Is It Too Late To Stop Climate Change? Well, it's Complicated.

Birt 29 sep 2020
This video is part of a series about climate change supported by Breakthrough Energy - a coalition founded by Bill Gates, that is working to expand clean-energy investment and support the innovations that will lead the world to net-zero carbon emissions.
Also a special thanks to the team at Our World for helping us out with data and research!
Sources & further reading:
Climate Change is just too much. There is never any good news. Only graphs that get more and more red and angry. Almost every year breaks some horrible record, from the harshest heat waves to the most rapid Glacier melt. It’s endless and relentless.
We have known for decades that rapid Climate Change is being caused by the release of Greenhouse Gases. But instead of reducing them, in 2019 the world was emitting 50% more CO2 than in the year 2000. And emissions are still rising. Why is that? Why is it so hard to just stop emitting these gases?
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  • We created our first app ‘Universe in a Nutshell’, together with Tim Urban of Wait but Why! You can get it here: Appstore: Google Playstore:

    • Brilliant video! Request you to make continent or country specific videos assessing and highlighting what they are doing and what they need to do to meet the need of the hour. Thank you!

    • These implications are not to be afraid of. We have to adapt. We have to grow or be killed. It is not a safe world, greed has driven ppl to extremes. For these negative desires, we will be competing for survival. To live comfortably, when the most comfort is laying on a hammock in the wilderness on the beach, at ur finger tips..... We are fully challenged, as we speak, these same implication has left the reptiles, the dino days to stay fittest.

    • if i had fifty bucks right now :(

    • You watch CCP grey

    • can you make a video on hadron collider or particle accelerator

  • I wanna know if the Paris climate agreement is doing anything to save the planet

  • You know, crystals can actually be an extremely efficient renewable energy source. These crystals are called piezoelectric crystals such as quartz, amethyst, tourmaline and topaz ect. They can generate energy by applying a charge, physical stress, or heat. And they never “run out” of energy charge because they never had a charge to begin with, The end of a crystal’s life is when it is broken or destroyed, otherwise it can generate electrical power forever. As a wiccan, I learn a lot of the magnificent power of crystals. They are not just used for magic or medicinal purposes. Sometimes we gotta look past what mundane society tells us, and see what nature has generously provided us with to improve our living whilst protecting our dear planet.

  • if we erase 80% of humanity Thanos Style maybe

  • We already know how to stop climate change. What I would like to know, is why we don't do it. I mean, an accurate analysis of what prevents us to just stop this.

  • I read somewhere that using the solar energy that falls onto 1% of the Earth's surface would allow us to power the entire world for many decades. Are we as a species really this dumb that we can't come together to build some damn solar panels and end the energy insanity? Totally. We're lazy and greedy and bound to collapse soon.

  • gg brothers.

  • I have a soluion C R E A M

  • Thx.

  • I presented this to my class in a different language and got an A. Thanks Kurzgesagt!

  • I love these science vids. I'm playing with the srs tool app to get answers to these important issues from the other side LOL Just in time for Halloween 🎃 🤪

  • Yeah humans have definitely f**ked our planet. We are a literal virus ruining it. We need to reduce human population drastically and reduce fossil fuel use

  • I love these climate change episodes, I wouldn't mind having more on other topics related to it. Thank you for the fabulous content!!

  • As a 13 year old, i’ve accepted the fact that I won’t live even half of my life due to this bad environment my generation will inherit in the future🙃 I’ve got to admit, it is scary

  • Could you do a video about the impact of individual and collective action? Many videos focus on high-level policy but we, consumers and voters, are the largest polluters and have the most power to change things.

  • People set goals for the future and when we don’t meet the goals, people will just say, “no worries, we’ll just set more!”

  • please do a video about hemp (not cannabis , of course) and how it can help the climate crisis (hemp eco fuel , hemp paper , hemp clothes , hemp plastics) ps : I love your videos!!

  • Economic growth is about being more productive and producing more of what people need to live a better live. Unfortunately petrol is still the most efficient energy source. Aparently nuclear energy is far better, but people are scared. Wind and solar are interesting but they will no make up for fossil fuel. People usually have no idea how much energy does it take to melt steel. We are still highly dependable on fossil.

  • Ohh man! I left Carbon footprint watching this video🥴

  • On 0:12 there is a little card saing duck news

  • Nice detail that Paris will be the first city rioting - some things never change...

  • we just need China to keep pouring out Viruses like it usually does to lower the population, problem solved

  • japan decided to throw away fukusima radioactive water in the ocean. The sea is not unique to Japan. So we need to do whatever we can to stop this country's selfish and barbaric behavior. Although this water is said to be purified, it is really wrong because it is not perfect and has a lot of it.(1230000ton) History repeats itself. This will be the last chance the Earth will give us. Please make a copy of this article and upload it on SNS for once. Please. We can stop that barbaric behavior.

    • @고구마구운 _"Most garbage can be collected"_ Yeah, when toxic materials are purposefully dumped into the ocean, then it has no effect on it, and countries will just send some boats to fish it out... Once the USA dumped barrels with radioactive waste into the ocean in front of Florida. A while later the barrels came back to the surface, floating around there, so the US military sent fighter jets to shoot at the barrels until they'd sink again. _"People who eat seafood will get cancer"_ Nonsense. The micro plastic and other chemicals are far worse. Our body is used to deal with low amounts of radiation due to having evolved in an environment with natural background radiation. I agree that what Japan is doing is shitty, but most countries treat the ocean like a dump and fck our bodies up.

    • @Hm Grraarrpffrzz I know that other countries don't have to stop this just because they do similar things. The discharge of 1230000 tons of radioactive water into the sea is a different matter than dumping waste in the sea. Most garbage can be collected. But the radioactive water can't be recovered. It's a big mistake to think of pollution only in the sea. People who eat seafood will get cancer, have more malformations, and slowly the land will be polluted.

    • Well, lots of countries do such stuff. The USA has the habit of loading old ships with waste, dragging them out to the ocean, and using them as practice for their military.

  • This is so childish, Bill Gates has disgraced himself with this garbage. The video statement: "we have known for some time that CO2 causes rapid climate change" is a complete misrepresentation. the truth is that climate scientists have known for even longer that climate change is driven by a very complicated mix of hundreds of factors and the greatest factor according to the IPCC is the Milankovitch Cycles. As for CO2 levels....well they are lower now than at virtually any other time throughout the history of the planet.

    • @spillarge Again, you’re right. Temperature on any given day is not a direct result if CO2. Bit the increasing trend can only be explained by CO2. This is not the least controversial. We have known this for a long time, and the rise has been pretty accurately predicted.

    • @Væringjar yes of course, however how can you be so sure the changes we have seen over the last 30 years can all be atributed to one element. Surely all the other drivers are in play too. Also, it isnt a given that a few parts per million of one element can change temperatures to the warmer. There have been plenty of times in the past when Co2 levels have not changdd and temperatures have changed. You can see that in the Hadcrut cet data

    • @spillarge Milankovitch cycles are *long term* drivers. We understand them very well today, which is why we know that they aren’t the reason for current warming.

    • @Væringjar CO2 as a driver of temperature was first theorised 100 years ago but at that time they didnt understand that the Milankovitch cycles were the main driver of climate change. Now they know. What has given you the impression that the only factor driving climates to change today is CO2?

    • You’re right in as far as the milankovtich cycles are the biggest variable on a long time frame, but CO2 is the main driver now. CO2 has indeed been a lot higher in the past, but current levels are higher than we have seen in the past 1.000.000 years. Way longer than homo sapiens have been around. That CO2 is a driver of temperature has indeed been known for at least the past 100 years.

  • That's funny. It doesn't sound that complicated to me. It just sounds like the answer is a resounding "Yes, it is too late." We are on the final burn of civilization, and here out, it crashes. I'm glad I'm middle-aged so I saw a wonderful world (even coral reefs before they mostly died) before we squirted billions of babies for no reason. Now we have 7.8 billion of us and growing... What a stupid species! The sight of a baby anymore makes me almost gag. It's so disgusting. I love the hopium at the end "It is still very much possible". What a crock of bullshit. They can't make a video like this without the self-delusion crap at the end, though, can they. That's sad.

  • I mostly disagree with this video. Renewable energy technology has been around since the 80s we do not necessarily need to innovate. The oil industry and its grasp on politics have prevented a transition for their own benefit and nobody else. We suffer as a result of our dependence on fossil fuels we do not need fossil fuels to develop and improve standard of living. This is a myth invented by the fossil fuel industry.

  • for all i know that this dude likes birds.

  • I'd like a video that explains why all our plastic waste ends up floating in the ocean, even if we put it in the recycling bin.

  • 핵폐기물에 대한 답이 없는 핵발전소는 더 이상 다음 세대에 남겨주면 안 됩니다. 10만년간 안전하게 보관할 장소도 없지만 안전하더라도 10만년간 보관하는 비용까지하면 경제적이지도 않죠. 우리가 에너지로 쓰고 다음 세대에는 생명을 위협하는 쓰레기...여러분 어떻게 생각하시나요? 구석기시대 사람들이 생명을 위협하는 쓰레기를 남겨 지금도 보관하고 있다면 우리는 그 사람들을 어떻게 생각할까요?

  • I would like to know more about economics

  • What this video misses entirely is the plants adapting to higher CO2 levels and starting to consume more of it. Each plant species itself will adapt, and also the ratio between more CO2-consuming plants and less CO2-consuming ones will change.

  • I think the big companies are to blame for most of this

  • demoralizing..

  • I love your videos keep going

  • I remember 10 years ago that millionaire scientists (Obviously paid by oil companies) tried to deny climate change with tests and 90% believed them, why not? they brought the best in the world, why would they lie to us ??, here are the consequences of not having believed the few scientists who did not silence and speak the truth ... we are doomed, humanity is very stupid... we are the product of our own ignorance.

    • If you have carbon catching plants. Why not build a 100.000 of them?

  • İzledim

  • we need to do more research to fusion energy if we can make that efficiently we have taken a big step

  • just use condom during sex to stop reproduction and stop having sex without protection or condom

  • Fan fact:People are always saying funfact

  • Yes, it's too late.

  • Here's an unpopular opinion, Whos to say people will outlive covid to even make it to those few years we have left due to climate change. It will be a small group of the human population left to work with the remaining of what we so claimed the human specie abolished--which is power, energy. It cost a fortune while we are here but the small selected survivors I insist will not be working with wages or budgeting. Its like charging a Stranded survivor rent on an abandoned Island---Who would???? That's the thing they wouldn't . So think BIGGER you guys. I

    • Well, Covid 19 is not deadly enough to wipe out mankind, and improving the energy technology we have does not mean abolishing energy.

  • How to stop climate change? Most of the world: Increase energy efficiency and take action to reduce CO2 emissions America: Climate change isn’t real

  • How to stop climate change? Most of the world: Increase energy efficiency and take action to reduce CO2 emissions America: Climate change isn’t real

    • 1. What percentage of the current warming is contributed by people? 2. What will the average temperature increase be in 50 years? 3. If everyone one on earth shut down every factory and every machine, and shot themselves in the head today, what would the temperature change be in 50 years?

  • *Use Ecosia the search engine* Every 45 searches on average plants a real tree on the planet!! 🌱🌳🌴🌲🌿

  • Wait don't trees absorb CO2 And bring back Oxygen? So would a 0 CO2 world cause no oxygen. I know too much CO2 is definetly bad but would 0 CO2 cause no Oxygen

    • Oh ok

    • By zero CO2 we mean humans are not adding CO2 to the carbon cycle. We still need CO2 in the atmosphere.

  • 1 weakness of the entire logic: Germany, Japan and many others build the new coal plants, why if they need to change into reneval? something does not add here

    • Yeah, it doesn't add up because of the fundamental lie that CO2 levels today are above historical records. They are not and therefore there is no point in playing the game.

  • holy fuck dude...if they created the more energy efficent products then the fucking bills and the fucking numbers of energy needed should go down...are they? cause in my country they rise year by year the biggest problems here are the corporations, cause for them the entire idea is a bad deal, so we all pay for them to change production, then it will be them who get the benefits...great idea...shame it is great for them only...

  • Good luck with the volcano's & the methane in the permafrost :)

  • 05:20, why not animate chemtrails into your animation? Are you racist?

  • If you have carbon catching plants. Why not build a 100.000 of them?

  • Thank God it is not the sun and ocean cycles that have the most influence in these cycles.

  • Watch "The RCP 8.5 Cheat: Debunking the IPCC's favorite climate-change forecast." A CDN video on ISchats

  • fusion.

  • I want to know, in your opinion, how should I live in order to make a difference?

  • Global Warming Catastrophe depends on when the next "Volcanic Cycle" begins. As of right now we are in "Cold" cycle. A normal non-hominid volcanic cycle would again and again and once again bury the state of Florida under water. So what is global warming? If the next Volcanic Cycle begins in the next couple centuries along with all that methane (PooP) frozen at the bottoms of our oceans warms up, then life in Bangladesh comes to an end.

  • The real problem is the rich billionaires who want to have all the power and make our world modern egypt with them being the pharaohs. They want to enslave us all. They've already done the first step: Create a system where they can corrupt everything and use their wealth to take over everything. Why do you think our public education is so terrible? We don't even learn history until later in our lives! It's just "social studies". Kids should be learning about Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley! It's the system, all our presidents are just bribed pawns for the rich. The Next step for world domination is to gain extreme wealth. They've already done most of this.(Looking at you, jeff bezos, with your net worth of 175 billion and gates, with your net worth of 110 billion, pretending to donate to charity when you're just giving to the bill and melinda gates foundation, pretemding to be wonderful, caring people when you guys are sick monsters). Now we get to climate change. Rich people are making cuts to the quality of their products. Cars get heavier, making more smoke. More coal plants. the rich are burning up our planet and are using capitalism and bribery to brainwash us and destroy our planet. For the next-to-last step, the rich must globalize our currency. Once they rule american currency, they will make our currency global, but they will call it something else and say that this new currency will get rid of poverty, when in fact, it will only spread their rule to every corner of the planet. How will they do global currency? Digitize it. Look at our coin shortage blamed on the fake pandemic(this isn't a lie, they've been counting death as covid deaths if there is -traces- of covid in them). look at credit cards. a digitized noney can be taken away from us if we disobey their will. Our food, our homes, taken if we do not obey. And for the final step: To dominate the world. And the darkest thing about this is that they've already done this step. I'm sure plenty of us have worried how to feed their families. I'm sure plenty of people are working at mcdonalds, or living in an apartment. We are slaves to our wages, our money, our need for food. The rich control our lives, our education, our leadership(when was the last time you chose the candidate for president), and most importantly, our laws and our leadership. by controlling these they force their will upon all of us. Police, if you are reading this, please look for the corruption in your organization. Police who are seen sprinkling drugs in peoples cars to frame them, or being racist and charged brown and black people with unfair charges. I Bet you do this out of necessity. If you don't get enough tickets in you will lose your job, your and your families(if you have one) will starve. And why charge those who look like you with unfair charges than those who look different? Power is in numbers. Stop hating each other, stop letting the rich divide you with politics and racism, covid and masks. We need to voice our complaint. remember: the rich are in the one percent- we are the 99. Those of you who are poor, do not blame your suffering on the anti-maskers of the black and brown people. It is the rich's fault. Be kind to your friends, no matter their belief. spread the word of this division, and what we can do to stop our hatred of each other. Care for each other. It is the least you can do to stop climate change, enslavement, plastic in the oceans, and world poverty.

  • This is why we need green energy more than ever.

    • cleetus grab the shotgun

  • Permaculture is the way we can reverse climate change! See the documentary Kids the ground!

  • There is another theory that we can actually somehow make CO2 good for the environment, though it’s just a theory, unless it’s proven you should not take my word on it.

  • There is a theory that we were actually once on mars, and that we completely destroyed it. Though I think it’s false because why wouldn’t we add documents or have a bit of knowledge about our pass selves on mars?

  • Ahhh, the joy of knowing the species if fucked makes me feel better about wasting my life.

  • a very great take as always (I'll be using this topic for an assignment so it's really helpful)

  • Guys we have to stop this Climate Change and stop making so much pollution like cars,why don't we use electric cars?

  • I’m starting to realize that we’ve always been the real monsters

  • you're worrying too much, the earth just need one supervolcano eruption and lives on earth will be rebooted

  • Thorium reactors and hydrogen powered cars are the answer.

  • Its not climate change that causes these horrible natural disasters, its 2020

  • Stop the PSYop

  • Bobux

  • cleetus grab the shotgun

  • you know maybe thannos was onto something

  • Climate change always existed and always will be. Humans cant stop it, and dont have any influence on it. Stop being stupid.

    • they have a bit of influence on it but not through the so-called "greenhouse effect" that people are shilling left and right

    • Proof?

  • The Science is Settled... Our Current Ice Age Will Continue It’s 10,000 Years of Melting... But the Last 100 years is All YOUR Fault. LMFAO

    • @VeryEvilPettingZoo 15,000 years of Natural Melting Vs your 100 years of Fake Science... Prove your Point...

    • Correct, the science is settled - the last 100 years have been our fault (as will the next several hundred). What's your point?

  • Sooo...... Efficiency is a big Lie?

  • Nuclear all the things

  • I'd like to see a video discussing the pros and cons of nuclear power, touching into the ideas and reasons behind whether or not a full conversion would be beneficial or detrimental to our progress towards less carbon emissions. From what I understand using an electric vehicle, even powered by a coal plant, produces less carbon than a gas engine does in terms of miles per unit of emission; which further pushes the question of converting more and more things to electric would be safer in the long run? OR on the contrary, which the production and mining of resources used in batteries being worse for the environment than simply using combustion engines.

  • It's obvious that CO2-emitting businesses should be unsubsidized and taxed. What's not so obvious is that these companies employ lobbyists on their payroll to exactly prevent that. How do you fight this?

  • Hi, would you have any objections if I used your video for my school science project? I wanted to ask you as it’s the right thing to do. Thanks C

  • The solve the problem, we need a virus to break that vicious cycle... so we can stopp all of it and make a great reset. :-P

  • Pangea had a warmer climate and the dinosaurs were killed by the asteroid. Climatic hysteria.

  • Would like to see a video on direct air capture 🙏

  • Developing countries like to grow Laughs in Argentinian

    • trying to figure out how to INCREASE CO2 in the atmosphere because it got too low. One thing is certain. Wind and solar will NEVER be a viable replacement for fossil fuels.

  • Is carbon capture actually a thing? is it efficient?

  • The animations are gradually getting better..

  • Dear Kurzgesagt, please study more carefully the CRITIQUES of eco-modernism. Please devote as much attention to what you call "action" in this video, as to what you call "innovation". You have a serious problem here, and I really hope you can do better.

  • Honestly. Im deeply dissappointed in our own species. For many reasons to be honest. But as it pertains to "Climate Change". Im going to help you out. Our planet has been changing ever since it was formed. By being slammed over and over by molten rock. Do you people think its just done now.? And it's up to us to keep it as healthy as we can? We can't even keep our oceans and rivers and our lands clean! And you think we are gonna fix our atmosphere? Really?? Let me help you. We can't do anything about our atmosphere. We may get get it a little healthier sure. But thats about it. Fact is we are just not that powerful as a species. And our planet will continue changing and evolving no matter what we do. We are like ants in the universe. We exist because our atmosphere in its current state, made us happen. You can fill an aquarium full of dirt, nothing else. Just dirt. And in time. Life will begin on its own in that aquarium. But in in time, no matter what we do, our planet will no longer support life. Period. We are all just a moment. A blink of an eye as far as the overall universe time. I bet the dinosaurs thought they'd live forever too. Oooops. Then the ice age came, due to gasses released in the atmosphere the sun could not shine through. So over time, which part of our planet would warm first? The middle part yes! That leaves the north and south poles still covered in snow and ice. And believe it or not at some point it will melt. Duhhh??? No matter if another asteroid hits us, and ends us, no matter if we as an ignorant species blow ourselves up with nuclear warfare. If none of those things happen, rest assured our planet will continue to change to a point where life can be no more. And we are powerless to prevent that in any way. Now can we find the means to move to another planet before we are squashed? Also what will happen first? Will our planet change to the point it can no longer sustain life or will our sun burn out or explode first? Please people stop with the Climate change rhetoric. We can't change it. But we can for certain stop poluting our planet. No wonder whales and dolphins Beach themselves.

  • This mans is like Bill wurtz on 1 pound of cocaine

  • "phase out fossil fuel vehicles" *flashback to stanley allen meyer story*

  • Climate change can/will reverse itself just as soon as ICE BREAKERS ARE BANNED FROM THE NORTH POLE IN SUMMER (and winter). “Think about this. Do something!” C20-20inkRWBEE

  • Sadly, technology isn't what is needed to save the world. We can't keep throwing money and science at every problem. We need to correct our morality, our excessive need for more, our hunger and thirst for greed and power. This is not an issue science can fix, there is no innovation that will cure humanity's greed.

    • You can only say this if everyone (every country) is a first wold country. If not, then no.

    • We need a new economic reality,,,,,,,, and fast!!

  • Just stop reproducing.

  • Is it too late for liberals to truly accept that the green energy builders association has been working on this issue for much longer than them and has made much more progress. We won't even talk about the political stance of most of the companies involved in making solar energy, spray foam insulation ect because it might upset you, but it's safe to say they aren't involved in "spreading awareness" as much as "making change" ;)

    • ​@VeryEvilPettingZoo - Keep having conversations with yourself and spreading awareness bud. I am sure you are very accomplished and credible. ;)

    • Liberal here - one happy to educate you that the warnings about human CO2 emissions are originating from within the scientific world, not any industry or lobby.

  • What if we phase out old inefficient items and sell New ones at same cost?

    • Good idea. Only problem is, making new technology is expensive, so it can't be the same price is old items.

  • Meanwhile Polish government: COAL IS THE ANSWER.

    • Well if Poland burns some coal it is very unlikely to make any difference to anything wouldn't you say?

  • How!!!!!!!!!!!!!$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$?????????????????@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@&&&$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  • Bill Gates? I'm out of this channel right now! I don't respect globalists!!! And Tesla already give us free energy for everyone. But free energy it's not good for globalists right? Bye bye Kurzegast.

    • And don't let the door hit you in your QAnon-And-Perptual-Motion-Machine ass on your way out.

  • I want to sleep on a bed that made out of this guy's voice.

  • Also, it cost energy to make the material, to build a windmill it cost more to build it and replace it every ~20 years, then to just let the plants run.

    • @Kettumace What do we do with all the waste from fossil fuels? Spew it into the air & into people's lungs & water. Panels and batteries can and are already being recycled in many cases, parts of the wind turbine can be recycled, the turbine blades are much more difficult although some are doing it, like Global Fiberglass Solutions.

    • @Daniel Meyers Ah I think I understand now, but after the energy provider dies we need to rebuild it. And for stuff like solar panels most of the decayed material can't be reused, what would we do with the extra material?

    • @Kettumace I think you misunderstood. Let me simplify. 6 months to energy payback. 20 year lifespan. 19.5 years of energy profit.

    • @Daniel Meyers but the energy payback didn't have any profit in energy per say if we can get the better technology then this would be a more viable solution but right now, its not worth it as its only a limited solution that will only cause more problems down the road.

    • The term “energy payback” can be defined as when a power source, in this case a wind turbine, has generated more energy than the source requires over its life cycle, which runs from construction to disposal. A 2014 study examining the life cycle impact of two-megawatt wind turbines in the United States northwest estimated the "payback time" at five to six months. That's over 19 years of low carbon energy.

  • Simple answer. Build more nuclear power plants. If we start now, in 20 years we could have as much energy as we want. Maybe if we did that, in 50 years scientists would be trying to figure out how to INCREASE CO2 in the atmosphere because it got too low. One thing is certain. Wind and solar will NEVER be a viable replacement for fossil fuels.

    • @Carlos Lemus Simply not enough energy in wind and solar to power the world. And once everyone is driving electric cars the demand for electricity will skyrocket even higher. Nuclear is the only answer.

    • Why not renewable energy, please tell me why

  • You forgot economic efficiency. If all our economic growth ends up in the pockets of a minority, we need much more of it before it benefits the rest of the population, this means an increase in living standards produces more carbon emissions than it should.