Waking up this morning the general feeling of unease was palpable. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its 2021 report last night, issuing a very serious “code red” for humanity because of the way we’re collectively destroying the planet. But despite all the truly damning evidence combed from 14,000 research papers by hundreds of scientists over the last eight years, there’s still a glimmer of hope we can turn things around and avoid serious catastrophe.

Experts, activists and workers in the climate and environmental field quickly took to social media to put the new report into context, and to remind us that although the dire warning is bleak as fuck, there’s some positives to take out of it and ways action can be taken.

Greta Thunberg stressed that we need to be treating the climate crisis for what it is: a crisis. She tweeted that the report doesn’t tell us what to do, and definitely reinforces what climate experts have known for decades, and that it’s now up to us as a species to change our behaviour and avoid the worst consequences.

Climate scientist Dr Kate Marvel posted that she doesn’t have hope after reading the IPSS report, but said that she does have certainty of what is causing climate change, and how we as a global population can “avoid the worst”.

Dr Marvel said that those who live in a democratic country around the world have the ability to put pressure on governments about climate change, and the importance of maintaining a liveable climate. In Australia, our federal Minister for Environment is Sussan Ley, and you can contact her right here.

She said that the fear and despair is real and very valid, but people who are able to put pressure on representatives at the top end of the table should be exercising that right in this crucial time.

Science writer and environmental charity worker Jessica Law also said that the climate despair is also a “self-fulfilling prophecy”, and gives us the chance to actually do something to try and change things, instead of freezing and giving up entirely.

Jessica said there are a lot of very simple and straightforward things everyone (literally you and me and our mates) can do right now, and those are important to incorporate into our lives, as well as pushing to “change the system”.

Look it’s all grim, definitely fucked up, and the billionaires are all literally trying to leave the planet, but we also have the ability to be the generation that pushes for action and begins changing things so we don’t wind up being the last generation of humans to exist on earth.

Image: Getty Images / David Gray / Twitter / @JessicaTheLaw