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FEATURE

UN Climate Change Roadmap: Civilization must rise to the challenge





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by Janet Ritz

An international panel of scientists has just issued their UN commissioned climate plan:

Their 166-page report, produced at U.N. request and sponsored by the private United Nations Foundation and the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, was issued just three weeks after the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an authoritative U.N. network of 2,000 scientists, made headlines with its latest assessment of climate science.

Their conclusion?

"Two starkly different futures diverge from this time forward," the report cautions. "Society’s current path leads to increasingly serious climate-change impacts... The other path ... will reduce dangerous emissions, create economic opportunity, help to reduce global poverty, reduce degradation and carbon emissions from ecosystems, and contribute to sustainability. Humanity must act collectively and urgently to change course through leadership at all levels of society. There is no more time for delay."

Issued after a two year study:

"Confronting Climate Change: Avoiding the Unmanageable and Managing the Unavoidable, " the final report of the Scientific Expert Group on Climate Change and Sustainable Development. The report, prepared as input for the upcoming meeting of the UN’s Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD), outlines a roadmap for preventing unmanageable climate changes and adapting to the degree of change that can no longer be avoided.

And from the AP article, entitled Climate plan: Civilization must rise to the challenge:

the 18-member group, representing 11 nations, offered scores of recommendations: from pouring billions more dollars into research and development of cleaner energy sources, to mobilizing U.N. and other agencies to help affected people, to winning political agreement on a global temperature "ceiling."

to winning political agreement on a global temperature...

The experts panel said global carbon dioxide emissions should be leveled off by 2015-2020, and then cut back to less than one-third that level by 2100, via a vast transformation of global energy systems -- toward greater efficiency, away from fossil fuels, and toward biofuels, solar, wind and other renewable energy sources.

What's new about this report?

It has recommendations -- ways to solve the problem -- things everyone can do.

Here's a sample:

  • Improve efficiency in the transportation sector...
  • Improve design and efficiency of commercial and residential buildings...
  • Expand the use of biofuels...
  • Beginning immediately, designing and deploying only coal power-plant types that can be affordably retrofitted to capture and sequester CO2.
  • Improve preparedness/response strategies and management of natural resources...
  • Address the adaptation needs of the poorest and most vulnerable nations, which will bear the brunt of climate change impacts.
  • Build climate resilient cities.
  • Prepare for an increasing number of climate change refugees.

A full copy of the report is available here

Here's a link to the CNN/AP article:

http://www.cnn.com/...

To the UN Foundation:

http://www.unfoundation.org

To the Sigma Xi Society:

http://www.sigmaxi.org/

To the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs:

http://www.un.org/...

To the U.N. Environmental Programme:

http://www.unep.org/

And what can everyone do to help?

Here you go:

http://www.carbonfootprint.com

FEATURE

EXCLUSIVE: Cheney on Global Warming





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by Janet Ritz with Martin Muse

That's right. Dick Cheney has given ABC an exclusive interview on the big Climate Change question while in Australia (between insulting Nancy Pelosi and threatening China...), where, as I noted in a previous article, New Climate Change Warning for Sydney - Canary in the Coal Mine, OZ is MELTING.

So, what did the grimacing president in vice-chief have to say?

The vice president agreed that the earth is warming but, like President Bush, maintained there is debate over whether humans or natural cycles are the cause—a position that puts the administration at odds with the vast majority of climate scientists.

[insert exploding brain here]

So, what does Cheney propose as THE answer to climate change?

  • Conservation?
  • Reduce the use of oil?
  • Slim down that carbon footprint?

[Cheney:] "But going forward, if we are going to have a policy, we've got to find ways to do that are not inconsistent with economic growth. You can't shut down the world economy in the name of trying to eliminate greenhouse gases. But there are some answers out there — nuclear power, for example, is one of them. And getting the United States back into the nuclear power game I think would be a significant benefit — both in terms of producing the energy we need, but at the same time not contributing to greenhouse gas emissions."

Go nuclear?

or was that

Go nuculer...

Oh, right, that's the word Cheney (watch out for that mushroom cloud) does know how to pronounce.

But, I digress.

Here's my favorite snip:

JONATHAN KARL: So you think the jury is still out about whether or not this warming we're seeing has been caused by human activity?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Some of it has, I think. But exactly where you draw the line? I don't know. I'm not a scientist. I talk with people who supposedly know something about it. You get conflicting viewpoints. But I do think it is an important subject, and it will be addressed in the Congress. I think there will be a big debate on it in the next couple of years.

Why is that my favorite? Because Dick Cheney has finally said the one thing I can agree with.

[Cheney:] "I don't know. I'm not a scientist."

So, Mr. THE VICE PRESIDENT, what say we leave it up to SCIENTISTS?

Oh, that's right, they've already weighed in.

Only, the hearings that congress has begun to hold about climate change are NOT BEING TELEVISED.

Guess the end of the world is not as important as [insert stupid story of the day here...].

Exclusive, exschmoosive...

I think I'll stick to realclimate.org and the web site for the Congressional Committee on Science and Technology, where they are broadcasting the hearings.

And for those who like to peer through the looking glass, here's a link to the "exclusive" Cheney ("I am not a scientist") interview: http://abcnews.go.com/...

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