IPCC Report and war in Ukraine

17 Mar 2022

It’s another email in your inbox! Welcome to the first edition of the Climate Newsletter for WinColl.

Stories covered in this newsletter:


United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report Working Group II - wow that’s a lot of acronym.

The IPCC (United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) has released part 2 of 4 (the final part is a summary) from their sixth Assessment Report (AR6). This Report is dedicated to assessing impacts on people, adaptations we can actually put in place and our vulnerabilities. It is more stark, more damning and as hopefully as the previous report. Despite the huge increase of “natural” disasters in recent years it is clear that - on our current trajectory - things will be many many times worse for an at risk population of 3.3-3.6 billion (with a ‘b’) people by ~2040.

Over the past 5 years, 270 scientists have assessed 127 risks spread over 30,000+ pieces of research to come to absolute and solid conclusions. We are no longer reading speculations about the future; these are unequivocal facts about our future. The Secretary General of the UN calls the report “an atlas of human suffering” and says “corporations are guilty of arson on our only hope” in his speech to the press (link below). Extreme weather is already seen around the world, and the new report, more than any previous ones, is absolutely certain about attributing disasters and effects we can see to Climate Change. The report highlights how much we need to adapt and not just mitigate (most of our climate spending is on mitigation).

We have already seen 1.1C (max 1.2C) of warming and are stuck with myriad adverse effects but we can cut future damages by more than half (in some cases) by taking drastic climate action now.


BBC: IPCC report summary
Short read

This readable summary of the findings of AR6 Working Group II’s report is a pretty good in to understanding this report. I encourage you to look at some of the resources below if this grabs your attention (and even if it doesn’t).

IPCC: AR6 Working Group II
Long read

If you have the time, it’s definitely worth giving some of the resources on this page a read. There is Summary for Policymakers (37 pg.), or even the full 3,675 page report if you have the time (I don’t!). More realistically, there are convenient factsheets and breakdowns by topic and chapter to go over if you want to get into the weeds of any part of the report.


IPCC: AR6 Press Conference + Q&A
Medium watch (long if you stick around for the Q&A)

This is the video that everyone is quoting. It begins with a brilliant speech from the UN Secretary General and the Q&A portion is preceded by a ~20 minute presentation summarising the findings of this report (with the usual smattering of “you’re muted” technical difficulties that lets you play the game of “how long before somebody reaches over and presses the unmute button?”).


Outrage + Optimism: 141: Adapt or Die! IPCC Report
O+O can also be found on Spotify, apple podcasts, Overcast, or your podcast app of choice. A full transcript is available on their website.

This episode of O+O featuring Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Centre on Adaptation, a Dutch foundation working to create a climate resilient world, provides a brief and digestible summary of part 2 of the IPCC 6th Assessment Report. O+O is consistently a priority for me to catch up on because I am guaranteed an informative, entertaining and focused podcast - go subscribe to them.

War in Ukraine

The war in Ukraine has made energy independence a Defence issue. We can’t sanction Russia as much as we’d like to because we are still dependent on Russian Gas. The thing is: if we used renewables and were more energy independent this simply wouldn’t be an issue. However, we’re here now and Oil and Gas are trying to push us in quite the opposite direction. They want us to rely more on Oil/Gas/Coal and potentially send the west back a few decades. This simply hugely overestimates the effect that these changes could have on an individual country’s energy situation For a more detailed breakdown of how this argument falls apart see below.


Greenpeace: Help people affected by the war in Ukraine
Short read

This brief article provides a hub of links you can donate to to support those in Ukraine. There is no just world where the horrors happening to Ukrainians are simply allowed.

The Guardian: Oil and Gas lobbyists are using Ukraine to push lies
Medium read

This piece by Raúl M Grijalva, chair of the US House committee on natural resources, puts to rest some of the lies to Oil and Gas industry is trying to push. They are using the crisis in Ukraine as an excuse for yet more economic gain. The clear reliance of Europe especially on Russian gas is, I think, a queue for us to move towards renewables we can generate locally as fast as possible.


Outrage + Optimism: Ukraine and Climate with William Hague and David Miliband
O+O can also be found on Spotify, apple podcasts, Overcast, or your podcast app of choice. A full transcript is available on their website.

This episode of O+O boasts two former British foreign ministers as guests and puts an interesting and hopeful perspective of the crisis in Ukraine. It is quite possible the west could be reformed for the better, simply due to necessity but that relies on sticking to our morals and taking this as a reason to use more renewables not less.

Planting on ‘Liz Meads

We find good news closer to home; Sebastian Fennell and Felix Von-Moltke have at last begun planting on Elizabeth Meads (the one past New Hall). It was a project 18 months in the making, with help from pupils across the school and Winnall Primary, to plant upwards of 250 trees (with many more to come later)! The Headman even came by to plant a tree himself and pose for a photo. But, 18 months? What Seb and Felix have pulled together is amazing, but the time and effort required to do it is downright ridiculous. There are good signs: most of the governing body and people they had to talk to were enthusiastic about the idea, sadly it did not take many conservatives to draw the project out for an age. Not only did they draw it out but they reduced the scope significantly as well, from the whole of Liz Meads to just the far corner of it - in case they want to make a football pitch there later. This seems like a misalignment of priorities to me!

Now that Seb and Felix have pulled this off, we can only hope approval process is smoother for future projects, of which there need to be many.

Winchester College: Elizabeth Project takes root
Short Read

They wrote about it on the school blog! This brief article highlights the collaboration they did with Winnall Primary School.

Lightning Round!

Here we go with a collection of miscellanea.

Activism and how to do something: Fridays For Future, Zero Hour

Activism or doing something are some of the best ways to relieve Climate Anxiety. If you’ve read this far into this email, please come to Sustainability Society in E4 @ 17:15 on Thursdays or email AIC/Agastya Nashier/Oscar Mitcham.

Greenpeace: UK fishermen are teaming up with Greenpeace + Q&A
Medium watch

Greenpeace’s Operation Ocean Witness has formed a surprising alliance with UK fishermen in Newhaven. Operation Ocean Witness was a campaign to record huge shipping vessels in MPAs (Marine Protected Areas) - a seemingly meaningless acronym that encloses areas of diversity in British seas. This short documentary (followed by Q&A) really helps make clear the scale of the problem on British coasts.

Pricing Nature: Intro to Carbon Pricing
Pricing Nature can also be found on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Overcast, or your podcast app of choice. A full transcript is available on their Substack page.

Season 2 of Pricing Nature is here! There is no better time to go right back to beginning and listen to the whole podcast. Pricing Nature is a very limited-series podcast from the Yale Center for Business and the Environment which tells the story of carbon pricing. Because each episode builds on the last, I highly recommend going back to the beginning (so do they) and working your way through the episodes. In this first episode the hosts (Casey, Naomi, and Jacob) break down what Carbon Pricing is and how to design good policies.

Spotify: The Stubborn Optimist’s
You can find the original compilations if you scroll back far enough in O+O’s feed (they’re bonus episodes). They include some discussion from the artists about the songs.

Those who know me will know how much of a fan of music I am. It’s useful in all kinds of situations, including while trying to write a newsletter about climate change. This is a link to a Spotify playlist I made from songs at the end of O+O episodes (every song was at least inspired by climate change).

Thanks for getting to the end of this! If this has resonated with you particularly and you’d like to help out or there’s something you’d like to see in the future, please drop me an email. I leave you with a quotation:

“One day these words will be obsolete” - Paul Goodenough in a foreword to The Most Important Comic Book on Earth.

Oscar Mitcham