It’s now or never: Scientists warn time of reckoning has come for the planet | The Observer
Robin McKie 15/8/21
At the end of the 60s sci-fi classic, The Day the Earth Caught Fire, the camera pans across the Daily Express case room to a front page proof hanging on a wall. “Earth Saved”, screams the headline. The camera pans. “Earth Doomed”, announces the proof beside it.
The head printer looks baffled. Which page will he be told to select? We never find out, for the film concludes without revealing the fate of our planet whose rotation has been sent spiralling out of control by simultaneous Soviet and US atom bomb tests. All we know is that Earth’s fate hangs in the balance thanks to human stupidity.
Such a vision may be the stuff of popular entertainment but it comes uncomfortably close to our own uncertain future, as highlighted last week by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which effectively announced “a code red” warning for our species. Unequivocal evidence showed greenhouse gas emissions were propelling us towards a calamitous fiery future triggered by extreme climate change, it announced. Only urgent reductions of fossil fuel emissions can hope to save us.