The Guardian view on climate change: see you in court

Recent days have seen Houston, Texas literally sunk under sheer weight of rain, Carribbean islands battered by powerful storms barrelling across the Gulf and now Florida homes blasted by Irma, the largest of three hurricanes churning in the Atlantic basin. It seems almost certain that man-made climate change has a role in such events. Scientists used to be circumspect at attributing any single extreme event to global warming. No longer. Now scientists make the link between climate change and droughts in Kenya, record winter sun in Britain and torrential downpours in south-west China.


The unmistakeable fingerprint of extreme weather at the crime scene of global warming seems intuitively obvious: consider that Houston is reckoned to have been hit by three “500-year floods” in three years. A 500-year flood does not have to happen only twice a millennium. But a run of three indicates that past climate is no longer a reliable guide to the present weather. The explanation is that the climate itself is changing.

Such thinking should be a wake up call for the world, which has to understand how profoundly we must make a shift in the way we produce, distribute and consume energy, and how disruptive this will be for the real economy. While governments have, via the Paris agreement, signalled the end of the fossil-fuel era, the political processes by which states will decide how to meet their mitigation targets have been hijacked and influenced by Big Carbon.


Fonte: The Guardian