“There is a long and infamous history of world leaders marking humanity’s “last chance” to avoid the ravages of man-made climate change.
In 1989, for instance, the director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program warned that rising sea levels would cause entire nations to disappear if the global-warming trend were not reversed by the year 2000. “Ecological refugees will become a major concern,” he cautioned, “and what’s worse is you may find that people can move to drier ground, but the soils and the natural resources may not support life. Africa doesn’t have to worry about land, but would you want to live in the Sahara?”
In 2007, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gave the world just a few years to act: “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.”
Two years later, Prince Charles warned that we had just 96 months to avert “irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse, and all that goes with it.” “Our consumerist society comes at an enormous cost to the Earth,” professed the man with multiple palaces, fleets of automobiles, a large and permanent entourage, endless opportunities for world travel, and all the other trappings of royalty. “We must face up to the fact that the Earth cannot afford to support it.””
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Zycher, Benjamin National Affairs, Number 48 Summer 2021.