Point of No Return

by Cassady Craighill

January 22, 2013

The world is quickly reaching a Point of No Return for preventing the worst impacts of climate change. Continuing on the current course will make it difficult, if not impossible, to prevent the widespread and catastrophic impacts of climate change. The costs will be substantial: billions spent to deal with the destruction of extreme weather events, untold human suffering and the deaths of tens of millions from the impacts by as soon as 2030.

Elektrownia Patnw Coal Fired Power Station

Elektrownia Patnw Coal Fired Power Station.The world burns too much coal, oil and gas. Thats why we could soon pass the point for preventing catastrophic climate change.

Largest dirty energy expansions by 2020

click to enlarge

Largest dirty energy expansions by 2020.Yet industry is pushing 14 huge coal, oil and gas projects that will soon add 20% to the emissions already causing climate change.

Wildfires in Australia

Ross Beckley/Image Focus Australia

Wall of Fire.People are already suffering from the impacts of climate change. The world has heated up by just under 1 degree Celsius already.

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath

Hurricane Sandy Aftermath.Climate change is already supercharging our weather. People are suffering and dying now from climate change. The destruction is enormous. Governments have promised to keep climate change in check. Instead, they are ignoring the warnings of science and allowing these projects, pushing them even.

Yaroslavl, Russia - Liza Udilova

Liza Udilova

Yaroslavl, Russia.Parts of Russia are super cold. Weather events are becoming extreme.

Jerusalem in the snow - tlr3automaton


Jerusalem in the snow.Jerusalem was blanketed with snow in January 2013.

Open-Cast Coal Mine in Inner Mongolia

Open-Cast Coal Mine in Inner Mongolia.Yet China, which already has unprecedented levels of smog, will expand coal production by 20% within a few years. Its CO2levels will soar.

Open Cut Coal Mine in Collinsville, Australia

Open Cut Coal Mine in Collinsville, Australia.Despite climate change causing a severe heat wave, Australia wants to double coal exports.

Hay Point Australia Coal Terminal

Hay Point Australia Coal Terminal.Its main markets will be China and India where air pollution already kills hundreds of thousands prematurely.

Aerial of Great Barrier Reef

Aerial of Great Barrier Reef.To export its coal, Australia may destroy the Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage Area.

Powder River Basin Mining, Wyoming

Powder River Basin Mining, Wyoming.The US, 2nd biggest CO2emitter, plans a big expansion of coal exports to Asia which will increase emissions and human suffering there.

Coal Mine in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

Coal Mine in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia.Indonesia will allow the destruction of vast areas of wilderness in Kalimantan, on the Island of Borneo, to mine more coal.

Shell Kulluk Rig Assessment off Kodiak Island

Shell Kulluk Rig Assessment off Kodiak Island.An oil and gas rush may start soon in the fragil Arctic. Big companies, like Shell, want to take advantage of the destruction of sea ice, caused by climate change, to exploit this beautiful area.

Polar Bear in the Arctic

Polar Bear in the Arctic.The sensitive wildlife of the Arctic are at great risk from oil and gas development.

Alberta Tar Sands

Alberta Tar Sands.Canada plans to triple dirty oil production from the tar sands, causing a big boost in CO2emissions. Vast areas of wilderness have already been destroyed to get at the oil.

Estuary in Great Bear Rainforest

Estuary in Great Bear Rainforest.To open new markets, mainly in Asia, a pipeline is planned to run through 1,000+ kilometres of mainly wilderness across the Rocky Mountains and through the spectacular Great Bear Rainforest to the west coast of British Columbia.

Spirit Bear in Great Bear Rainforest

Spirit Bear in Great Bear Rainforest.The fragile Great Bear Rainforest is at risk.

Dolphins in Brazil

Dolphins in Brazil.Brazil plans to allow exploitation of oil just off its coast. Dolphins, whales and other species will suffer.

Xuanwei Power Station in China

Xuanwei Power Station in China.The irony is we dont need to burn coal, oil and gas. We dont need more to run our economies.

Dafeng Power Station in China

Dafeng Power Station in China.Clean and safe renewable energy, and more efficient use of energy, can run our planet. We can avoid the climate chaos of these 14 major coal, oil and gas projects.

A new Greenpeace report,Point of No Return, on these projects shows how they will lock in climate chaos.

Report: Point of No Return

ThePoint of No Returnhighlights the hypocrisy of governments. They have promised to keep warming under 2C. Yet they are promoting projects that will push warming past 3.5 and 4 and likely to 6. A frightening future.

Download the Point of No Return report [PDF]

Cassady Craighill

By Cassady Craighill

Cassady is a media officer for Greenpeace USA based on the East Coast. She covers climate change and energy, particularly how both issues relate to the Trump administration.

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