Monday, January 24, 2005

Climate Change

I have long said that Climate Change was the issue of our generation, and our children's generation, and their children's generation.

In the last few years, I have noticed that the usual increase of CO2 in the environment of just over a part per million had suddenly started to increase to 1.6, then 1.8, then in 2002 it was over 2, and perhaps in 2004, it may increase by 2.3 parts per million. Although hardly positive, this is what scientists call positive feedback. It means that as we get warmer, more CO2 is emitted.

This could be a runaway.

That means our time to deal with this issue is approaching criticality.

Tomorrow, a report from the International Climate Change Task Force, co-chaired, by the way, by Senator Olympia Snowe will say something very close to that.

Reuters, Al Jazeera, and The Independent are running the story, as is this site.

Point of No Return for Climate Change Will Be Reached in 10 Years

Author: Institute for Public Policy Research
Published on Jan 24, 2005, 06:57

As chair of the G8, the Prime Minister should seek agreement to create a G8-Plus Climate Group to engage the US and major developing countries in action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to a high-level taskforce established by the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr), the Centre for American Progress and the Australia Institute.

In its report out tomorrow (Tuesday), the International Climate Change Taskforce concludes such a group would provide a way for G8 countries and other major economies - including India and China - to take action that would lead to large-scale reductions in emissions. The G8-Plus Climate Group would pursue partnerships to achieve immediate deployment of existing low-carbon energy technologies, including agreements to shift agricultural subsidies from food crops to biofuels and promote sales of highly efficient cars.

The report also argues that all G8 countries should set a lead by adopting national targets to generate at least 25 per cent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025 and mandatory cap-and-trade schemes for emissions, like the EU scheme.

The Taskforce also calls on governments to agree to a long-term objective of preventing global temperature from rising by more than 2 C above pre-industrial levels.

Rt Hon Stephen Byers MP, co-chair of the Taskforce with US Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, said:

"Our planet is at risk. With climate change, there is an ecological time-bomb ticking away, and people are becoming increasingly concerned by the changes and extreme weather events they are already seeing. Urgent action is required if we are to win the battle against this problem.

World leaders need to recognise that climate change is the single most important long term issue that the planet faces and to discharge their responsibilities to the people they represent by agreeing to concerted international action to tackle climate change."

The Al Jazeera story goes on:

It says the danger point will be signalled when temperatures rise by two degrees Celsius above the average world temperature in 1750, before the industrial revolution.

The report says that global average temperature has already risen by 0.8C since then, so the world has little more than a single degree of temperature latitude before the crucial point is reached.

The consequences of such a rise could include widespread agricultural failure, water shortages and major droughts, increased disease, sea-level rise and the death of forests, according to the report.

There are only a few people around now who even try to debate this.

Most of them are carbon guys.

I remember when the cigarette company guys stood in front of that Congressional Panel and they all said, "Nicotine is not an addictive drug".

When you are a smoker, you will believe anything.

Just as long as you can keep on smoking.

Where do you think we got the phrase

blowing smoke?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A local Presbyterian minister just went to India for sabbatical. When he got there he was literally sickened by the polluted air. He had to "take to his bed" for a few days to aclimate. This is the first time I recall anyone ever being the very air they breathed.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Climate change is clearly a real peril to the well being of humankind, yet, I believe that this story was not fit to print in the NYT. Tomorrow maybe?

9:18 PM  
Blogger oZ said...

I do not see the story in the NYT today or yesterday.
Maybe they don't subscribe to Reuters anymore. Didn't make local paper either.

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I search google news and found it no where in the american media at all except for some little paper in new england ran it. a warning more dire than anything a terrorist could offer and no one runs it.

What about the networks and cable?

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Tuesday, Jan. 25, page 2, Sec. A of the Statesman under World Digest is a paragraph "Alarm on global warming" referring to said report.

7:11 PM  
Blogger oZ said...

thanks, I missed it. anyone else find it?

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blair mentioned it at Davos.

10:49 AM  
Blogger oZ said...

I noticed that there are several events scheduled world wide for the Kyoto Treaty coming into law this Feb. 16.
Don't see any in the geographic state of the US though.

12:34 PM  

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