The Science is Right and Time is Short

Pam McVety

Overture Advocate Florida Presbytery

 

My name is Pam McVety. I am the Overture Advocate for the Florida Presbytery and I am asking for divestment for my grandson Thatcher who is facing a very risky and uncertain future. (Hold up picture of Thatcher.)

 

You only need to remember two things from my presentation:  The climate change science is right and the time to respond to stop it is perilously short.

 

Ninety eight percent of climate scientists agree that our burning of fossil fuels is releasing heat trapping greenhouse gases which are warming the planet. With less than a one-degree Celsius increase we have sent the West Antarctic ice sheet into an irreversible melt and inflicted untold harm on millions of people by way of droughts, floods, famines, wildfires and rising seas. 

 

167 countries agree that we must keep additional warming under two degrees.  Yet, the fossil fuel industry wants to burn enough fossil fuels to release five times more CO2 than is considered safe and would drive the temperature rise way past two degrees.  This must not happen.  We are already facing a catastrophe that threatens our civilization. 

 

People don’t realize how little time we have left to avert this tragedy. Carbon emissions need to start dropping immediately at a rapid rate to avoid the 2 degree increase, yet in spite of all our good efforts they are continuing to climb at an accelerating rate.

 

For Floridians and many others, sea level rise has real consequences.  Imagine standing in a street in Miami Beach with sunny skies and watching the Atlantic Ocean bubble up from the storm drains.  This now happens every time there is a full moon and a high tide.  This is not a prediction. This is our new reality.  With the melting of the West Antarctica ice shelf, sea level will inundate South Florida and other parts of Florida.

 

How much worse must it get while we continue to study and talk to an industry that will not listen to us?  

 

We have a chance to make a real difference by joining the world-wide divestment movement.  Divestment shows that we are taking responsibility for the harm we are causing and sends the message that the fossil fuel industry must no longer put its profits over the welfare of all humankind.

 

Thank You.

 

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For further reading go to:

Synthesis of World Wide Climate Science Research for Last 24 Years: www.ipcc.org.

Climate Science Basics: www.fossilfreepcusa.org.

Scientific Consensus: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/may/16/climate-change-scienceofclimatechange.

How much is Safe to Burn: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719.

Unstoppable Antarctica Melt: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?release=2014-148.

Miami Flooding: http://southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org/pdf/Regional%20Climate%20Action%20Plan%20FINAL%20ADA%20Compliant.pdf.

Target Emission Reductions:  http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0804/0804.1126.pdf.

Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature. James Hansen, et al.  http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0081648.

James Hansen and the Climate-Change Exit Strategy. http://monthlyreview.org/2013/02/01/james-hansen-and-the-climate-change-exit-strategy.

Extreme Weather: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/07/30/1205276109. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140122-noaa-extreme-weather-2013-climate-change-drought/#.