WHAT LIES BENEATH: The Understatement Of Existential Climate Risk
By Davis Spratt & Ian Dunlop – Published by Breakthrough, National Centre for Climate Restoration, Melbourne, Australia
Three decades ago, when serious debate on human-induced climate change began at the global level, a great deal of statesmanship was on display. There was a preparedness to recognise that this was an issue transcending nation states, ideologies and political parties which had to be addressed proactively in the long-term interests of humanity as a whole.
Today, as a consequence, and despite the diplomatic triumph of the 2015 Paris Agreement, the debate around climate change policy has never been more dysfunctional, indeed Orwellian. In his book 1984, George Orwell describes a double-think totalitarian state where most of the population accepts “the most flagrant violations of reality, because they never fully grasped the enormity of what was demanded of them, and were not sufficiently interested in public events to notice what was happening. By lack of understanding they remained sane.”
This report seeks to alert the wider community and business and political leaders to these limitations and urges changes to the IPCC approach, to the wider UNFCCC negotiations, and to national policymaking. It is clear that existing processes will not deliver the transformation to a carbon-negative world in the limited time now available. We urgently require a reframing of scientific research within an existential risk-management framework. This requires special precautions that go well beyond conventional risk management. Like an iceberg, there is great danger in “what lies beneath”.