The Times, 16 September 2019:
Sir, It is highly abnormal for bush fires to run out of control in springtime (“Drought-ravaged Australia braced for worst fires ever”, Sep 13). Last autumn temperatures in the Arctic reached 30C above the historic average, and this summer we have witnessed a new phenomenon: wildfires in the Arctic. Melting of the Greenland ice cap has reached 8,500 tonnes per second, four times faster than predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Temperatures worldwide are rising faster than expected and may well reach 1.5C of warming by 2030 rather than the IPCC forecast of 2040.
Another new phenomenon is that these events are being widely reported by the media. The only thing that remains unaltered is the total lack of any meaningful response from our politicians. During Boris Johnson’s time as foreign secretary, British embassies lost 60 per cent of their climate attachés. The real danger of populist politicians is their ability to ignore existential threats to our survival.
Dr Robin Russell-Jones
Chairman of Help Rescue the Planet