Thursday, October 15, 2009

You're getting warmer, Footnote to the preceding

Many nations of the world have generally agreed that to head off the worst effects of global warming, temperature rise must be held to no more than 2oC (3.6oF).

Even that figure "is not without some fairly serious impact," in the words of IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri. That impact, one that, we need to realize, we've pretty much given up on avoiding, is serious enough that
[e]xperts and aid groups called Thursday for the United States to help poor countries deal with the effects of global warming, as Congress considers key climate change legislation.

Testifying before a Senate panel, humanitarian organizations called for US aid to help countries with "adaptation solutions" in response to the effects of climate change. ...

"We urge you to help ensure that at least three percent of the resources in comprehensive climate and energy legislation are devoted to adaptation efforts in vulnerable developing countries," [David Waskow, climate change program director at Oxfam] said.

Peter O'Driscoll, director of ActionAid USA said "there is no viable alternative to investing in climate adaptation: helping people, communities and entire countries face these consequences must be a central pillar of US foreign policy."
General Charles Wald, former deputy commander of US European Command, warned that "climate change has the potential to create sustained natural and humanitarian disasters on a scale and at a frequency far beyond those we see today," creating political instability as demands for services outstrip the ability of governments to deal with them.

Pachauri, for his part, brought no comfort to a meeting of ministers of the International Energy Agency in Paris on Thursday.
"Strong, urgent and effective action" is needed, [he said.]

"It is not enough to set any aspirational goal for 2050, it is critically important that we bring about a commitment to reduce emissions effectively by 2020," he said.
If the world is going to meet the goal of limiting temperature increase to 2oC, he said, "then global emissions must peak by 2015."

In other words, if he's right, if the IPCC is right, we don't have 40 years to stabilize emissions, we have 10 years - and for the back five of those 10 years emissions need to be declining.

I'll keep talking about it, I'll keep arguing for conservation and for the goddam it already-existing alternatives that could sharply reduce our emissions if it weren't for energy policy and the fucking Congress to be in hock to the fucking oil and coal giants - but you know what? I think we're already screwed. This is another of those moments when I'm glad I will not live to see the world I see coming.

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