Thursday, February 03, 2005

G.I.A.T. Briefing on Crazy Weather for Busy Folks

{2/15/2005 update: See Too Late to Worry about Global Warming}

Another in a series of major international conferences on CLIMATE CHANGE is going on this week -- see link above for how alarming it is. As before, the USA is dragging its feet and obstructing, probably because the US is the largest contributor of greenhouse gases in the world. Amid hot whirlwinds of propaganda and confusion, today's bloggence points out where to find the facts.

Pentagon Report Describes Global Warming Dangers

According to the Pentagon report one year ago, an imminent scenario of catastrophic climate change is "plausible and would challenge United States national security in ways that should be considered immediately." It says global warming "should be elevated beyond a scientific debate to a U.S. national security concern."

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The World Bank , not known as a very environmentally concerned institution, is now investing in the economic consequences of climate change, which will significantly hurt poorer developing countries more. They have crunched the numbers and the $ dollar signs are enormous.

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The Pew Center on Global Climate Change has an important archive of free reports from basic science to the best in-depth technical studies; from local to national to international studies; and policies, business plans, solutions, etc.

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Recent articles:
* Climate Warming Spells Species Wipeout -- Experts
African Poor to Bear Brunt of Global Warming Crisis
Dangerous Global Warming Possible by 2026 - WWF
Britain says U.S. Must Help Avert Climate Catastrophe
Global warming reaching point-of-no-return

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My "G.I.A.T. Briefing on Crazy Weather for Busy Folks" is below:

If you hear certain people who claim that we "need more research _because_ science doesn't yet know if global warming exists or what causes it" then send them to these websites above. In fact, for the past 6 years, scientists have reached a broad consensus beyond reasonable doubt (around 1 in a billion chance of error) that global warming has been underway since the industrial revolution, circa 1800s, largely due to human production of greenhouse gases, and that it is now accelerating more rapidly, that every plausible model of the near future shows dramatic changes in rain, temperature, sea level, and species migrations and extinctions; and finally that because climate is a complex system (subject to nonlinear dynamics), very small changes in one or two factors will lead to very large and unpredictable changes in the whole system.

In general the prediction is that wet places will get wetter (floods, landslides) and dry places will get drier (droughts, crop failures), and that specific lands around the north Atlantic will get colder, while the southern hemisphere will get hotter. Whatever climate extreme you've already got, expect a lot more of it in your lifetime.

This has already begun to happen around the world. The last few years of the '90s were the hottest ever recorded in human history. Heat waves in France and in India killed thousands more people than anyone remembers before. The Atlantic hurricane season was unprecedented in the sheer number of major storms last year. Typhoons around Taiwan are coming frequently in the wrong season and dumping more water than before. Southwest Australia is in a serious drought for the past few years -- and the top scientist predicts that the area will become desert, leading to massive migration. Glaciers are melting rapidly. And enormous regions of ice the size of Delaware have broken away from the Antarctic, now floating out to sea. Small islands like Tuvalu in the South Pacific are sinking under a rising water table. This is only the beginning of the beginning of the changes wrought by a half to one degree temperature rise. This month we're being told that new studies show that a 2.5 degree rise, probably in your lifetime, will produce catastrophic and chaotic changes in the climate system.

In sum, the sky is falling. Chicken Little is not the only one to say so, but also the Pentagon, the World Bank, thousands of independent scientists, and most of the national governments around the world. So when you hear the usual denials coming from the business-as-usual same old sources (see blog on "Apocalyptic Christian anti-Earth" below), tell them to get a fact check. And when you buy land in Italy, don't buy it near sea level.


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