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Monday, November 08, 2021

BoJo: James Bond Moment for Climate Change


 Text (from the UK government website)

Welcome to COP, welcome to Glasgow and to Scotland whose most globally famous fictional son is almost certainly a man called James Bond who generally comes to the climax of his highly lucrative films strapped to a doomsday device desperately trying to work out which coloured wire to pull to turn it off while a red digital clock ticks down remorselessly to a detonation that will end human life as we know it and we are in roughly the same position, my fellow global leaders, as James Bond today except that the tragedy is that this is not a movie, and the doomsday device is real and the clock is ticking to the furious rhythm of hundreds of billions of pistons and turbines and furnaces and engines with which we are pumping carbon into the air faster and faster- record outputs and quilting the earth in an invisible and suffocating blanket of CO2 raising the temperature of the planet with a speed and an abruptness that is entirely manmade and we know what the scientists tell us and we have learned not to ignore them
2 degrees more and we jeopardise the food supply for hundreds of millions of people as crops wither, locusts swarm 3 degrees and you can add more wildfires and cyclones – twice as many of them, five times as many droughts and 36 times as many heatwaves 4 degrees and we say goodbye to whole cities – Miami, Alexandria, Shanghai – all lost beneath the waves and the longer we fail to act the worse it gets and the higher the price when we are eventually forced by catastrophe to act because humanity has long since run down the clock on climate change. 

 It’s one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock and we need to act now.

This reminds me a bit of an old blog post I wrote about a 2009 speech given by Barack Obama’s climate negotiator Todd Stern, who called for a "comic book sensibility of uniting in the face of a common danger threatening the earth.

These are both overt efforts to leverage popular culture to motivate action against climate change. 


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