Several Steps Forward on Climate

windmillsIn addition to the release of the IPCC Fourth Assessment, 1st volume summary which essentially declares complete confidence (>90%) that humans are causing climate change with grave impacts, there have been a number of other positive steps in climate policy this week. There has been a seashift in Australian climate policy with the Howard government on the hotseat literally for a bereft climate policy over the years, and now the disasterous “big dry” drought. Under pressure with a new election looming, Howard's government is proposing a carbon trading system – which before you get too excited, apparently would not cap emissions. But along with China indicating they are setting up a carbon market, and with California talking hooking up with Europe's carbon market, the prospects of global carbon market in the next couple years looms large. Brazil's Lula along with China laid the blame for climate disruption where it belongs, at the developed nation's feet. Jacque Chirac's call for an emergency global summit on climate, supported by some 46 countries, appears likely. Such a summit must seek to get all countries to cap emissions with special allowances for developing countries to have easier caps and more time in order to not lock in carbon emission disparities between the rich and poor. With the science settled, there has also started to be even more discussion of climate change solutions and their implementation, where the focus should shift like a laser beam. Perhaps this was the week where the World started getting their act together on equitable mandatory climate emission reductions. They can not come soon enough.

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8 Responses

  1. philjohnson says:

    Along with the serious points you are making here, I think a little satire is also warranted. I have adapted the lyrics of Robert Palmer's “Addicted to Love” and drafted up “Addicted to Coal” as a little satirical song for Mr Howard. It appears on my Australia After Howard blog.

  2. says:

    Commenting on todays news in general… Elections coming up here in Ireland, in the Uk, in America, in Australia…
    It seems like we are going to have a chance soon to put electoral pressure on our governments. I wonder, what will we ask them to do for us?
    Will we ask them to save our lives? Or will we ask them to save our lifestyles?
    James Lovelock is promoting nuclear power and endorsing Bransons crazy competition to create a techno-tree – so that we can all carry on consuming…
    I understand why neither can come out and promote that we simply stop our mind-less self-indulgent over-consumption, and learn to live again very simple and basic sustainable lifestyles. That would go a long way toward solving the problem, quickly, easily, equitably and cheaply!
    Since the world movers and shakers cannot bring themselves to do this, they cannot promote this action as a sensible realistic policy choice.
    Possibly then we have to promote this option to ourselves, for ourselves and by ourselves. STOP SHOPPING! IT ONLY ENCOURAGES THEM!
    We have to actually do this. Give things up, habits, objects… Give them up. Cut demands rapidly. Stop making them.
    We are asked to give up eating certain fats to be kind to our health. Sensible people do just that. It is the same thing with the planet. It's not only about emissions. It is all of our consumptions, billions and zillions of small mindless consumings adding up to a total degradation of our living Earth's well-being…
    Stop Shopping! Stop Flying. Stop holidaying. Stop spending on luxury. Stop stop stop….
    There are times in human lives when real life-love-death issues become far and away more important than consumption and indulgence, and it becomes relatively easy to willingly give things up. Eventually we will grasp the actual nature of climate change. Virtual climate change leads to virtually no policy change… but watch this space!
    In a real crisis or emergency, or disaster or war or epidemic… priorities can alter very fast.
    “Would you like to stop mindlessly consuming and survive, or to continue and die?”,
    in theory we will stop.
    If our survival instincts are strong, we can simplify our lives.
    we can become remarkably frugal and self-sustaining if we want to be.
    we can plant trees ourselves.
    we can do these things now before we are forced to.
    Or we can sit back and wait… Wait for governments to act… wait for scientists to invent… wait for rich men to realise that they cannot buy everything they want all the time without limit…
    Please will someone explain to me why planting billions of fast-growing trees would not solve the problem…
    Or at least go a long way towards it, especially if were combined with massive voluntary consumption decreases in the developed world.
    Would Branson give twenty-five million of his personal wealth to a tree propogation and public education project that would aim to get every citizen off their ass, out of their house and their car (which they had switched off behind therm!) and out working physically planting and nurturing trees as if their lives depended on it – which they do… I wonder… would he?

  3. Steve Robins says:

    Though I hod no doctorate or scientific ceritification I do subscribe to common sense there can be no argument that we humans have affected our environment. But as for global warming I'm from Michigan which I was taught was under a sheet if ice about a mile thick just a couple hundred thousand years ago so things have been warming for a long time. It seems I also learned about several periods of extreme temp shifts which affected the course of evolution. Perhaps we have affected the course of the latest shift or maybe we a seeing just another cycle in the life of our planet who can be absolutly sure.

  4. Glenn D says:

    Dr. Barry
    The latest IPCC report , state's, that even if we stopped all greenhouse gasses. The planet will still heat up. This will produce huge amount's of percipitation, which will come down as huge amount's of rain and snow. The eco system will be put under massive stress. The growing season's will be effected. Their will be most likely food shortages, distruption's in transportation and so on. It look's like, were in for a hell of a ride either way we go. ( AND THEY JUST ADMITTED WERE REPONSIBLE……..WHERE THE HELL HAVE THESE GREAT MIND'S BEEN…………..)

  5. tomthegeologist says:

    To fan the flames of debate; As few as 150 years ago, until Louis Aggasiz' writing, it was widely believed that continental glacial deposits in North America were attributable to The Great Flood of Noah.
    Believe it or not, where I live in St. Cloud, MN was covered by nearly 1km of ICE as few as 15,000 years ago! 15,000 years… The 'scientific' age of the earth is ~4.5 billion years… As I look back on the geologic timescale I find that climate change is the norm, rather than the exception. LISTEN TO SKEPTICS! PROVE THEM WRONG! That's the essence of science! I think the IPCC report is pure bunk and over emphasizes CO2 and the human contribution to 'greenhouse gasses.'
    The scientific method is supposed to be a process of observation and interpretation… Unfortunately politics and modern media don't allow a fair exchange of ideas…

  6. John Dallas says:

    I wouldn't advise waiting for any government to reduce CO2 emissions. Individuals need to take steps now. We can start by switching to compact fluorescent bulbs, and then consider alternative energy systems. I've installed PV, and a bio-fueled stove at my home. I encourage people to do similar things, and show them how, via my blog:
    Check me out, and let me know what you think.

  7. JK says:

    I challenge all of you do do some research into this topic. Do not define your theory before you test it, which is what they have done for these models of global warming. In fact, look into other causes. Such as all the volcanic activity on the ocean floor. Couldn't that raise the temp in the oceans? Couldn't that send the warmer waters to Anartica and melt some of the ice? And if the waters are warmer, couldn't that make some stronger storms? Global warming scientists do not want you to know this because it puts too many holes in their theory. Science is about “I don't think that is correct so I am going to prove you wrong!” Come on people! Follow the money! Who is the loudest speaker about global warming? AL GORE. Who is going to make a lot of money when he convinces people to buy hybrid cars? AL GORE. Don't be fooled by him. All that he cares about is AL GORE. How much money did he make of that stupid movie? All this is fear mongoling. Scare the public into believing you so that do what you want. The democrates accuse the replubican of that all the time, when in fact it is they who are doing it themselves.

  8. J. Dallas says:

    I don't think Al Gore will benefit from compact fluorescent bulbs that you install, but you will by lowering your electric bills.
    Al Gore won't benefit from alternative heat sources you install, but you will by lowering your heating bills.
    And, even if you don't believe in Global Warming, you should be doing these things to minimize air, and water pollution, and to prevent mountains and streams from being destroyed by big coal companies. You should also consider who is getting all of our oil money, and what they're doing with it. I would rather pay more for alternatives than to support those who promote hate and terrorism. What about you?
    I'll continue to research the subject, and to try to help others do similar things via my blog:
    What are you doing to benefit others on this planet? What did you gain by posting your comment?

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