A group of 1,700 leading scientists called on the US government last June to take the lead in fighting global warming. Citing the unprecedented and unanticipated effects of global warming, the scientists, including six Nobel prizewinners, presented a letter calling for an immediate reduction in US carbon emissions. The letter warns if emissions continue unabated, the nation and the world will face more sea level rise, heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, snowmelt, flood risk, and public health threats, as well as increased rates of plant and animal species extinctions. The scientists call on the government to reduce emissions on the order of 80% below 2000 levels by 2050; but as a first step, the scientists call for a 15-20% reduction on 2000 levels by 2020.
Posts Tagged ‘carbon emissions’
Most of us accept the need for a more sustainable way to live, by reducing carbon emissions, developing renewable technology and increasing energy efficiency. But a growing band of experts think that these efforts to save the planet are doomed and futile as long as our economic system is built on the assumption of growth; that is, if we are serious about saving Earth, we must reshape our economy. To most economists, however, economic growth is as essential as the air we breathe. They see no limits to that growth. In recent weeks it has become clear just how terrified governments are of anything that threatens growth, as they pour billions of public money into a failing financial system. So the question is: how do we square Earth’s finite resources with the fact that as the economy grows, the amount of natural resources needed to sustain that activity must grow too?
An international climate change task force warned that global warming is approaching the point of no return, after which widespread drought, crop failure and rising sea levels will be irreversible. It called on the group of 8 leading industrial nations to cut carbon emissions, double their research spending on technology and work with India and China to build on the Kyoto Protocol for cuttings emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. According to the report, urgent action is needed to stop the global average temperature rising by 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above the level of the year 1750 — the approximate start of the Industrial Revolution, when mankind first started significantly adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.