As if our environmental anxiety wasn’t already bad enough, a literal doomsday clock counting down the precise minutes until climate change becomes irreversible has been put up in New York.
The terrifying doomsday clock is part of the Climate Week NYC celebrations, serving as a constant visual reminder that we are *this* close to totally fucking our planet.
Metronome – aka the big clock – has been around for more than 20 years, but it usually just displays the time. But at 3pm on Saturday afternoon, it all changed.
Now, the clock reads the precise amount of time we have left to curb our greenhouse gas emissions to give the Earth a 60% chance of staying below the dreaded 1.5 degrees of warming. For those of you playing at home (*cough* Scott Morrison *cough*), this is the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement, that Australia is not on track to meet.
But if you’re struggling to understand *why* the Paris Climate Agreement targets are so crucial to meet, the clock is a bloody good way of pointing out how real the problem is.
When the clock switched over, the time read: 7 103 15 24 11.
That means we have 7 years, 103 days, 15 hours, 24 minutes and 11 seconds left to sort our shit out. Well, that’s what we had on Saturday. It’s even less time now.
Andrew Boyd, one of the climate activists behind the countdown clock, told CBS how important it is for us to act now.“You can’t negotiate with reality,” he said. “You can’t negotiate with science. Scientists are telling us that the next seven years are crucial to the fate of the Earth and to humanity.”
To put it simply, we need to start finding solutions right now. This is no longer an issue that we can leave for our grandchildren, or even our children to deal with. The damage will be irreversible before the babies born today even finish primary school.
Even *if* we meet the targets that are already looking pretty unlikely, that only gives us a 60% chance of keeping the Earth below 1.5 degrees of warming. So basically, we need to be doing absolutely everything in our power to work towards that goal for our best chance at saving the planet.