The Straits Times says

Clear warnings on climate change

The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just issued an unprecedented call to action, warning that countries must change immediately the way their people eat, commute, farm and build. Exploring what needs to be done to limit global warming to 1.5 deg C, the IPCC cited the need for deep emission cuts before 2030. The alternative would be to consign economies and ecosystems to deadlier weather extremes, habitat loss, falling crop yields, and ever higher sea levels. The IPCC's message amplifies the dangerous consequences of humankind's war on the environment, in which the loser will be Man - much as war destroys what has been built painstakingly over generations of peace.

Yet, inertia tends to rule the mind when it comes to nature. Governments feel they have more pressing tasks to deal with than to make peace with nature. But the spate of extreme weather in recent times - which climate scientists have long warned about - must spur governments and global agencies into action, if we are not to leave future generations to an even more precarious existence. While the scale of the challenge is daunting, the 2015 UN Paris Climate Agreement was an astonishing achievement because it saw the developed and developing worlds coming together in spite of their bickering to address a common catastrophe in waiting.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2018, with the headline 'Clear warnings on climate change'. Print Edition | Subscribe