Sunday, June 15, 2008

A Last Call

Even as the 'R's manage to scuttle the American response to global warming, a prestigious group from the our sister nation down under has called for an urgent response, a last call, for their country to change course and fashion an effective response that is consistent with the grave challenge that we face:

The group, which includes some of the country's leading scientists, population, and health experts - as well as politicians, says that global warming is accelerating at a greater speed than previously thought and the window of opportunity for avoiding severe consequences is rapidly closing.

JOINT STATEMENT: Last call on Climate Change

Global warming is accelerating. The Arctic summer sea ice is expected to melt entirely within the next five years, - decades earlier than predicted in the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 4th Assessment Report.

Scientists judge the risks to humanity of dangerous global warming to be high. The Great Barrier Reef faces devastation. Extreme weather events, such as storm surges adding to rising sea levels and threatening coastal cities, will become increasingly frequent.

There is a real danger that we have reached or will soon reach critical tipping points and the future will be taken out of our hands. The melting Arctic sea ice could be the first such tipping point.

Beyond 2ÂșC of warming, seemingly inevitable unless greenhouse gas reduction targets are tightened, we risk huge human and societal costs and perhaps even the effective end of industrial civilisation. We need to cease our assault on our own life support system, and that of millions of species. Global warming is only one of many symptoms of that assault.

Peak oil, global warming and long term sustainability pressures all require that we reduce energy needs and switch to alternative energy sources. Many credible studies show that Australia can quickly and cost-effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions through dramatic improvements in energy efficiency and by increasing our investment in solar, wind and other renewable sources.

The need for action is extremely urgent and our window of opportunity for avoiding severe impacts is rapidly closing. Yet the obstacles to change are not technical or economic, they are political and social.

We know democratic societies have responded successfully to dire and immediate threats, as was demonstrated in World War II.

This is a last call for an effective response to global warming."

And yet, even as floods careen through our cities and farms in some part as a result of our inability to overcome the political, social, and economic inertia that has frozen our body politic into a slow lumbering kamakazi, we remain docile.

We will lose our home, a habitable earth, our mother,

Because we failed to look up to our father, the original energy,

The Sun.

Last Call.

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Blogger Charlie Loving said...

Too bad we missed it, The Last Call, the bar has already closed. As the song says, "The Party is Over." There is no longer a debate and no longer time to change, the tilt has happened and we are rolling down hill faster and faster.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

possibly true, but we are still at the top of the hill and our actions now may buy enough time for the generations that follow us.

8:56 PM  

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