Scientists world-wide have had enough of politicians ignoring climate change

March 15, 2009.…….”The director of a Nasa space laboratory will this week lead thousands of climate change campaigners through Coventry in an extraordinary intervention in British politics…..Dr. James Hansen, director of Nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said he believed scientists, the people who knew most about climate change, now had a moral obligation to become politically active. He has chosen Coventry to stage Thursday’s protest because it is home to E.ON, the power company that is planning a giant new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth in Kent.”

This is game-changing folks.  For so long, scientists have generated the data about the impacts of global warming, but have stayed out of the political arena.  Clearly, the statement last week from 2500 scientists at Copenhagen who have seen that the real impacts are occurring much faster than even the IPCC reports indicated, are an indication of the reality that climate change is upon us.  Our political and economic realities have to be integrated around a sustainable economy that reduces our carbon emissions and enables us to enjoy the quality of life that is possible by living using sustainable living practices.

Two articles today give hope to the growing world-wide responsibility that all governments (federal, state or provincial, municipal) must address in partnership with business to change how our investments and economy must change quickly to reduce the impacts of global warming.  This must come to fruition as international agreements and commitments to massive carbon emissions reductions in the Copenhagen treaty in December of 2009.

You can read both of these articles – The first article is with the Times Online (England) – Plan B: scientists get radical in bid to halt global warming ‘catastrophe’.  The second is the Telegraph (UK) – Al Gore: World will agree new climate deal.

Marcus du Sautoy, professor for the public understanding of science and professor of mathematics at Oxford University, said climate change was “galvanising” the scientific community.

“The evidence and data is all there but politicians don’t seem to understand what the science is telling them, so the scientists feel they have to respond,” he said.

Here is the “guts” of their concern below:

The threat

Last week’s Copenhagen climate summit – the scientist’s key findings and recommendations are summarized below:

  • Humanity is releasing 50 billion tons of CO2 into the air each year – and this is rising by 2%-3% a year, far faster than scientists had predicted
  • Such emissions are already changing the climate, including an increase in the Earth’s temperature, rising sea levels and a rapid melting of the world’s glaciers
  • About 40% of humanity’s CO2 emissions are absorbed by the oceans – but these are now acidifying, threatening marine life Global temperature rises could exceed 2C by mid-century, which would cause widespread water shortages and potentially famine
  • Every year of delay in cutting greenhouse gas emissions makes it much harder to keep the global temperature rise below 2C
  • Delays also raise the risk of crossing tipping points – changes in the Earth’s dynamics that accelerate the warming effects
  • Developing countries are least able to cope with climate change, so millions of the world’s poorest people will suffer the worst deprivation as temperatures rise
  • Humanity would gain many extra benefits from cutting emissions, including new jobs, improved health and preservation of wildlife
  • Inaction is “inexcusable”. The world has the technology and tools needed to tackle greenhouse gas emissions and rising temperatures
It is clearly time for all of us to assess how to integrate our economic actions and investments in a way that aligns them with a low carbon economy that is sustainable.  Here in Manitoba, this means agriculture, transportation, manufacturing, energy production and how we move goods all need to be assessed.
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