The climate disaster isn’t coming. It’s here.
July 2019 is now the hottest month in recorded history, the U.N. confirmed on Thursday.
At a press conference in New York, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres announced that the month of July had reached 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a figure that “at least equaled if not surpassed the hottest month in recorded history,” according to data released by the World Meteorological Organization. Temperature information from July is still streaming in, but preliminary data show last month’s warmth is roughly on par, or perhaps slightly warmer than the previous record of July 2016.
In cities and towns around the world, record high temperatures outpaced record low temperatures on nearly a 3-to-1 basis during July, underscoring the fact that this crisis is being felt almost everywhere, by almost everyone.
But there’s an added madness to this crisis. In its annual Statistical Review of World Energy released a few weeks ago, the global oil giant BP confirmed that in 2018 the world burned the most fossil fuels of any year in history. In short: Our addiction to fossil fuels is getting worse and worse even as the planet gets hotter and hotter.
Read more: RollingStone