Scientists’ Report Stresses Urgency of Limiting

– Would you, dear readers, be more impressed if I also went back and provided links for the last three or four times that such warnings have been issued; each with more stridency?    I could, you know.

– I/we just keep watching these warnings go by.

– And then one day, we’ll all hear it said, “Why didn’t anyone tell us?   Why didn’t anyone do anything to prevent all this?”  Why, indeed.

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The nation’s scientific establishment issued a stark warning to the American public on Thursday: Not only is global warming real, but the effects are already becoming serious and the need has become “pressing” for a strong national policy to limit emissions of heat-trapping gases.

The report, by the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, did not endorse any specific legislative approach, but it did say that attaching some kind of price to emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, would ideally be an essential component of any plan.

“The risks associated with doing business as usual are a much greater concern than the risks associated with engaging in ambitious but measured response efforts,” the report concludes. “This is because many aspects of an ‘overly ambitious’ policy response could be reversed or otherwise addressed, if needed, through subsequent policy change, whereas adverse changes in the climate system are much more difficult (indeed, on the time scale of our lifetimes, may be impossible) to ‘undo.’ ”

The report, “America’s Climate Choices,” was ordered by Congress several years ago to offer “action-oriented advice” on how the nation should be reacting to the potential consequences of climate change.

But the answer comes at a time when efforts to adopt a climate-change policy have stalled in Washington, with many of the Republicans who control the House expressing open skepticism about the science of climate change. Other legislators, including some Democrats, worry that any new law would translate into higher energy prices and hurt the economy.


– Research Thanks to Robin S.

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