Right before the commencement of the United Nations climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland, the UN Development Program posted a video of a special guest speaker: Frankie the Dinosaur.
Frankie’s warning was clear: if we don’t work together to dramatically reduce our use of fossil fuels, we could end up, well, like him. Extinct.
“Going extinct is a bad thing. And driving yourselves extinct? In 70 million years, that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard,” Frankie (who was voiced by actor and songwriter Jack Black) declared from the podium of the UN General Assembly.
The talking dinosaur chastised humanity without holding back, saying, “You are headed for a climate disaster and yet every year governments spend hundreds of billions of public funds on fossil fuel subsidies.” Frankie ended his speech by saying that the pandemic, as devastating as it has been, is also an opportunity for countries to make the switch to green energy sources.
We have relied on fossil fuels for so long that the transition to green energy sources has proved to be complicated. Some of the world’s top carbon emitters insist that rich, developed countries provide more financial support to facilitate a smoother shift away from fossil fuels.
India is the world’s third-largest emitter of carbon dioxide, but it announced recently that it would not commit to a net-zero emissions target by 2050. Instead, New Delhi has called upon developed nations to take “historic responsibility” for the greenhouse gas emissions they have released into the atmosphere for centuries.
A senior Chinese official echoed India’s sentiments, saying that rich countries have already fallen short on promises to circulate $100 billion annually to developing countries by 2020, which has created a “critical issue of mutual trust” between each side.
“Many developed nations are pushing for more climate goals when they have yet to meet existing pledges,” said Ye Min, China’s environment vice-minister. “All parties should realize that climate goals unsupported by action are like building palaces in the air.”
If we continue on this path of disillusionment and fail to significantly slash emissions, the world is projected to warm 4.9 degrees Fahrenheit (2.7 degrees Celsius) by the end of the century compared with the end of the 1800s, dismally missing the goal of the Paris climate accord which is to limit warming to “well below” 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) compared with pre-industrial levels.
The hope is that the unconventional speaker, Frankie the Dinosaur, will catch everyone’s attention, talk some sense into the human species, and push us to fulfill our promises to ourselves and the planet before our time is up.
Source image: The Washington Post