Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg makes a heartfelt appeal for action on The 1975’s latest album.
British band The 1975 have a history of opening each album with an eponymously titled refrain. The forthcoming album Notes on a Conditional Form, which is due for release in February 2020, continues the naming tradition but otherwise breaks the mould.
The band has partnered with Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who makes a compelling case for climate action in a single dropped on Friday – a day after the UK reached an all-time temperature record for July.
Understanding climate change
Increased temperatures and severe weather create critical challenges for crop cultivation, economic and social security, and civilisation itself. Global temperatures are rising and weather patterns now carry more energy as a result of more heat being trapped in the earth’s atmosphere.
This heat would normally dissipate into space, leaving the earth’s climate system. But because of increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, more heat is trapped. This trapped heat both warms the atmosphere and adds additional energy to the earth’s naturally occurring climate systems.
The more carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere, the more heat is trapped, and the greater the impacts of climate change. The climate is already warmer and more violent because of climate change. The scientific consensus is that the climate can only sustain a 1.5 degree increase over pre-industrial levels (IPCC).
Carbon emissions now need to be eliminated by 2050 to prevent breaching this threshold. The challenge is significant, since the world currently burns about 100 million barrels of oil every day.
Impacts on coffee
Global warming is already having an impact on coffee production, with some traditional growing areas now too wet and warm to support coffee crops and many coffee farmers are actively working to mitigate the impacts.
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It’s in the coffee industry’s self interest to take action on climate change.
The team at United Baristas have a longstanding interest in how the UK coffee industry can play its role. We have also been engaged in a project to identify how the coffee industry can best take action, which will be presented at Caffè Culture 2019.
Greta Thunberg’s speech
We are right now in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis.Greta Thunberg, on The 1975
And we need to call it what it is. An emergency.
We must acknowledge that we do not have the situation under control and that we don’t have all the solutions yet. Unless those solutions mean that we simply stop doing certain things.
We admit that we are losing this battle.
We have to acknowledge that the older generations have failed. All political movements in their present form have failed.
But homo sapiens have not yet failed.
Yes, we are failing, but there is still time to turn everything around. We can still fix this. We still have everything in our own hands.
But unless we recognise the overall failures of our current systems, we most probably don’t stand a chance.
We are facing a disaster of unspoken sufferings for enormous amounts of people. And now is not the time for speaking politely or focusing on what we can or cannot say. Now is the time to speak clearly.
Solving the climate crisis is the greatest and most complex challenge that homo sapiens have ever faced. The main solution, however, is so simple that even a small child can understand it. We have to stop our emissions of greenhouse gases.
And either we do that, or we don’t.
You say that nothing in life is black or white.
But that is a lie. A very dangerous lie.
Either we prevent a 1.5 degree of warming, or we don’t.
Either we avoid setting off that irreversible chain reaction beyond human control, or we don’t.
Either we choose to go on as a civilisation or we don’t.
That is as black or white as it gets.
Because there are no grey areas when it comes to survival.
Now we all have a choice.
We can create transformational action that will safeguard the living conditions for future generations.
Or we can continue with our business as usual and fail.
That is up to you and me.
And yes, we need a system change rather than individual change. But you cannot have one without the other.
If you look through history, all the big changes in society have been started by people at the grassroots level. People like you and me.
So, I ask you to please wake up and make the changes required possible. To do your best is no longer good enough. We must all do the seemingly impossible.
Today, we use about 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground.
So, we can no longer save the world by playing by the rules. Because the rules have to be changed.
Everything needs to change. And it has to start today.
So, everyone out there, it is now time for civil disobedience. It is time to rebel.