No Time for Further Climate Change Dithering

Scientists at Britain's MetOffice Hadley Centre have confirmed what many of us suspected. Given continuing delays in real efforts to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, the world will almost certainly exceed two degrees Celsius of warming above pre-industrial levels, the point near where it is generally considered global heating will become particularly dangerous. And this does not fully factor in the potential for high impact events with greater levels of current uncertainty such as the melting of Greenland's ice [search], melting permafrost [search], rainforest die-back [search] and/or melting ocean methane [search] to cause abrupt, run-away climate changes [search].
Global warming's impact is expected to be like a nuclear war, yet where is the urgent policy response? The world is decades behind the curve in instituting actual actions to reduce emissions, and yet the world's leaders still dither. Global climate leader Germany informs us it will take time to achieve a successor Kyoto deal. Fighting for his political life, Prime Minister Howard of Australia achieves “aspirational goals” rather than binding commitments for emissions reduction [search] during their hosting of this week's APEC meetings. International policy responses to climate change continue to limp forward as global warming tightens its grip upon the Earth, her ecology, and her humanity and species.
Emission reductions must commence with all haste in late 2007 in Bali, Indonesia, if the human family is to have any chance of maintaining the Earth's climatic and biosphere systems.

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10 Responses

  1. zephyr says:

    Very eloquently expressed, Dr. Barry.
    What more needs to be said?
    Those of us who believe the world is 30 years too late in the meaningful action department know full well the truth of your comments here and, frankly, live day-to-day in a state of perpetual grieving for what is being lost, perhaps forever, to an inexplicable failure of the common will to rise to the occasion and do what is right.

  2. Chris says:

    Hi Dr. Barry,
    I enjoy your site and would like to link back to it but would it be possible to use more paragraphs as one big block of text is not really inviting to the audience. I'm sure more people will visit your blog as a result and it will good to further spread the information.
    Best regards,

  3. Bubito54 says:

    Amen- the latest news on the arctic ice reinforces the dread I live with. Within a decade I fear our economic and social infrastructure will be rapidly becoming irrelevant as people finally begin to ask themselves what can they do to spare their offspring the worst of it for another decade or two. We've really done it.

  4. Ian says:

    Sadly, you are right.
    The problem is that politicians, even those not on the big energy payroll, are scared stiff of the prospect of mass unemployment if we try to decarbonise our economies.
    That is why I have spent three years researching climate change and forming a plan to shift to where we need to be without millions on the dole.

  5. Emily says:

    An excellent new web site:
    The Hero's Journey
    The End of the World
    By William M. H. K

  6. R. Gates says:

    So once more it comes down to the recogntion that it is the current form of human civilization that is the virus that plaques the earth. The question then is: can the virus consciously mutate and adapt new survial stategies that return the balance and harmony? Human lived in balance as hunter-gatherers.
    On a contrary view: the great dream of fusion power could change everything. Suddenly, with unlimited and clean energy no dream of humanity would be impossible…so would would we dream and would we still be the ego-centric and anthropocentric species we have been or could the “virus” mutate because of the unlimited energy available.

  7. Fuser says:

    I agree with Paul. Also, we should stop spending time, money and efforts in things like Iraq and start concentrating in this problem, that sometimes seems to be a lost cause..

  8. Ralph Sylvestersen says:

    Expand the coolness
    It is good to see a huge arising in truly ecological consciousness, including the matter of global warming [GW].
    As usual, Bjorn Lomborg succeeds in fueling the ongoing debate on GW. GW is now widely recognized as a fact. Moreover, it is crucial to address the consequences and possible solutions to the GW and it is best done by reaching as comprehensive a view as possible.
    Obviously, Lomborg fails to address the collective awareness at its subjective core values. It could be useful to take look at a wider scoop of perspectives or even other perspectives -; and hopefully end up with an integral foundation of views as to make wise and proper decisions possible.
    In general Lomborg looks at the society's objective values, and of course as an economist he assesses almost every matter in monetary (unit value)-; as to say a very materialistic approach.
    A basic goal, I assume, is to minimize the total amount of suffering -; and here I find we have to recognize a very basic concept; every time we try to measure or add up quality we end up with quantity. So we simply cannot quantify the impact on suffering -; the gap here is between different quantum levels.
    First, we could add collective cultural perspectives, which emphasize intersubjective core values such as ethic and moral. And where can we find a common ground for such a perspective? We have to recognize that global warming is a truly global issue -; and therefore explicitly calls for a common global set of core values. In my opinion, the various world religions can present the common ground and common values. It could be useful to obtain what we could call unified interpretations on the core values of the world religions -; humbly I believe it could be "act harmless" or "ending of sufferings".
    Bjorn Lomborg mostly focuses on various kinds of relatively singular items (AIDS, poverty etc). But from a planetary perspective, it seems, as all sentient beings will (more or less) suffer due to global warming -; and a more pluralistic perspective on the eco-system seems appropriate.
    So what we have here is really a spiritual quest. And an integral spiritual perspective, which embraces and pervades both singular and pluralist perspectives, could bring great benefit as a tool for the entire humanity and especially for the decision makers.
    If we fail to acknowledge the integral spiritual perspective here, we will not succeed.

  9. Michael rhodes says:

    People need to know. Chloroflourocarbon emissions are not tracked, according to the epa response to my query, since use supposed banned. These are generally 3000x more potent heat trappers than co2. Problem is Inhaled general anesthetics are cfcs and n2o, a 600x potent heat trapper. They are blown out of every operating room in the world without mitigation. Unwatched things like these, narrow vested interests against disclosure. We're toast.

  10. “I grew up in South Dakota in the Black Hills. I love the environment and am a genuine conservationist. I see many so called environmentalists are from the City, don't know the first thing about the environment, couldn't tell the difference between a wolf and a poodle, want to turn the "environment" into their play ground and restrict humans from enjoying it, and are more about gaining control over every aspect of your life from how many squares you can use, to how high to turn up your thermostat, etc. One thing is clear, the left uses and abuses the environment to push their agenda. They sue anyone that dares consider drilling for oil or putting a dam, let alone a nuclear power plant. It seems to me they are not interested in saving the environment. It is more about pushing their political agenda.”

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