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In a recent campaign email, U.S. Rep. Sean Casten repeated a talking point often used by Democrats about how little time remains to turn the tide on climate change.
"Most climate scientists agree that we only have less than a decade to turn things around or else we’ll be stuck with a 'worst case scenario' including rising sea levels, devastating droughts, and worsening famines," read the email, which was attributed to Casten.
Casten - Entrepreneur - Illinois - District - Democrats
Casten, a former clean-energy entrepreneur who flipped Illinois’ west suburban 6th Congressional District for the Democrats in 2018, isn’t the first politician to contend the planet faces a hard deadline on climate change. Prominent Democrats, including presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, made similar claims earlier this year that were contradicted by scientists in fact-checks by The Associated Press and CNN.
Casten’s claim and others like it trace back to a 2018 report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Report - Nations - Actions - Emissions - Trajectory
That report said nations must take "unprecedented" actions to reduce emissions, which will need to be on a significantly different trajectory by 2030 in order to avoid more severe impacts from increased warming. However, it did not identify the hard deadline Casten and others have suggested. In part, that’s because serious effects from climate change have already begun.
The panel predicted that if warming continues at its current rate global temperatures are likely to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels between 2030 and 2052. If temperatures exceed 1.5 degrees, the report cautioned, the planet will face greater disruptions, some of which "may be long-lasting or irreversible." To keep temperatures from rising above that temperature, the report stated with high confidence that carbon dioxide emissions would need to start dropping "well before 2030" and be on a path to fall by nearly half by...
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