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The world is now firmly on course for the worst-case scenario in terms of climate change, with average global temperatures rising by up to 6C by the end of the century, leading scientists said yesterday. Such a rise – which would be much higher nearer the poles – would have cataclysmic and irreversible consequences for the Earth, making large parts of the planet uninhabitable and threatening the basis of human civilisation.
We are headed for it, the scientists said, because the carbon dioxide emissions from industry, transport and deforestation which are responsible for warming the atmosphere have increased dramatically since 2002, in a way which no one anticipated, and are now running at treble the annual rate of the 1990s.
Despite promises by the present Prime Minister to "robustly protect" the Green Belt, the Government plans to review the way that it restricts development around 27 towns in England – with "review" in this context meaning "remove". The Government is determined to ensure that an enormous number of new houses are built, and built quickly, which can only be done if the existing restrictions on building over Green Belt land are dismantled.
"As the ice-caps melt, hundreds of millions will also be forced to move inland due to rapidly-rising seas. As world food supplies crash, the higher mid-latitude and sub-polar regions would become fiercely-contested refuges.
"The British Isles, indeed, might become one of the most desirable pieces of real estate on the planet. But, with a couple of billion people knocking on our door, things might quickly turn rather ugly."
Ed Miliband, the climate change secretary, has admitted that next month’s United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen will not produce any binding treaty to tackle climate change.
Instead he hopes that it will “lead, on a very clear timetable, to a legally binding treaty”.
Miliband’s statement is an admission that the world’s leaders are to disgracefully fail everyone.
The Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire in 2012, commits a number of countries to targets for cutting carbon emissions.
There is an urgent need to reach a new agreement to succeed Kyoto.
Copenhagen is the last time that a meeting at government level will take place before Kyoto expires.
Many won’t be surprised that our governments are throwing away the chance to stop climate change.
After all, Miliband showed his concern for the environment by this week announcing plans to rush through ten new nuclear power stations.
Instead of trying to tackle climate change, world leaders are fighting among themselves over which countries will make the biggest sacrifices.
Meanwhile, the Danish government is clearly expecting a big protest by climate activists at the summit.
It is planning to bring new riot laws into force before the summit. These would represent a major crackdown on the right to protest.
Currently police can arrest people “pre-emptively”—those who have committed no crime—and hold them for six hours. The new law would increase this to 12 hours.
The normal penalty for the hindering the authorities—such as the police, the fire brigade or the ambulance service—is a fine.
The new law would up this penalty to a 40-day prison sentence.
It would also increase the amount that people can be fined for failing to disperse from protests.
Some activists have described the package of laws as “a bomb under democracy”.
The fight against climate change has exposed the gaping hole between the needs of ordinary people and the priorities of world leaders.
The outrageous attitude of those at the top is fuelling the anger of those who want to save the planet.
The most effective way to fight for serious action on climate change is to make sure that the anger is taken onto the streets in London on 5 December and in Copenhagen on 12 December.
A Global Warming rally in the middle of the 3rd coolest year in the last 100? It doesn't seem right.
Originally posted by john124
Thanks for your input. I don't claim to be an expert in fixing the problems, and I disagree with your assertion that it's like a child crying in the street. I don't intend to be extremely vocal unless I have a game plan. I have a couple of weeks to decide exactly what action should be taken, but it's obvious that we need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as a general assertion.
Successful indoor growers implement methods to increase CO2 concentrations in their enclosure. The typical outdoor air we breathe contains 0.03 - 0.045% (300 - 450 ppm) CO2. Research demonstrates that optimum growth and production for most plants occur between 1200 - 1500 ppm CO2. These optimum CO2 levels can boost plant metabolism, growth and yield by 25 - 60%.
Rebecca Lindsey June 5, 2003
Leaving aside for a moment the deforestation and other land cover changes that continue to accompany an ever-growing human population, the last two decades of the twentieth century were a good time to be a plant on planet Earth. In many parts of the global garden, the climate grew warmer, wetter, and sunnier, and despite a few El Niño-related setbacks, plants flourished for the most part.
The first neotropical rainforest was home of the Titanoboa
Published: Monday, October 12, 2009 - 15:09 in Paleontology & Archaeology
Smithsonian researchers working in Colombia's Cerrejón coal mine have unearthed the first megafossil evidence of a neotropical rainforest. Titanoboa, the world's biggest snake, lived in this forest 58 million years ago at temperatures 3-5 C warmer than in rainforests today, indicating that rainforests flourished during warm periods. "Modern neotropical rainforests, with their palms and spectacular flowering-plant diversity, seem to have come into existence in the Paleocene epoch, shortly after the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago," said Carlos Jaramillo, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. "Pollen evidence tells us that forests before the mass extinction were quite different from our fossil rainforest at Cerrejón. We find new plant families, large, smooth-margined leaves and a three-tiered structure of forest floor, understory shrubs and high canopy."
11 Jun 2009: China Will Not Accept
Binding CO2 Targets at Copenhagen
China will not accept a cap on its carbon emissions at upcoming climate talks in Copenhagen, Chinese officials said. After several days of U.S.-China climate meetings in Beijing, Chinese officials said that placing a ceiling on its greenhouse gas emissions would stunt its economic growth. “China is still a developing country and the present task confronting China is to develop its economy and alleviate poverty,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said. “Given that, it is natural for China to have some increase in its emissions, so it is not possible for China... to accept a binding, compulsory target.” U.S.
Russian climate official rejects plans for post-Kyoto caps
Russia signals it will not accept binding emission cuts as part of post-2012 deal
BusinessGreen Staff, BusinessGreen, 29 Apr 2008
Russia looks set to challenge the United States' title as the country most hostile to a post-Kyoto agreement after a top government official said yesterday that the government would not countenance binding caps on its greenhouse emissions.
According to Reuters' reports, Vsevolod Gavrilov, the official in charge of delivering Russia's obligations under the Kyoto agreement, said that the country had no plans to cap the use of fossil fuels.
"Energy must not be a barrier to our comfort. Our emerging middle class... demands lots of energy and it is our job to ensure comfortable supply," he told Reuters. "We do not plan to limit the use of fuel for our industries. We do not think this would be right."
India blinks on emission caps
Nitin Sethi, TNN 12 July 2009, 12:33am IST
NEW DELHI: Has India blinked in the climate change negotiations? This seems to be the case as at the Major Economies Forum meeting in Italy, India has gone back on some of its key principles -- like a refusal to accept emission caps -- that it held to be non-negotiable till just before the G-8 meet in Italy.
In the course of some tough negotiations, India appears to have bent a bit in the face of pressure from industrialized countries, and the biggest compromise at the MEF was to accept that all countries would work to reduce emissions in order to not let global temperatures rise more than 2 degrees above pre-industrialisation levels.
So why aren't climate scientists a lot more worried about water vapour than about CO2? The answer has to do with how long greenhouse gases persist in the atmosphere. For water, the average is just a few days.
This rapid turnover means that even if human activity was directly adding or removing significant amounts of water vapour (it isn't), there would be no slow build-up of water vapour as is happening with CO2
What is certain is that, in the jargon of climate science, water vapour is a feedback, but not a forcing.
Water vapor is 99.999% NATURAL, so there is NOTHING you can do to stop Climate Change, and that's again without mentioning that sequestration of CO2 means you are starving the green biomass of Earth, which also means less harvest, which means MORE STARVATION OF PEOPLE AND ANIMALS...
The Earth BENEFITS from having CO2, and throughout the entire lifetime of Earth the Earth has experienced 7-16 times as much CO2 in it's atmosphere. Animal life, and plant life, as well as life in the oceans THRIVED with more atmospheric CO2, but people like you have been brainwashed to believe the lie that CO2 is bad.
You do know you are living in a CARBON based world right?... You do know that ALL plant life thrives with higher concentrations of CO2 right?...
Water vapour is a "reactive" GHG with a short atmospheric lifetime of about 1 week. If you pump out a whole load of extra water vapour it won't stay in the atmosphere; it would condense as rain/snow and we'd be back to where we started. If you sucked the atmosphere dry of moisture, more would evaporate from the oceans. The balance is dynamic of course: humidity of the air varies by place and time, but its a stable balance.
In contrast, CO2 has a long lifetime (actually calculating a single "lifetime" for it doesn't work; but a given CO2 pulse such as we're supplying now will hang around for.. ohh... a century or more). It doesn't rain out (amusing factoid: the surface temperature of the deep interior Antarctica in winter can be colder than the freezing point of CO2; but this doesn't lead to CO2 snow (sadly, it would be fun) because the freezing point is lower because of the lower pressure because its higher up). So if you put in extra CO2 the climate warms a bit; because of this move WV evaporates (it doesn't have to, but just about all models show that the relative humidity tends to be about constant; so if you heat the atmos that means that the absolute humidity will increase). This in turn warms the atmosphere warms up a bit more; so more water gets evaporates. This is a positive feedback but a limited one: the increments (if you think of it that way) get smaller not larger so there is no runaway GH effect.
So: adding CO2 to the atmosphere warms it a bit and ends up with more WV. Adding WV does nothing much and the atmos returns to equilibrium. This is why WV is not the *dominant* GHG; its more like a submissive GHG :-)
Water is a major greenhouse gas too, but its level in the atmosphere depends on temperature. Excess water vapour rains out in days. Excess CO2 accumulates, warming the atmosphere, which raises water vapour levels and causes further warming.