse; no future fix works except dramatic emission reductions starting now.
- Mike Mann’s “'Fat Tail' of Climate Change Risk" article makes it obvious that the risk of runaway greenhouse warming is so high that any able person would be motivated to help with an Emergency Climate Mobilization.
No Carbon Budget Left
International negotiations assume global temperatures should be stabilized within 2°C/3.6°F above preindustrial levels. The stated function of carbon budgets are to provide an amount of "burnable" carbon, while maintaining a likelihood of staying under the 2°C target. Yet this concept is a dangerous illusion:
- At just 0.85°C warming, major impacts that are becoming apparent now (such as polar ice melt and extreme weather) are severely underestimated in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's modeling. Climate change is already dangerous well below the 2°C target.
- Further warming is inevitable, partially due to the lag time for the oceans to heat up. We are already committed to 2.4°C warming, even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases today.
- Budgets assume unacceptably high risks of failure. The IPCC's "safest" budget points to a 33% risk of exceeding 2°C. Would you take a flight with a 33% chance of crashing? If we really don’t want to exceed 2°C, we must adopt a budget with a low risk of exceeding the target, such as less than 10%.
Taking all these factors into account, no carbon budget remains.
Image: Jos Hagelaars, adapted by Breakthrough / David Spratt
The over-determined conclusion one would have to draw from these best-expert sources would be that YES!, we must take the Mobilization Pledge, completely phase out fossil fuels in the US within ten years, and realize that the route toward such a radical transformation of our culture is an emergency Climate Mobilization.
We must invest globally in the conversion to clean energy.
Photo: Black Rock Solar / Rainshadow Charter School.
Four essential principles can be the foundation of the movement's policy goals, strategies, and tactics to adequately address the scope, scale, and urgency of the climate threat:
- 2°C/3.6°F Reduction Pathway: A carbon phase-out plan that limits warming to 2°C.
- Carbon Price: A rising fee on carbon stimulates the rapid shift from fossil fuels to clean energy.
- Carbon Budget: There is no remaining carbon budget for a 90% chance of staying within 2°C.
- Climate Justice: Wealthy nations assist developing nations to deploy clean energy solutions.
Several essential actions are now needed for climate stabilization under the 2°C heat threshold:
- Starting now, reduce US carbon emissions by about 10 percent each year, until fossil fuel phase-out is complete by 2025, by quickly transitioning from fossil fuels to low carbon energy.
- Price carbon pollution and remove fossil fuel subsidies. To drive broad-based emissions reductions, we must account for the true societal costs of fossil fuels.
- Invest globally in the conversion to a clean, efficient, and resilient energy infrastructure. Transition from our carbon-intensive, inefficient, old system. Assist developing nations to bypass carbon energy systems.
- Reduce carbon levels in the atmosphere. Invest globally in reforestation, biochar, land/soil restoration, and agroecology. Avoid technologies with risky outcomes.
- The US must lead. The US must embrace the 2°C limit, and lead the global low carbon mobilization. Fossil fuel reductions must begin now in industrialized nations, and within a few years in developing nations.
 As Kevin Anderson, professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester notes, this fundamentally rewrites the chronology of climate change from long-term gradual to urgent and radical, "Reframing Climate Change: How recent emission trends & the latest science change the debate." David Roberts notes the “brutal logic” of climate change .
 Emissions reductions must occur sooner in developed nations, given our historical contribution to the problem and our capacity to innovate and remediate.
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To learn what you can do that is effective to help fix global warming caused climate destabilization, click here.To learn why the term climate destabilization is replacing the terms climate change and global warming, click here.