On August 9, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a 3,000-page report that experts says offers an “unprecedented degree of clarity” about the future of our planet. Hundreds of top scientists contributed to the report, and called it a “code red for humanity.”

IPCC pointed out in a press release on the report: Many of the changes observed in the climate are unprecedented in thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years, and some of the changes already set in motion...are irreversible over hundreds to thousands of years. However, strong and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases would limit climate change.

“This report is a reality check,” said IPCC Working Group I Co-Chair Valérie Masson-Delmotte. “We now have a much clearer picture of the past, present and future climate, which is essential for understanding where we are headed, what can be done, and how we can prepare.”

There is hope: Human actions still have the potential to determine the future course of climate, the scientists assert, pointing to clear evidence that CO2 is the main driver of climate change. IPCC Working Group I Co-Chair Panmao Zhai stressed, “Stabilizing the climate will require strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and reaching net zero CO2 emissions. Limiting other greenhouse gases and air pollutants, especially methane, could have benefits both for health and the climate.”

Thankfully, changemakers in the natural products industry are already hard at work raising awareness. In July, I connected with Tom Newmark, Chairman of The Carbon Underground, on the subject. He told me, “We’re in a mass extinction event of our own causing, and people can’t see their way out of the grip of the prevailing paradigm of exploitation. And so we’re being crucified on the myth of there being ‘no other way.’ But of course there are other ways. Surely many other ways—we’re just getting started on our regenerative journey.”

For more on just how urgent this situation is, check out this year's feature on Regenerative Agriculture. In addition to providing an update on the crisis, experts outline the actions being taken that will make the difference we all depend on for the health of people and the planet. Implementing the changes that need to be made is challenging, they say, but as the IPCC report shows, there really is no other choice.

As the Delta variant takes hold and restrictions begin to tighten again throughout the U.S., we’re seeing the impact once again on industry events. Two events planned for September have been canceled. As we send this issue to the printer, Natural Products Expo East is still on, with precautions including mask mandates, proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test. We’ll post updates on www.WholeFoodsMagazine.com as more information becomes available.

Trending Markets...and How YOU Can Master Them!

In the September issue, Senior Editor Julia Peterman offers an update on the Healthy Aging market. And there’s so much more to know! Coming up on September 29-30, Naturally Informed presents Healthy Aging: Mastering the Market, powered by WholeFoods Magazine and Trust Transparency Center. We’ve been hard at work planning our deep dive into the category, exploring the preventative measures including lifestyle choices and supplementation to optimize brain health, rev energy, support joint health, maintain a healthy heart and strong immune system and more! Head to www.NaturallyInformed.net to check out our world-class lineup of speakers, including Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., and many other familiar industry names.

This is the fourth Mastering the Market event of 2021. If you missed any of the others (Mental Wellness, Nutri-Beauty, Active Nutrition) you can access all of the content on demand for free at www.naturallyinformed.net/on-demand/. Don’t miss out!

I’ve been spoiling my big guy Cody throughout COVID. For an update on how pet parents are pampering their pals, see September's pet health feature.

Maggie Jaqua

Content Director