Seems like we’re in for a warm century and maybe who knows—worse. Squabbling over who’s going to not do what rules over at the Durban Climate Change Conference - November/December 2011. Too bad, it’s the last day.
At Climate Talks, Resistance From India, China, U.S. : NPR The climate treaty talks in Durban, South Africa, are confronting some fundamental disagreements among the 190-plus nations represented at the meeting. In addition to the usual divides between rich and poor, and north and south, there is no consensus about the best way to move forward with an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Confronting that reality, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday urged the gathered delegates to press on, even so. Ban admitted up front that a comprehensive deal may well be out of reach in Durban. But that's not reason to give up. (December 7, 2011) Environment : NPR
What most people and countries around the world don’t seem to get is that we can’t wait if we want to stop Climate Change; and, we cannot do it alone. Without major agreements by the countries at the Climate Change conferences (this is the 7th) we, the folks on planet Earth, cannot move in concert towards a solution to reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) in something as large as our atmosphere. All those little things we do in our daily lives and all those things our governmental agencies say we must do won’t much matter if the rest of the world keeps spewing GHG into our atmosphere. We are so going to cook.
Some think we can use the social media to encourage our leaders not to delay critical decisions to curb the release of GHG and you should sign on:
350 | USA: Don't Delay on Climate Action! “At the UN Climate Talks in Durban, South Africa, the US is pushing for a delay on global climate action until 2020. A nine year delay could slam the door on ever getting carbon pollution back below 350 ppm, and would be a death sentence for the people at the front lines of the climate crisis.”
Using the social media might work. I don’t know. I’m not sure what our leaders are thinking because it’s not likely Climate Change will solve itself. Nor, obviously, do the major agencies in our country and non-governmental groups think Climate Change will just up and go away. The information is out there:
- Report 11-18 Response to Climate Change in New York State (ClimAID) Responding to Climate Change in New York state: the ClimAid integrated assessment for effective Climate Change adaptation in New York state (November 2011)
- This report, Stop Trashing the Climate, makes the case that working to prevent waste and expand reuse, recycling, and composting — that is, aiming for zero waste — is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective strategies for reducing climate change in the short term.
- Odd-ball Winter Weather: Global Warming’s Wake-Up Call for the Northern United States (pdf) "Global warming is having a seemingly peculiar effect on winter in the continental United States. On one hand, increasing temperatures have led to milder and shorter winters in most areas. On the other, we are still getting big snowstorms, especially in the northern part of the country. "--from National Wildlife Federation
- Regional Climate Impacts: Northeast "Since 1970, the annual average temperature in the Northeast has increased by 2°F, with winter temperatures rising twice this much.150 Warming has resulted in many other climate-related changes, including: "--from Global Climate Change Impacts in the US (2009)
- Responding to Climate Change in New York State: Region 1: Western New York, Great Lakes Plain. Agricultural revenue highest in state, relatively low rainfall, increase summer drought risk, high value crops could need irrigation, increased conditions for grapes projected." from NYSERDA - EMEP: Climate Change
- Monroe County gets an “F” for high ozone days in this report: Monroe: State of the Air 2011 - American Lung Association
- The State of the Birds 2011 Report on Public Lands and Waters United States of America
- The American Lung Association’s report Toxic Air: The Case for Cleaning Up Coal-fired Power Plants documents the range of hazardous air pollutants emitted from coal-burning power plants and the urgent need to clean them up to protect public health.
- Climate Change 101: Understanding and Responding to Global Climate Change | Pew Center on Global Climate Change To inform the climate change dialogue, the Pew Center on Global Climate Change has produced a series of brief reports entitled Climate Change 101.
Yet, however much proof our leaders need that our climate is out of whack with the climate we evolved with (it’s the hockey stick effect) we go on dragging our feet when it comes to the Climate Change talks. That’s despite evidence that our situation grows more dire every day.
Billion-dollar weather disasters smash US record - Houston Chronicle WASHINGTON (AP) — America smashed the record for billion-dollar weather disasters this year with a deadly dozen, and counting. With an almost biblical onslaught of twisters, floods, snow, drought, heat and wildfire, the U.S. in 2011 has seen more weather catastrophes that caused at least $1 billion in damage than it did in all of the 1980s, even after the dollar figures from back then are adjusted for inflation. (December 7, 2011) Houston News, Sports, Business, and Entertainment - The Houston Chronicle at Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
Many are probably overwhelmed by the multitude of crises around the world and find it hard to prioritize. For example, many think that the possibility of a nuclear exchange between warring nations will do us in. That instead of worrying about the nebulous Climate Change issue, we should worry about that. This is a worry, but here’s the difference between a possible nuclear exchange and Climate Change: a nuclear holocaust might happen. Climate Change is happening.
We are so going to cook.