A fossil fuel plant pumping pollutants into the air
As the world breaks heat records, our biggest roadblock is fossil fuel companies, and their influence. Credit: Chris LeBoutillier / Unsplash

On July 6, the world’s average temperature was the hottest ever recorded, at 17.23 C. That beat the previous highs on… July 3 and 4! June was the hottest month ever, but July is shaping up to be even hotter. Experts expect more records to break over the next while, as an El Niño weather pattern combines with record emissions to drive up temperatures.

“We have never seen anything like this before,” Carlo Buontempo, director of Europe’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, told the Washington Post, noting that “we are in uncharted territory.” Temperatures are hotter than they’ve been in 125,000 years!

People worldwide are feeling the effects, with scorching heat from Africa to Europe, across China and the southern U.S. Records are even breaking in Antarctica, where warming drove sea ice to 17 per cent below the 1991-2020 June average. In Canada, May was the hottest month ever, until June recorded even higher temperatures. We see the results in air congested with wildfire smoke.

Heat and humidity are already causing an increasing number of direct deaths, along with numerous other negative impacts — floods, droughts, wildfires, refugee crises, water shortages, biodiversity loss and more.

How bad does it have to get before the world wakes up?

Unless we reject the widespread power and influence of the fossil fuel industry in all aspects of our lives, we could reach the point of no return before we employ the many available and emerging solutions.

Industry puts massive resources into convincing people that curbing the crisis will cause too much hardship. Shell chief executive Wael Sawan recently offered an example

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