Why we need to worry about global warming -- now

Mon, 2006-04-10 13:11Ross Gelbspan
Ross Gelbspan's picture

Why we need to worry about global warming -- now

With climate-related changes occurring faster than expected, scientists say we have 10 years to slash carbon fuel use – or else …

Full article, published April 9 in the San Jose Mercury News, is available at:

http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?id=5896&method=full


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Previous Comments

The beginning an end of the article confused me:

>Others, including NASA’S James Hansen, one of the world’s pre-eminent climate scientists, think we still have about a 10 year grace period in which to make major changes
 
Towards the end.
> By contrast, European media coverage of climate change has been far less qualified. As a result, Holland is now cutting its emissions by 80 percent in the next 40 years.  Tony Blair has committed the UK to cuts of 60 percent in 50 years.  Germany has vowed to cut its emissions by 50 percent in the next 50 years.  And French President Jacques Chirac recently called on the entire industrial world to cut emissions by 75 percent in 45 years.

So are you saying we must cut emissions by 70% by 2010?  Because I don’t see the U.S. moving on this while Bush is in office. A new President takes office in 2009 - lets be optimstic and say someone serious about stopping the heat. Legislation gets introduced, and passed in 2009, taking effect immediately. You see the first cut in 2010. So 2010 is the earliest we can realistically expect to begin U.S. emissions reductions. What about a climate aware congress being elected in November? Leaving aside the improbabliity, even if Congress passes serious legislation, Bush can simply refuse to spend the money or enforce the regulations or collect the taxes. And realistically, it is not merely Republicans who are weak on this issue; with the exception of Al Gore I’ve seen no sign that any major Democrats “get it” on global warming. Build a movement? Absolutely. But that does not happen overnight either.

But the examples you gave are not people cutting emissions by 70% over the course of ten years - but by lesser or  greater amounds over 40  to 50 years. Let’s say that is not enough and we decide to cut by 80% or 90%  over the next  30 years. That we could do now if we began in the next  ten years.  Perhaps that is what you mean that we must *begin* by 2010, and move quickly thereafter. Yes  horrible results are already locked in. But beginning then could still avert the worst catastrophes.

The scientists over at real climate do seem to think that would be sufficient.

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/climatepredictionnet-climate-challenges-and-climate-sensitivity/

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/01/can-2c-warming-be-avoided/

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/03/climate-sensitivity-plus-a-change/

Note this is not a “what me worry?” post.  I’m just trying to figure out whether the  task is merely difficult or impossible. Because the best I can see to hope for is an absolute world-wide emissions reduction staring in 2010 and continuing every year thereafter until a sufficient reduction (which is probably below 70%) is reached.  That itself requires an amazingly fast growth of a new political movement. So I hope that is what you meant, because politics has its laws just as nature has hers. And the first is that it that for anyone other than the very rich to build movements strong enough to create change takes time.

wha does this all mean
hey ok i was just woundering what the conseguences of global warming will be if we dont stop it ?