Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Stormy Weather - EarthFuture

Stormy Weather - EarthFuture

Positive message today, to balance out all the negative. Climate change is happening but we know how to prevent the worst case scenarios with existing technologies and with no drastic cost to the overall economy. Solutions are sitting around by the dozen. Click around within the website link above for many.

But why? Because of the latest information from last month's international conference formed to advise Tony Blair which brought together the world's top 200 climate scientists. Blair wondered how to prevent global warming or climate change. Their advice is this:

  • Global warming cannot absolutely be prevented since it has already begun over the past years. Where have you been hiding?
  • We scientists are not asking for more funding to research whether or not global warming is occuring, nor whether or not it is caused by humans. In fact, we've been saying the same thing for quite a few years now. Government commissions to further study those issues merely avoid the real issue. The only new thing we have to say this year is that recent measurements show that global warming has happened sooner and more rapidly and just plain more than we predicted last year. Our warnings have been too conservative. This year our best models and measurements indicate that climate change is coming sooner than we thought, and its effects are giving us the heebeegeebees (technical jargon). We're more scared today than we were last year.
  • Doing nothing and keeping the same old business as usual will lead to climate chaos, rising oceans, major species exctinctions, unprecedented floods in some places and droughts in others, and mass migrations of human populations -- oh, and also economic depression by the way -- over the course of the 21st century. This damage will begin to pick up significantly about 15 years to 30 years from today. The "day after tomorrow" is in your lifetime.
  • We estimate that the crucial window of opportunity to prevent the worst global warming damage is within the next 15 years. If we don't act quickly and sufficiently enough, then after the 15 year window, global climate chaos will be unavoidable. After that, all bets are off and no amount of cure will help, even if we stopped pollution 100%. Our conservative estimate is that 15 years from today it will be too late, period.
  • The good news is that taking action today, albeit radical, will indeed help a lot to prevent the worst. We now have 15 years in which to cut the release of greenhouse gases in developed countries by 30%. That and similar measures over the next 30 to 50 years will probably get us through the crisis without tipping the world over into climate chaos.
  • The rest of the good news is that the radical action above is actually do-able and cheap (compared to the eventual cost of climate change). We know what to do and how to do it. We have the technologies to reduce greenhouse gasses. We've measured how much more recycling, reducing, and reusing can save us. It will cost money to invest in such a large socio-economic change. But our estimate is that it will cost only 1% of the gross economy spread out over the next 30 years. This is much less than the eventual cost of climate chaos. Many if not most people around the world recognize that such changes are necessary. All we need is a government of realism in order to put such social and economic change into place.

    I should add that since the largest polluter, the US Gov, is not responding to this latest warning, but instead continues to pursue more oil drilling and more SUVs and more of everything the same, then we cannot sit around on our hands waiting for the Government to save us. It is DIY time. Invest in your own alternative energies. Copy the list of solutions from the website above and implement a few little by little. Start donating time, money, effort to those public NGOs such as Greenpeace, EarthFuture, Earth Policy Institute, and hundreds of others.

    And the next time you vote, think about this 15 year window. Wouldn't you really rather have leaders who understand that? Only candidates who have effectively addressed this should be elected.


    At 2:42 PM, Blogger E. Heroux said...

    See below for a thoughtful critique of how the corporate media is approaching this issue of climate change in a non-helpful way.

    "Countering Despair with the Momentum of Hope"

    By David Cromwell



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