A very cheerful new global study has determined what we already know: climate change is real, it’s happening now, and the world is not the least bit ready for it. In fact, the study says, our collective preparedness is “gravely insufficient,” which sounds extremely not good.
The Guardian reports that the study, conducted by the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), found that the most severe effects of climate change, like water shortages and widespread flooding, are inevitable. The devastating impacts will also exacerbate global economic inequality, and likely push hundreds of millions of more people into poverty.
“What we truly see is the risk of a climate apartheid, where the wealthy pay to escape and the rest are left to suffer,” Patrick Verkooijen, the chief executive of the Global Center on Adaptation, told the Guardian. “That is a very profound moral injustice.”
The study suggests that wealthy nations should invest $1.8 trillion in climate adaption measures, like improving global dry-land agriculture, protecting underwater mangrove forests, and shoring up infrastructure. Unfortunately, this kind of investment would require elected officials to acknowledge climate change exists and to attempt to mitigate it instead of hurtling us toward climate death even faster.
“It’s an international problem that can only be solved with co-operation and collaboration, across borders and worldwide,” former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who led the commission along with World Bank chief executive Kristalina Georgieva and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, told the BBC. “It is becoming increasingly clear that in many parts of the world, our climate has already changed and we need to adapt with it.”
I’m sure our leaders will get right on it, and by *it*, I mean the rich people spaceship that will take them to a nice planet while the rest of us burn.