Another blog about climate change...a serious issue regarding peace

I have just read a report stating that Canada, Russia and Japan are the bad boys in the climate issue . Being Canadian and living in Japan I feel sad and distraught that both these nations don't follow the EU and America's effort in reducing carbon emmisions. The result of the temperature rising 2 degrees will be catastrophic, not fo directly for North America but for the poorest nations of Africa and Asia. So all of us with computors, lights, cars living in the affluence how are we going to help reduce immisions. Canada wants the oil from the tar sands but a huge cost. Are we willing to sacrifice the lives of billions of people for are convenient comforts and life styles. These are questions for NATURE, PEOPCE, PEOPLE PEACE and INNER PEACE..
Here is the article:

Look back over the last decade, and what stands out. There has been 3 major trends of discussion:

Terrorism - hopefully now on the decrease after the end of G.W Bush in the White House

The Global Economic Downturn - a more recent development, but caused by years of reckless business management by the worlds biggest banks.

Climate Change - Arguably the biggest problem of all, though so far has seen the least progress.

Governments have spent Billions fighting Terrorism this decade, and Trillions saving failing banks in the recession. But when faced with the problem of Climate Change, there has been very little action.

Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" in 2007 saw the peak of climate change awareness. But since then only doubt seems to have been cast over the science behind climate change. Few if any climatologists deny claims that climate change is man made. But there is a rise of climate change "Deniers" dismissing global warming as a conspiracy. Their argument often based around claims in Gore's film that were proved to be inaccurate or false.

The problem is that although most scientists agree that climate change is happening, and that it is caused by Carbon dioxide emitted by human activity, such as burning fossil fuels, there is no general consensus on the exact effect that will have on the earth. There are so many things to take into account, a lot of climate scientists are only studying part of the equation. There is now so many studies published, some even contradicting each other, that it is hard to filter out which are accurate and credible. This indecision by the scientific community has lead to inaction by world leaders and businesses. Until someone can come up with comprehensive proof of the forthcoming effects of man made climate change, we are doomed to witness those effects first hand. Which leads us to the real BIG question.

For decades, climatologists have been engaged in a quest for what some consider to be the field’s holy grail: an accurate estimate of climate sensitivity. This number captures how temperature responds to greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere — a vital quantity when emissions are increasing fast. If scientists could nail the number for sensitivity exactly, it would give a much clearer view of how global warming will change the face of our planet. It would also have big implications for policymakers, who want a concrete figure for how much CO2 and other warming gases we can pump into the atmosphere while keeping the Earth’s rising fever below dangerous levels.

2009 will be a big year for climate change. In December, The United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held in Copenhagen, with the worlds 15 biggest nations attending. But meetings of this nature result in lots of talk, and very little action. Until we can finally agree on what is happening, and what is going to happen, the appropriate action will not be taken.

The UN’s Head of Environment Achim Steiner recently spoke out about world governments willingness to throw Billions of Dollars at failing businesses, claiming "“We waited perhaps a decade to get $5bn ($3.3bn) to accelerate development of renewable energy. We now see $20bn (£13.3bn) paid [to] a car company simply to keep it alive.” He stressed that if extra investment was not found to tackle climate change, the bail outs would be “a terrible waste of money”.

Even Oxfam have changed their focus to aiding those who are suffering the effects of climate change. They claim that in the last 20 years, there has been an increase in extreme weather events such as floods and droughts, as well as noticeable sea level rise and seasonal unpredictability. The result of these climate changes is failed harvests, disappearing islands, destroyed homes, water scarcity, and deepening health crises. And that means millions upon millions of people are struggling to get food, water, and shelter.

Only time will tell weather we will act fast enough to prevent climate change. Most governments now acknowledge that it is too late to prevent a small increase in global temperatures, and are aiming to curb emissions at a "safe" increase of global warming. In reality, its just more inaction.

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Comment by maryse on July 7, 2009 at 4:18am
'Too late to avoid global warming,' say scientists

By Cahal Milmo

Wednesday, 19 September 2007
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A rise of two degrees centigrade in global temperatures – the point considered to be the threshold for catastrophic climate change which will expose millions to drought, hunger and flooding – is now "very unlikely" to be avoided, the world's leading climate scientists said yesterday.

The latest study from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) put the inevitability of drastic global warming in the starkest terms yet, stating that major impacts on parts of the world – in particular Africa, Asian river deltas, low-lying islands and the Arctic – are unavoidable and the focus must be on adapting life to survive the most devastating changes.

For more than a decade, EU countries led by Britain have set a rise of two degrees centigrade or less in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels as the benchmark after which the effects of climate become devastating, with crop failures, water shortages, sea-level rises, species extinctions and increased disease.

Two years ago, an authoritative study predicted there could be as little as 10 years before this "tipping point" for global warming was reached, adding a rise of 0.8 degrees had already been reached with further rises already locked in because of the time lag in the way carbon dioxide – the principal greenhouse gas – is absorbed into the atmosphere.

The IPCC said yesterday that the effects of this rise are being felt sooner than anticipated with the poorest countries and the poorest people set to suffer the worst of shifts in rainfall patterns, temperature rises and the viability of agriculture across much of the developing world.

In its latest assessment of the progress of climate change, the body said: "If warming is not kept below two degrees centigrade, which will require the strongest mitigation efforts, and currently looks very unlikely to be achieved, the substantial global impacts will occur, such as species extinctions, and millions of people at risk from drought, hunger, flooding."

Under the scale of risk used by IPCC, the words "very unlikely" mean there is just a one to 10 per cent chance of limiting the global temperature rise to two degrees centigrade or less.

Professor Martin Parry, a senior Met Office scientist and co-chairman of the IPCC committee which produced the report, said he believed it would now be "very difficult" to achieve the target and that governments need to combine efforts to "mitigate" climate change by reducing CO2 emissions with "adaptation" to tackle active consequences such as crop failure and flooding.

Speaking at the Royal Geographical Society, he said: "Ten years ago we were talking about these impacts affecting our children and our grandchildren. Now it is happening to us."

"Even if we achieve a cap at two degrees, there is a stock of major impacts out there already and that means adaptation. You cannot mitigate your way out of this problem... The choice is between a damaged world or a future with a severely damaged world."

The IPCC assessment states that up to two billion people worldwide will face water shortages and up to 30 per cent of plant and animal species would be put at risk of extinction if the average rise in temperature stabilises at 1.5C to 2.5C.

Professor Parry said developed countries needed to help the most affected regions, which include sub-Saharan Africa and major Asian river deltas with improved technology for irrigation, drought-resistant crop strains and building techniques.

Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the IPCC, said that 2015 was the last year in which the world could afford a net rise in greenhouse gas emissions, after which "very sharp reductions" are required.

Dr Pachauri said the ability of the world's most populous nations to feed themselves was already under pressure, citing a study in India which showed that peak production of wheat had already been reached in one region.

Campaigners said the IPCC findings brought added urgency to the EU's efforts to slash emissions. John Sauven, executive director of Greenpeace, said: "The EU needs to adopt a science-based cap on emissions, ditch plans for dirty new coal plants and nuclear power stations that will give tiny emission cuts at enormous and dangerous cost, end aviation expansion and ban wasteful products like incandescent lightbulbs."

Plus two degrees: the consequences

Arica: Between 350 and 600 million people will suffer water shortages or increased competition for water. Yields from agriculture could fall by half by 2020 while arid areas will rise by up to 8 per cent. The number of sub-Saharan species at risk of extinction will rise by at least 10 per cent.

Asia: Up to a billion people will suffer water shortages as supplies dwindle with the melting of Himalayan glaciers. Maize and wheat yields will fall by up to 5 per cent in India; rice crops in China will drop by up to 12 per cent. Increased risk of coastal flooding.

Australia/New Zealand: Between 3,000 and 5,000 more heat-related deaths a year. Water supplies will no longer be guaranteed in parts of southern and eastern Australia by 2030. Annual bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.

Europe: Warmer temperatures will increase wheat yields by up to 25 per cent in the north but water availability will drop in the south by up to a quarter. Heatwaves, forest fires and extreme weather events such as flash floods will be more frequent. New diseases will appear.

Latin America: Up to 77 million people will face water shortages and tropical glaciers will disappear. Tropical forests will become savanna and there will be increased risk of coastal flooding in low-lying areas such as El Salvador and Guyana.

North America: Crop yields will increase by up to 20 per cent due to warmer temperatures but economic damage from extreme weather events such as Hurricane Katrina will continue increasing.

Polar regions: The seasonal thaw of permafrost will increase by 15 per cent and the overall extent of the permafrost will shrink by about 20 per cent. Indigenous communities such as the Inuit face loss of traditional lifestyle.

Small islands: Low-lying islands are particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels with the Maldives already suffering land loss.

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