By Glenn Fubler

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report last week that deserves close attention. While three years ago, the historic Paris Conference concluded with a consensus limiting any median temperature rise to 2C, this latest meeting of the IPCC has concluded that any rise should be no more than 1.5C.

It appears to be a key crossroads for the human family. The IPCC suggests that there is a limited window of only 12 years to effect basic change. Key impacts documented by this report include:

• A rise by 2C may wipe out all of the Earth’s reef ecosystems

• That same median temperature rise could result in the polar ice caps melting completely, with the resultant sea-level rise.

• There will be a substantial increase in extreme weather conditions: severe hurricanes, droughts and floods

There is some irony that the report was published a few days before Hurricane Michael made landfall in the United States. This wake-up call is addressed to the seven billion of us who share the planet at present.

It will take a co-ordinated effort on the global, local and personal levels to address this challenge. It would seem that there is no issue more important than this reality to be addressed.

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