Sunday, December 13, 2009

Why Copenhagen matters

In December of 2007, NASA's James Hansen presented his conclusions. According to climate activist Bill McKibben, Hansen has given a simple measure of what is happening to the planet.

...above 350 [ppm of atmospheric carbon] you couldn't have a planet "similar to the one on which civilization developed and to which life on earth is adapted."

It's as if we suddenly discovered what normal body temperature was, so we'd be able to tell when we were running a fever. In that sense, it came as a great relief.

But in every other sense, it was a pretty devastating number. For one thing, we're already past it, at 390 ppm and rising two ppm annually--that's why the Arctic is melting. For another thing, it means the work nations and individuals must do to reduce their carbon footprints is much larger, and must happen much more swiftly, than we'd believed...

Are Hansen and McKibben right? Most of us aren't equipped to know. Those of us not on coal company payrolls or angrily dismissive of "smarty pants" opinion have to believe the scientific consensus that human-caused activity is driving global warming.

Are we, collectively, going to do anything about it? It feels insane to even be asking that question.


windcatcher said...

Global Warming-IS- Human / Industrial Waste!
The best indisputable SCIENCE example that should be the #1 item on the Copenhagen Agenda would be the toxic waste dump, the size of Texas, 900 miles off of the United States and Canadian West Coast.
That is a Big SCIENCE problem with no dedicated U.S SCIENCE and INNOVATION DEPARTMENT to address the issue. The U.S (or Canada) has not even sent out a SCIENCE research vessel to evaluate this ecological disaster; neither country wants to take the responsibility for the industrial/human pollution or even acknowledge its existence.
No Profit-No Action!-No SCIENCE! Will the World Trade Organization and the New Industrial World Order address the issue? Where is their World SCIENCE Department?
Can the problem be solved with SCIENCE? Probably so, Americans are very ingenious primarily because we were raised with the compliments of Freedom and Democracy and are free thinking individuals. We could probably figure a way to clean up the mess and possibly make a profit doing so.
We can do nothing until we have a DEPARTMENT OF SCIENCE that is free to address SCIENCE and to develop the advancement of SCIENCE. (Yes, for the sake of humanity; SCIENCE FIRST-PANDERING SECOND.)

Brad Evans said...

Have you suggested lowering third world birth rates as well as first world consumption rates?
No matter how much they recycle, 6.5 billion will consume a huge amount.

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