Only little George denies Global Warming
The Earth Summit is showing the world, at least the part that is listening, that there is a real problem created by the increased population increasingly manipulating the environment. Human beings could turn this planet into a very hostile place if we are not careful. There is always a critical mass in any occurence where one crosses a line and everything is all of a sudden changed.
We think that the global temperature rising a few degrees and the oceans rising a few inches is not worth considering. But it may be that these small changes can set in motion major climate changes that could flood or dry up vital areas of agriculture production. The bread belt of the United States could shift north into Canada or south into Mexico. All it would take would be a change in the air currents over North America.
There is an old saying, "Never gamble more than you can afford to lose." That particularly applies to the global environment. We cannot afford to shift the weather patterns of the earth such that we will no longer be able to feed ourselves. We cannot afford to deal with a shift in the overall environment such that there is simply not enough fertile earth to grow the food necessary to feed the whole world..
I guess little George feels that the United States has enough military power to take over whatever area of the world needs to be conquered to feed Americans. Who knows what goes on in his mind outside the pursuit of money and killing terrorist. It is possible that his brain pan just does not have the capacity to understand the problem.
The whole world knows that the United States is the largest polluter of the world environment. Americans know it. But like any other bully, we feel that we are rich enough and powerful enough to do whatever we want. Well for now that is true but it does not mean that the earth has guaranteed us anything in the future.
Scientist are daily finding evidence of the awesome power of nature to devastate human societies. We can continue to pollute the environment. We can continue to ignore the rest of the world. But if we are wrong about the ability of the global environment to absorb our abuse, then we are all going to be in serious trouble. The global environment is no respecter of national boundaries.
There is more to human existence that the pursuit of wealth. There is the pursuit of peace and a sustainable environment where we maximize our use of the world's resources without ignoring the fact that once the planet is depleted, we have nowhere else to go. We are stuck on this little dirt ball in the solar system and if we render it uninhabitable, we will truly suffer and possibly perish altogether.
It is hard to understand how the entire world is looking to the United States for leadership and little George believes that the power of three hundred million Americans allows it to ignore the six billion other human beings on the planet.
Americans are not bullet proof or insulated from the world's problems. Everyday the world becomes more interconnected and interdependent. We can lead the world in finding ways to maintain our economy while sustaining the global environment. We can become an example to the world or we can teach the world to ignore the fact that the single acts of six billion people can add up to a global nightmare from which it may take millennia to recover.
Floods, Droughts Loom From Climate Damage, Says Top Scientist
JOHANNESBURG -- One of the world's top climate scientists warned the Earth Summit here Tuesday that global warming could turn the floods and droughts that have devastated parts of Asia and Europe from freak to frequent events.
Robert Watson, the World Bank's chief scientist and former head of the United Nations' top Scientific Task Force on Global Warming, complained though that the summit was ignoring the climate change peril, partly to appease U.S. President George W.
At a press conference, Watson said scientists were reluctant to pin this year's extreme weather events to global warming.
"Not one single event can be directly attributed to human activities, but their incidence is projected to become more frequent," Watson said.
Climate change would also have a big impact on food production within a few decades by causing water stress for farmers, he said, citing a report issued last year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that he chaired , AFP reported.
"By the year 2020, all of Africa, Latin America, Middle East through India and southeast Asia will have reduced productivity. By the time we get to the 2020s, we even project decreased agricultural productivity in the United States," he said. "Small changes in climate can have an profound effect, we believe, on agricultural productivity."
The IPCC report declared that there was now inconvertible evidence that man had caused the earth's atmosphere to warm by uncontrolled burning of oil, gas and coal.
These fossil fuels release carbon dioxide, which acts like an invisible shroud, trapping the sun's heat instead of letting it radiate safely back into space.
The IPCC predicts the earth's mean surface temperature will rise by between 1.4 and 5.8 C (2.5 to 10.4 F) by 2100 compared with 1990 levels, causing sea levels to surge from eight to 88 centimeters (3.6 to 35 inches).
The report helped spur the conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol, a UN agreement that commits rich countries to trim output of these greenhouse gases.
The big holdout, though, was the United States, which by itself accounts for a quarter of carbon pollution.
Bush walked away from Kyoto, contending that the evidence for climate change was still sketchy, that the treaty would be too costly for the U.S. economy and unfair because it did not require big emerging countries like China and India to curb their own pollution.
And in what was widely seen by environmentalists as retaliation for the IPCC report, Bush forced Watson out of the agency's chair when his term came up for renewal.
Watson said Kyoto still left unresolved the need to reconcile "political differences" within the industrialized world and between industrialized and developing countries.
"I don't see this summit being the place to reconcile those differences. Climate is fundamentally off the agenda at this summit for a number of reasons," he said. "One of the reasons... was the view that there is such a difference between the U.S. and Europe on whether to ratify the Kyoto Protocol or not. It was left off the agenda to a large extent to try and encourage President Bush and a high level representation for the U.S. coming here."
The 10-day summit, which opened on Monday, aims to issue an action plan on alleviating poverty and protecting the environment.
Great chunks of the document are still to be agreed, mainly because of a row between the European Union and the United States on trade, finance and renewable energy. They are also deadlocked over a small reference to the Kyoto Protocol.
Bush is not scheduled to attend the summit. The top U.S. representative will be Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Nature's Grim Warning to the Johannesburg Summiteers
How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?
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