PBS Terra Explores Earth's Future at Climate Tipping Points

In an insightful video by PBS Terra, titled "What Will Earth Look Like When These 6 Tipping Points Hit?", the channel delves into the concept of climate-related tipping points and their potential impacts on our planet. Released on September 6, 2022, the video has attracted significant attention, highlighting the urgency of understanding and addressing these critical thresholds in our climate system.

The video explains that a tipping point is when a small change pushes a system from one stable state to another, often dramatically. In the context of climate change, tipping points refer to moments when certain environmental systems undergo irreversible changes due to global warming. The International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has identified 15 potential climate-related tipping points, and the video focuses on six major ones: the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, the Amazon rainforest, global monsoons, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), and the Earth's permafrost and coral reefs.

Key points from the video include:

  • Arctic Warming: The Arctic is warming two to three times faster than the rest of the planet. This leads to the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, which contributes to rising sea levels and potentially disrupts the AMOC.

  • AMOC Disruption: The weakening of the AMOC, partly due to freshwater from melting ice, could have drastic global climate impacts, including a mini ice age in Europe and higher sea levels in North America.

  • Monsoon Shifts: Changes in the AMOC could disrupt global monsoon patterns, affecting agriculture and food supplies for over a billion people.

  • Amazon Rainforest: Increasing droughts and changes in rainfall patterns pose a risk to the Amazon, potentially leading to its transformation from a carbon sink to a carbon source.

  • Permafrost Thawing: The thawing of permafrost releases greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide, contributing further to global warming.

  • Coral Reef Bleaching: Coral reefs are rapidly being bleached due to rising ocean temperatures, leading to a loss of biodiversity and marine life habitats.

The video emphasises that the consequences of these tipping points would be catastrophic, affecting everything from biodiversity to human livelihoods. It also highlights the interconnectedness of these systems and how changes in one can influence others.

Despite the grim outlook, the video concludes with a message of hope, suggesting that there is still time to prevent the worst-case scenarios. It calls for urgent action to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts, underscoring the importance of early warning systems and proactive measures.

This PBS Terra video serves as a crucial reminder of the delicate balance of our planet's climate systems and the need for immediate and concerted efforts to protect our environment.

Leonardo DiCaprio's Passionate Plea for Climate Action: A Call to Save Our Planet

In a powerful and emotionally charged video edited by Mirek Sasek, Leonardo DiCaprio delivers a compelling speech on the urgent need for climate action. The video, titled "The Greatest Speech Of Leonardo DiCaprio | Climate Change | by MirekLeFou," was released on 18 November 2016 and has since resonated with audiences worldwide, amassing over half a million views.

DiCaprio, a long-time environmental activist and UN Messenger of Peace, draws attention to the alarming rate of global warming and its catastrophic impact on the planet. He cites record-breaking temperatures and extreme weather events as undeniable evidence of climate change, directly attributing these changes to human activity.

Throughout his speech, DiCaprio paints a vivid picture of the devastation he has witnessed around the world: cities like Beijing suffocating under industrial pollution, the clear-cutting of ancient boreal forests in Canada, rainforests in Indonesia being incinerated, and the rapid disappearance of glaciers in Greenland and the Arctic. These experiences have left him "absolutely terrified" about the future of our planet.

DiCaprio criticises the lack of political will to address this crisis, despite the availability of solutions. He stresses that the planet cannot be saved unless fossil fuels are left in the ground. His speech is a call to action, urging for immediate and unprecedented measures to combat climate change.

The Paris Agreement, while a significant achievement, is not sufficient, according to DiCaprio. He calls for a new collective consciousness and evolution of the human race, driven by a sense of urgency. He challenges world leaders to move beyond mere promises and take bold, decisive actions.

DiCaprio's speech concludes with a powerful message: the current generation is the last hope for Earth. The actions taken now will determine how future generations will view us – as protectors or as those who stood by while the planet suffered. He implores everyone to take responsibility and act before it's too late.

This video serves as a stark reminder of the severity of the climate crisis and the urgent need for global action. DiCaprio's passionate plea is a rallying cry for all to join the fight to save our planet.

Talking About Climate Change: Insights from Action for the Climate Emergency

In an enlightening video titled "The Secret to Talking about Climate Change," released by Action for the Climate Emergency on 24 August 2021, viewers are offered guidance on how to engage effectively in conversations about climate change with friends and family. Drawing inspiration from the research of Dr. Renee Lertzman, an expert in the psychosocial aspects of climate change communications, the video presents a novel approach to this crucial topic.

The central message of the video is the significance of listening in discussions about climate change. It suggests that initiating a conversation with alarming facts about climate change might lead to people disengaging or feeling defensive. Instead, one should aim to understand the other person's perspective first. The video emphasises the need to ask for permission before starting the conversation, ensuring the other person is ready and open to engage.

Once the conversation begins, the focus should be on inquiring about the other person's thoughts and perspectives on climate change, rather than immediately sharing one's own views. This method fosters a genuine dialogue where both parties feel heard and valued. The video advises resisting the urge to interrupt or correct, even when faced with views that one might disagree with.

When it's time to share one's own thoughts on climate change, the video encourages speaking from personal experience rather than attempting to convince the other person. Sharing personal concerns and stories about how climate change affects one's life can be more impactful than presenting scientific facts or political arguments.

The aim of these conversations, as outlined in the video, is not necessarily to change someone's mind instantly but to open the door to ongoing discussions about climate change. By concluding the conversation on a positive note and expressing gratitude for the exchange, the likelihood of future discussions is increased.

This approach to climate change conversations is about building trust and understanding, creating a space where people can express their concerns and learn from each other. The video concludes by encouraging viewers to initiate these conversations, highlighting their potential to make a significant impact in the fight against climate change.

Here are the main seven points:

  1. Listening Over Lecturing: The video underscores the importance of listening in climate change discussions, suggesting that starting conversations with alarming facts can cause defensiveness. Understanding the other person's perspective is crucial.

  2. Seeking Permission: It's advised to ask for permission before initiating the conversation, ensuring the other person is receptive and open to the dialogue.

  3. Focusing on Inquiry: Rather than imposing one's views, the video recommends inquiring about the other person's thoughts on climate change. This approach fosters a genuine two-way dialogue.

  4. Sharing Personal Experiences: When sharing one's perspective, speaking from personal experience is encouraged, as it can be more impactful than scientific data or political arguments.

  5. Goal of Conversations: The aim is not to change minds immediately but to open doors for ongoing discussions. The video suggests concluding positively and expressing gratitude to enhance future dialogue opportunities.

  6. Building Trust and Understanding: The approach is about creating a safe space for expressing concerns and learning, thereby building trust and understanding.

  7. Encouraging Viewer Participation: The video concludes by urging viewers to initiate such conversations, highlighting their potential impact in combating climate change.

The video from Action for the Climate Emergency is a valuable resource for anyone looking to engage more effectively in discussions about climate change, emphasising the power of listening, empathy, and personal storytelling in creating meaningful dialogue.

Ashden's Toolkit Empowers Cities to Tackle Climate Emergency with Co-Benefits Approach

Ashden, a renowned sustainable energy charity, has released a video titled "Tackling the climate emergency: tools for cities," which emphasizes the critical role cities play in addressing the climate crisis. Uploaded on June 18, 2019, the video highlights the importance of well-designed policies that connect the climate emergency with people's everyday needs, thereby garnering public support for significant, rapid changes.

The video underscores that 80% of carbon emissions are generated by cities, making urban areas pivotal in the fight against catastrophic climate change. It argues that policies which align climate action with the improvement of jobs, local economies, green spaces, housing, and travel can simultaneously address

climate and social issues. For example, improving air quality not only benefits public health but also reduces NHS costs. This saving can then be redirected to enhance public transport or make homes more energy-efficient.

Ashden's approach is about creating a virtuous cycle where greater public support for climate action empowers councils and governments to implement more radical carbon-cutting measures. As these policies yield positive results, they can unlock new funding sources and integrate various budget areas, further accelerating climate action.

The video introduces the Ashden co-benefits toolkit, a resource designed to assist city regions and local authorities in taking urgent action against the climate emergency. This toolkit provides practical guidance on how to implement policies that not only stop climate change but also improve the quality of life for citizens now and in the future.

By focusing on the co-benefits of climate action, Ashden's message is clear: tackling the climate crisis is not just about reducing emissions; it's also about creating healthier, more prosperous, and more sustainable communities. This approach offers a hopeful and holistic path forward for cities grappling with the dual challenges of climate change and urban development.

The video from Ashden serves as a call to action for cities around the world, highlighting the urgency of the climate crisis and the transformative potential of integrated, people-centered climate policies.

Nottingham's Innovative Approach to Tackling Traffic Congestion and Air Pollution

Nottingham City Council has taken a pioneering step in addressing traffic congestion and air pollution through its Workplace Parking Levy (WPL). This initiative, the first of its kind in the UK, was highlighted in a video released by Ashden on June 16, 2017, titled "Efficient city networks lies in low-cost travel cards."

The WPL imposes a modest charge on employers providing 11 or more parking spaces for their workforce. The revenue generated from this levy is then reinvested into sustainable transport measures within Nottingham. These measures include the development of electric buses, cycling infrastructure, trams, and the introduction of a public transport smartcard known as the Robin Hood card.

The video features S. Robertson, the environmental manager at Nottingham Trent University, who explains the impact of the WPL. The levy has encouraged people to reconsider their travel habits to and from work, thanks to the investment in Nottingham's excellent bus service, supported by an extensive tram network and cycle lanes.

The introduction of the Robin Hood card has made it easier and more convenient for residents to use public transport. This shift towards sustainable transport options is not only reducing the number of car journeys in the city but also improving air quality.

Robertson personally attests to the massive improvements seen in the city, citing the ease and speed of travelling around the city centre using public transport. The efforts of the council to enhance air quality and promote sustainable transport are visibly appreciated by the residents.

The success of Nottingham's Workplace Parking Levy and its associated sustainable transport initiatives serves as an innovative model for other cities grappling with similar issues of traffic congestion and air pollution. It demonstrates a practical approach to urban environmental management, where economic tools are effectively used to encourage positive behavioural changes among both employers and employees.

The video by Ashden underscores the importance of such initiatives in creating cleaner, more sustainable urban environments. As cities around the world face increasing challenges related to traffic and pollution, Nottingham's approach offers valuable insights into how these issues can be tackled effectively.

Grantham Institute Highlights Multiple Benefits of Climate Action for the UK

The Grantham Institute at Imperial College London has released a compelling video, "How can taking action on climate change make all our lives better?", which underscores the wide-ranging benefits of addressing climate change. The video, which has garnered attention since its release on September 11, 2018, delves into how climate action can simultaneously address various societal issues, from improving public health to boosting the economy.

The video outlines several key areas where climate action can make a significant impact. Firstly, it highlights the role of improved energy efficiency in homes, which not only helps alleviate poverty by reducing heating costs but also decreases the risk of illnesses like asthma and pneumonia. This, in turn, could lead to substantial savings for the NHS.

The transition to electric vehicles is another focal point. The video points out that electric vehicles can drastically reduce air pollution, particularly in city centres, helping everyone breathe cleaner air. Additionally, promoting cycling and walking can further reduce pollution and improve overall public health.

Dietary changes are also discussed, with a focus on the health benefits of consuming less meat. A diet lower in saturated fats can reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.

Economically, the video emphasises the job creation potential in the low-carbon economy. It also notes that climate action can reduce the risk of extreme weather events, which can disrupt lives and increase the costs of food and insurance premiums.

From an energy perspective, the video stresses that energy efficiency and renewable energy can enhance the UK's security by reducing reliance on imported oil and gas. On an international level, climate action can decrease the risk of conflicts over resource access.

Finally, the video touches on the environmental benefits, including the preservation of natural habitats and vulnerable species like polar bears, ensuring these are protected for future generations.

The Grantham Institute's message is clear: there is still time to avoid the worst consequences of climate change, and the benefits of taking action are manifold. The institute encourages viewers to join their mailing list or follow them on social media for the latest news and commentary on climate change and the environment.

Birmingham Air Quality Crisis

Birmingham Air Quality Crisis

Doctors and residents of Birmingham have raised serious concerns about the city's air quality, highlighting the impact of pollution on health, particularly among children and those with respiratory issues. These concerns were brought to light in a recent video interview, where the comparison was made to contaminated water to underline the severity of the issue.

"If our water came out of our taps and it was brown, everyone would be up in arms,", remarked Dr Elizabeth Sapey, Respiratory Consultant at the QE Hospital, emphasising the invisibility of air pollution yet its equally harmful effects. The interview shed light on the growing anxiety among inner city families, especially those with young children, about the air they breathe.

Parents in the city are increasingly troubled by the health implications of polluted air. One mother shared her distress over her child's severe coughing at night, which was eventually linked to air pollution. This has led to difficult decisions regarding her child's education, prioritising health and clean air over other considerations.

Health professionals in the video confirmed these fears, explaining how air pollution exacerbates respiratory conditions like asthma. "When you go into an area of high air pollution, the lungs start to become more inflamed, making you feel wheezy and it's harder to breathe," Dr Sapey stated.

The residents' frustration is compounded by what they perceive as a lack of adequate response from political leaders. Despite clear evidence linking air pollution to increased mortality rates and a higher likelihood of developing certain diseases, there appears to be a reluctance to address the issue effectively.

The effects of air pollution in Birmingham are not just theoretical but are being felt acutely by its residents. Many have reported experiencing physical symptoms due to high pollution levels. "I can taste the pollution, I can smell the pollution, and my actual breathing becomes more laboured," a resident described, illustrating the tangible impact of pollution on daily life.

This outcry from the Birmingham community underscores the urgent need for action from local authorities and policymakers. As residents argue, clean air should be a fundamental right, necessitating tough but essential decisions to safeguard public health and quality of life.

Jonathan Pie Brings Humour to Climate Science in The Independent's Latest Video

Warning: some swearing

In a unique approach to climate communication, The Independent has released a video featuring comedian Jonathan Pie, real name Tom Walker, who collaborates with Climate Science Breakthrough to demystify climate science jargon. The video, titled "Comedian Jonathan Pie simplifies professor’s climate science jargon," presents a humorous yet insightful take on the pressing issue of climate change.

Bridging the Gap Between Science and the Public

The video features Emeritus Professor of Atmospheric Physics at Imperial College London, Joanna Haigh, alongside Jonathan Pie. Haigh provides the scientific facts about climate change, which Pie then translates into layman's terms. This approach not only makes the information more accessible but also adds a touch of humour to a typically serious subject.

A Stark Reality with a Comedic Twist

Pie's interpretation of Haigh's scientific explanations brings a new perspective to the climate crisis. For instance, when Haigh mentions the unprecedented and rapid increase in CO2 levels, Pie quips, "When we got this planet, it was in pretty good Nick. I think we're about to get told off." This blend of comedy and science effectively highlights the severity of the situation while keeping the audience engaged.

Highlighting the Urgency

The video addresses various aspects of climate change, from extreme weather events to the rapid heating of the coldest regions on Earth. Pie's commentary, such as referring to the Earth going from a "fairly calm globe" to "bucking bronco mode," underscores the urgency of the situation in a manner that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.

The Role of Humour in Climate Communication

This innovative approach by The Independent, using humour to communicate complex scientific information, is a significant step in raising public awareness about climate change. It demonstrates that humour can be an effective tool in engaging a wider audience and conveying the seriousness of environmental issues.


The Northants Carbon Literacy website, dedicated to promoting understanding and action on climate change, recognises the value of such creative methods in climate communication. The video featuring Jonathan Pie is not just a source of entertainment but also an important educational tool, making the critical issue of climate change more accessible and relatable to the public.

David Wallace-Wells Sounds the Alarm on Climate Change in RSA Minimate

In an arresting RSA Minimate titled "Climate Change and the Future of Humanity," bestselling author David Wallace-Wells presents a grave warning about the existential threat posed by global warming. This succinct, animated feature, part of the RSA's series aimed at delivering impactful insights, underscores the urgency of immediate and collective action against climate change.

The Climate Crisis: An All-Encompassing Reality

Wallace-Wells stresses that climate change is not a distant issue but a present and all-encompassing crisis. It transcends geographical and demographic boundaries, impacting every facet of our lives, including decisions about family, job opportunities, and economic growth. This pervasive force will shape our century, necessitating a reevaluation of how we live and interact with our environment.

A Rapidly Escalating Issue

Contrary to the common belief that climate change is a gradual process, Wallace-Wells reveals a disturbing reality: over half of all fossil fuel emissions in human history have been produced in the last 25 years. This rapid escalation of damage is not a legacy issue but a current, ongoing crisis. The impacts, increasingly evident through extreme weather and natural disasters, are set to intensify unless significant action is taken.

Dire Projections

The RSA Minimate presents alarming projections if current trends persist. By the century's end, grain yields could be halved while the global population increases, leading to severe food shortages. Economically, the damages from climate change could exceed 600 trillion pounds, more than double the world's wealth today. Additionally, there is a direct link between climate and conflict, with each half-degree of warming escalating the risk of violence.

The Imperative for Urgent Action

This animation serves as a clarion call for urgent action. Wallace-Wells urges a shift from the current trajectory to avert catastrophic outcomes. The message is unequivocal: the time for denial and delay has passed, and the need for commitment and collective action is now.


David Wallace-Wells' RSA Minimate is an essential watch for everyone, particularly for communities like Northants Carbon Literacy, committed to promoting awareness and action in the battle against climate change. It reinforces the message that the climate crisis is not just an environmental issue but a challenge that touches every aspect of human existence.

Northants Carbon Literacy

Northants Carbon Literacy is committed to spreading awareness and knowledge about carbon reduction strategies. Our goal is to empower communities and individuals to make sustainable choices for a better future.


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