VOICES: Climate change happening fast, 4 years to act

The internationally accepted authority on the climate crisis is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The IPCC includes scientists from 195 countries who do a systematic review of all relevant published literature to provide a comprehensive update on climate change, its effects and potential strategies.

In August, the physical science working group of the IPCC released its report, the sixth assessment since 1988. It will help guide decisions and policies set at the next international Climate Summit to be held in November in Glasgow, Scotland.

The lengthy assessment of more than 14,000 peer-reviewed studies gives irrefutable evidence that climate change is happening now, human activities are the unequivocal cause, it’s happening faster than expected, we have only about four years to take significant action, and we still have a choice.

Here are other points summarized in the report:

• Many changes due to past and future greenhouse-gas emissions are irreversible for centuries to millennia, especially changes in the ocean, ice sheets and global sea level;

• Things will get much worse if we continue on our present course. In the short term, droughts, fires, extreme heat, flooding and other climate impacts will continue to increase;

• Our priority must be to replace all use of fossil fuels for transportation, energy and agriculture, and to transition to a 100% renewable-based energy system;

• Change will require bold action at every level of government and with strong public support: we must immediately stop subsidizing the fossil-fuel industry and halt fracking, pipelines and other fossil-fuel infrastructure;

• Methane in particular is a key driver of climate chaos. It is the core component of natural gas, and as a greenhouse gas is 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period. Cutting methane could be the single biggest and fastest strategy for slowing down warming;

• We need bold investments in the renewable-energy industry, research and development, and support for start-up companies, as well as providing training and employment opportunities;

• We need to ban factory farms, transition away from industrial agriculture and invest in training and development of regional regenerative agriculture;

• We must invest in making our water systems, housing and other infrastructure climate-resilient with net-zero emissions;

• If 10 to 30% of the population were to demonstrate commitment to low-carbon technologies, behaviors and lifestyles, new social norms would be established;

• We need massive investment to transform energy systems, transport, industry, land use and agriculture and housing, and to prepare for the acceleration effects of climate breakdown, not the death cult of conservative economics.

Presently, the single-most important opportunity the U.S. has for meaningful climate action is before our members of Congress in the form of the Reconciliation Bill. It is the most-significant legislation in decades, and would help transition workers from fossil-fuel jobs to green jobs, develop green infrastructure and fight the climate crisis.

President Biden has also asked Congress to include the cancellation of fossil-fuel subsidies, about $15 billion annually, into the Reconciliation Bill. In addition to fighting the climate crisis, the reconciliation package invests in health care, elder care, child care, education, food security and infrastructure that the American public strongly supports. Now is the time for bold leadership, not “moderate” inaction.


Laurel Brier is involved with the Kaua‘i Climate Action Coalition. The KCAC meets via Zoom the third Monday of the month. Email kauaiclimate@gmail.com to join or for more information. Education forums are held the second Wednesday of the month at 6 p.m., and on Sept. 8 will be on tourism and the environment. For more information go to the ZeroWasteKaua‘i FaceBook page or register at bit.ly/sustainabletourismkauai.

  1. Pam September 5, 2021 1:59 am Reply

    And so it begins….
    At least the Covid-19 and vaccination deniers will have something else to deny for a change.

    1. Natural September 6, 2021 10:36 am Reply

      Why is oceanfront property still the most valuable?
      No one can deny that humans change our environments, poisons, overconsumption, deforestation…but the earth has natural cycles too. We have been in a solar warming period for the past few thousand years. We can only do so much. Chicken liberal the sky is falling fear mongers only want more control…don’t buy it! Buy used, repair before you replace, support sustainable consumption, recycle…and most of all don’t vote fear mongering tyrants into office! Chose freedom to make your own decisions.
      Oh…and buy oceanfront property, it’ll be the best investment you ever made.

  2. YuCalJoe September 5, 2021 5:10 am Reply

    Don’t fall for this. It’s nothing more than a money grab backed by ignorant thinking. Yes, be good stewards of the earth and its resources. But enough with the fear tactic on everything. First it was two years, now its 4 years. Lies live forever until the truth is revealed. Use common sense, and drop the hyper fear thinking. The earth has been changing before mankind existed, and it will continue to do so. Yes, we do pollute. Just like animals do with their waste. THINK!!! It overcomes fear and lies.

  3. Everythingisawesome September 5, 2021 8:11 am Reply

    “Many changes…are irreversible for centuries to millennia, especially changes in the ocean, ice sheets and global sea level”
    The name of this movie was “Waterworld”. It was science fiction, as in “not real”. It “starred” Kevin Costner as a fish-man and it was pretty bad. I don’t recommend wasting your time on it. Aquaman, starring Jason Mamoa, is way mo betta.

  4. Mailman Mike September 5, 2021 8:44 am Reply

    There is no climate crisis except for you.

  5. Timmy September 5, 2021 11:50 am Reply

    Regenerative agriculture is by far the most important of the all of these action items.

  6. Bill Mitchell September 6, 2021 4:26 am Reply

    How specifically might this be accomplished. Will India and China participate? Reconciliation Bill is certainly not the answer.

  7. Doug September 6, 2021 8:49 am Reply

    “Our priority must be to replace all use of fossil fuels for transportation, energy and agriculture”
    “The average visitor to Hawaii is responsible for the equivalent of 1.8 tons of CO2(e) global warming emissions in air travel to Hawaii.” (Star Advertiser, September 6, 2021).
    Air travel to Hawaii is the number one contributor to climate change from our state. If they truly cared about climate change, all of the climate change activists that “care” about climate change could change that by not coming here, but it would negatively affect their vacations, so this state will have NO effect on climate change until this issue is addressed, no matter how many electric cars the government buys. (mic drop)

  8. Kama'aina September 6, 2021 9:23 am Reply

    Just another conspiracy theory to scare and divide us. In 67′ they said world wide famine by 75′, 69′ everyone will die of a blue steam by 85′, 70′ ice age by 2000, 72′ new ice age by 2070, 88′ Maldives under water by 2018, 89′ NYC Westside hwy under water by 2019, 2008 Gore says arctic ice free by 2013, 2009 only 9 years to save the planet, 2014 only 500 day before climate disaster. At what point do we demand real science instead of science fiction.

  9. nothings free September 6, 2021 9:34 am Reply

    Modern doomsayers’ have been predicting climate and environmental disasters since the beginning of time, and they continue to do so today. None of the apocalyptic predictions in our lifetimes, with due dates as of today, have come true! On over 50 occasions, these so-called “Scientific Experts”, backed by the “Scientific Community” have predicted some terrible environmental catastrophe was imminent … and it never happened! NOT EVEN ONCE have these “SCIENTIFIC” alarmists had one of their predictions come true. Why would any sane person blindly listen to these so called “experts” with an accuracy record of ZERO out of the last FIFTY doomsday predictions? Why would we completely restructure our economy and sacrifice our personal freedoms while we watch these Politicians, Big Government, Big Pharma, Health Care employed sheep, dolts who are 0 for 50? Other than our bloated Government/Politicians, the large Health Care conglomerates, the “Scientists” who do their bidding, the Media that makes more money when there’s sensationally bad news, and the mostly inept individuals who take up their cause and spew the disaster warnings like little sheep baa-baaing at the moon? Does it just make the sheep feel like they’re more important! More significant? Why? So the charlatans can make money hands over fist at our expense? Even though they wreak with the smell of corruption!
    1. 1966: Oil Gone in Ten Years
    2. 1967: Dire Famine Forecast By 1975
    3. 1970: Ice Age By 2000
    4. 1970: Urban Citizens Will Require Gas Masks by 1985
    5. 1972: Oil Depleted in 20 Years
    6. 1974: Ozone Depletion ‘Great Peril to all Life skin cancer and blindness to increase
    7. 1975: The Cooling World to create a Drastic Decline in Food Production
    8. 1976: Scientific Consensus Planet Cooling, Famines imminent
    9. 1977: Department of Energy Says Oil will Peak in 1990s
    10. 1978: No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend
    11. 1979: Peak Oil in 2000
    12. 1980: Acid Rain Kills Life In Lakes
    13. 1988: World’s Leading Climate Expert Predicts Lower Manhattan Underwater by 2018
    14. 1989: UN: Entire Nations Wiped Off the Face of the Earth by 2000 Global Warming
    15. 2000 Y2K Computer virus to shut down computers worldwide Society could collapse
    16. 2005: Fifty Million Climate Refugees by the Year 2020
    17. 2008: Arctic will Be Ice Free by 2018
    18. 2008: Climate Genius Al Gore Predicts Ice-Free Arctic by 2013
    19. 2009: Climate Genius Al Gore Moves 2013 Prediction of Ice-Free Arctic to 2014
    20. 2013: Arctic “Ice-Free” by 2015
    These are only twenty out of the hundreds of “Scientifically” backed, alarming predictions that HAVE NOT COME TRUE! Not one!!! What is the definition of insanity again?

  10. Kama'aina September 6, 2021 9:43 am Reply

    Stop the conspiracy theories that do nothing but divide us. We need real science not science fiction. Fear based climate scares are all these are. Started in 67′ saying worldwide famine by 75′ to kick off the GMO ag race. Followed by everyone will disappear in a blue steam by 89′ in 69′, then in 70′ ice age by 2000, 88′ Maldives will be under water by 2018, 89′ NYC westside underwater by 2019, 2000 snowfalls are a thing of the past within a few years, 2008 arctic will be ice free by 2018, and Gore saying in 2008 that there will be no more ice by 2013. And on and on and on. When do we stop listening to the BS?

  11. Lord of lords September 6, 2021 12:43 pm Reply

    “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”
    ‭‭II Peter‬ ‭3:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

  12. Heyyy September 6, 2021 7:53 pm Reply

    You climate charlatans are the chicken littles of the world. Yes the earth is warming. No, we’re not gonna buy your carbon credits and follow your nonsensical approach to more regulation in the us. All the while China overfishes the oceans, India pollutes on an astronomical level as well as China. Have you ever even been to a 3rd world country. They don’t care about climate change. They are worried about how they will eat. Will they have clean drinking water day to day survival. Not teslas and paper straws. CPACK. Or whatever you guys do is a non profit offshoot created to profit from climate saving stuff or so they say. We don’t care.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.