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"The Catastrophe Is At Our Door"

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View Erika Rosenthal's blog posts
18 December 2009, 8:46 AM
In the final hours at Copenhagen, depth of crisis is daunting

(Editor's Note: Earthjustice attorney Erika Rosenthal is blogging from the climate conference in Copenhagen. Here is her report from the night of Dec. 17.)

Sometime late in the marathon high level segment of the COP, the environment minister of the Central African Republic took the floor and said: “The catastrophe is at our door.” He allied his country with the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and insisted the world must limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees and CO2 concentrations to 350ppm “for our survival.” “Two degrees and 450 ppm,” he said, “are unrealistic.” He meant it is unrealistic to expect that the countries of Africa will survive 2 degrees warming. But the literal reading of his words is also true. 

Just a few hours ago a leaked U.N. document revealed that the UNFCCC secretariat was fully aware that the emissions cuts on the table so far at the Copenhagen climate change summit would still result in temperature rise an average 3 degrees Celsius. (“Average” is critical—the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the global average; Africa too is warming faster than the global mean.)   Some experts say it’s likely to be even worse—closer to 4 degrees Celsius and 550 ppm. 

What is on the table so far, as we head into the final hours? The developed countries are offering to cut emissions by an aggregate 18 percent below 1990 levels. (This figure takes into account climate leaders, like Norway, that have pledged 40% reductions, and countries like the US that have pledged only 4% reductions.)  Some major emitting developing countries have pledged reductions in “carbon intensity.” But if the economy of China, for example, continues to grow, its pledge to cut energy intensity by 40 to 45 percent will result in an increase in its emissions. 

What does it add up to?

No one knows for sure the extent of the catastrophe ahead. But we have some ideas.  The highly respected Stern Report prepared for the UK government, says a temperature rise of 3 degrees C would mean 550 million more people risk hunger, and 170 million more enduring (if they survive) coastal flooding.

But these estimates were based on the 2007 report of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Report on Climate Change), which many of the same scientists who penned it now think was vastly too conservative.  For example, the report projected 40 centimeters of sea level rise by 2100. A report from the Arctic Council  (a policy and science body of the eight Arctic countries including the US) released earlier this week in an event with Al Gore has drastically revised that projection based on the accelerated ice melting on Greenland and elsewhere. Scientists now believe the anticipated rise by 2100 may reach 1 to 1.5 meters.

And we should all take heed. As Prime Minister Asheed of the Maldives said earlier this evening: “If you can’t save the Maldives today, you can’t save yourself tomorrow.”

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Global warming is a hoax used as a means for control and greed. The actual CO2 emissions from man does not have as much impact as the hoax championed by Al Gore and his false science goons. By switching the name to "Climate Change" this "inconvenient lie" can now continue.
Gore does not even want to debate the issues because he is a lair and a fake.

The answers to these problems seem so simple. Every day in Canada I look out my window and watch the foresty industry and the developers clear the mountains and then BURN the wood. By spring there is a heavy layer of smoke laying against the mountains. Why do the politicians allow this to happen. Respiratory illness affects 1 in 4 people. Wood smoke is the main cause of black carbon, yet hardly gets a mention. Why is Indonesia considered the 3rd largest polluter due to the deforestation to grow palm oil, yet Canada and its wastefullness slips by without a mention. Only 1/3 of the wood cut down in the forest is removed and used . the remander is then BURNT. There are many problems that could be solved by good leadership. Thats what the world is in need of . Strong Leadership.

I have never felt as strongly that the USA needs to make reparations, NOW. We cannot continue to hold our heads up without a thought for other countries (going under water!?) My husband rides his bike 14 miles RT to work everyday (as I did before being laid off) to people cutting us off and cursing us for making a conscious effort. Now, caring for my ailing 80 year old dad with Alzheimers I feel like a felon every time I cart him somewhere in the car. We have waited for a full electric car to come out on the market, that could fit the family and be affordable. We also installed solar panels and a wind generator on the home we built..but all of this is not enough. Though we have a smaller carbon footprint it is not going to make a difference if the majority is not THINKING! What about those war dollars going into wind farms and factories to employ people to build them? Then, why not solar farms in all of those lovely states that have the sun EVERY day? Electric cars..well we certainly have the manpower ready to build them. Why can't the money be re-routed from the catastrophe in the middle east to hiring a work force to improve things. It is becoming increasingly embarassing to hold ones head up, as an American.

I am devastated. I can not believe that no progress has been made worth talking about. It is time for people to join forces and do what we know is right.

I am feeling hopeless. How can we be in such denial, it's depressing. How can we deny the lives and survival of so many humans, and creatures and this beautiful planet that we are not even worthy of inhabiting? I want to join together with all those people that want to take over the decision making process. Let's get rid of our so called leaders and let the people of the world make decisions. Our leaders are incapable as long as they lounge in the comfort or their own government money.

I am ready to make changes and so is the majority of the people of this planet. Perhaps it is going to take a revolution of the people. I want alternative energy now, NOW, NOW, NOW. I don't care what it costs, if we don't invest in it in all sectors totally and I mean now we are doomed. I am talking about food production too. We have to stop growing food the way we do, to many pesticides and no GMO. We have to start doing everything that is right and good, and we have to stop waiting to get "PERMISSION" from the so called banks and the government. Who are they anyway? Do we need them? They are not doing anything for us, it is just one great big illusion.

behind you! I can not believe that no progress has been made worth talking about...

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