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Powerful governments just don’t get it on climate change

David Spratt: Powerful working towards climate talks disaster Green Left David Spratt 11 November 2009 The global community is supposed to be negotiating an agreement to contain greenhouse gas emissions to manageable levels. But with less than two months to the Copenhagen climate change conference, the big players are stuck in an elaborate game of chicken…………………Sir David King and Lord Stern are among many luminaries saying no deal is better than a bad deal, and economist Jeffrey Sachs said in September he fears “a toothless agreement that could be more posturing than progress”. …………….Europe’s leading climate scientist, Potsdam Institute Director Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, said the chance of getting a decent deal at this “most important meeting in the history of the human species” is “pie in the sky” because rich countries like the US are unwilling to sign up to ambitious enough targets. “In a sense the US is climate illiterate”, he told the September 28 British Telegraph……………………

The research tells us that a two-degree warming will initiate large climate feedbacks on land and in the oceans, on sea-ice and mountain glaciers and on the tundra, taking the Earth well past significant tipping points.

Likely impacts include large-scale disintegration of the Greenland and West Antarctic ice-sheets; sea-level rises; the extinction of an estimated 15–40% of plant and animal species; dangerous ocean acidification and widespread drought, desertification and malnutrition in Africa, Australia, Mediterranean Europe, and the western USA………………………

Copenhagen, or more likely a clean-up summit next year, can succeed if the scientific imperatives take centre stage.

We face a climate emergency that requires emergency action. Pretending that the current approach to international negotiations can solve the issue is part of the denial about the climate catastrophe that awaits if the game isn’t played very differently, very, very soon by politicians and people who have the capacity to exhibit truly transformative leadership.

Green Left – David Spratt: Powerful working towards climate talks disaster


November 9, 2009 - Posted by | 1, 2 WORLD, climate change | ,

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