Who do you trust on Climate Change?

It’s a valid question.  We all know that there are climate change deniers and climate change proponents out there.  And they each seem to be deeply convinced of their point of view.

One could get cynical and jaded regarding the issue and it’s easy to believe that these ongoing arguments are just the same old arguments being hashed out over and over again with neither side budging year after year.

But is it a static and unchanging argument?

Well, I’m going to tell you that it is not.  And I’m going to give you the proof.  And afterwards, you can ask yourself if,  perhaps, you’ve been a bit too lackadaisical about all of this.

Who loves you, Baby?

When it comes TIME to put your money and your belief down on a issue like this, who would you trust?

Would you trust the tree-huggers who seem to go on and on about saving nature – with seemingly no regard for preserving our jobs, our communities and our way of life?

Or would you trust the big oil, gas and coal corporations who tell us there’s nothing to worry about but whose profits are deeply dependent on all of us continuing to burn the fossil fuels they produce and sell to us?

Well, that’s a tough choice and it’s one we’ve been looking at for some time now.

New boys in town

But there are new players in this game now.  And these new folks have some very serious money and responsibilities on the table.  So, it is worth waking up again on this issue and seeing what they have to say.

Among these new players are the U.S. Pentagon, Lloyd’s of London and The World Bank, to name a few.  I think you’d agree that in a world full of monkey’s, these are some of the gorillas.

All of them have decided that the threat of Global Climate Change sounds serious enough that they’ve commissioned major studies to get at the truth of the matter for their own good.  And it is not surprising that they would.

The World Bank makes huge investments around the world and the success or failure of these investments may hinge on whether the threat of Global Climate Change is real.

Lloyd’s of London sells insurance. And when they do so, they are making a bet that they know what the odds are that a disaster might happen.   The fact that they’ve been in business for centuries, and that they are one of the world’s largest insurance firms, says that they know what they are doing when it comes to estimating risk.

And, of course, the U.S. Pentagon has the enormous responsibility of making sure that United States is, and remains, secure in the face of a changing world.

The studies they’ve commissioned have all come back saying that we, as a world, are proceeding into some very deep and serious problems.  These studies have confirmed what the environmentalists and the climate scientists have been trying to tell us for more than twenty plus years now.

Read it all for yourself

But don’t trust what I have to say on all of this.   Read it for yourself.  Here are the direct links:

The World Bank:

http://climatechange.worldbank.org/

Lloyd’s of London:  http:

//www.lloyds.com/~/media/3be75eab0df24a5184d0814c32161c2d.ashx

U.S. Pentagon:

http://www.cna.org/sites/default/files/news/FlipBooks/Climate%20Change%20web/flipviewerxpress.html

The Central Point

The central point in all of this is that Global Climate Change is real and it is a MAJOR threat to all of our futures.

That said, the worst aspects of these threats may still be a decade or two away.   Many of us are old enough (myself included) to think that none of this may matter to us.

But reflect for a moment on those you love.   Your sons, your daughters, your grandchildren and your relatives and their families and all the other folks you care about.

Just imagine the kind of a world we are on the brink of bequeathing them if all of this is true.  I know that none of you would willingly leave your dependents in dire straits.   So, you owe it to yourself and to them to open your mind and take a good look at these issues again, my friends.

A few samples from the reports

Here we’re going to learn that the world is well on its way to being 4°C [7.2°F] warmer by the end of the century.

Ironically, twenty years ago in 1992, the climate scientists who met in Rio then warned that the world could simply not sustain a temperature increase of more than 2°C with out major consequences.

Of that 2°C, we’ve now risen .8°C.

 

The World Bank Report says:

A 4°C warmer world can, and must be, avoided – we need to hold warming below 2°C.  Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. Climate change is one of the single biggest challenges facing development, and we need to assume the moral responsibility to take action on behalf of future generations, especially the poorest.

A 4°C [7.2°F] warmer world would also suffer more extreme heat waves, and these events will not be evenly distributed across the world, according to the report.

Sub-tropical Mediterranean, northern Africa, the Middle East, and the contiguous United States are likely to see monthly summer temperatures rise by more than 6°C [10.8°F]. Temperatures of the warmest July between 2080-2100 in the Mediterranean are expected to approach 35°C [95°F]– about 9°C [16.2°Fwarmer than the warmest July estimated for the present day. The warmest July month in the Sahara and the Middle East will see temperatures as high as 45°C [113°F], or 6-7°C [10.8-12.6°F] above the warmest July simulated for the present day.

Hotter weather could in turn lower crop yields in a 4°C [7.2°F] world—raising concerns about future food security. Field experiments have shown that crops are highly sensitive to temperatures above certain thresholds. One study cited in the report found that each “growing degree day” spent at a temperature of 30°C [86°F] degrees decreases yields by 1% under drought-free rain-fed conditions.

The report also says drought-affected areas would increase from 15.4% of global cropland today, to around 44% by 2100. The most severely affected regions in the next 30 to 90 years will likely be in southern Africa, the United States, southern Europe and Southeast Asia, says the report. 

The Lloyd’s of London Report says:

If the sea level were to rise just four meters due to climate change, almost every coastal city in the world would be inundated.

In publishing this report, it is not Lloyd’s intention to take a particular position, or to support a specific scenario. We simply aim to present the facts from the most reliable sources in a way which we hope will be helpful for those who trade in, and with, our market. We also want to generate debate about the specific steps which we might take as an industry to prepare for the increasing volatility of the climate.

Although debate continues, the growing body of evidence on greenhouse gases suggests that significant climate change is inevitable. Even if we stopped producing greenhouse gas emissions immediately, we would still experience rising temperatures for decades to come and sea temperatures will continue to rise for many centuries, due to inertia in the climate system.

We might hope that extreme ‘tipping points’ – the point beyond which change cannot be reversed – can be avoided. However, evidence so far must lead us to conclude that some level of change has already occurred and that it will continue to occur, perhaps at a higher level than previously thought.

One recent paper in Nature warns starkly: “Global warming may proceed at or even above the upper extreme of the range projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

The Pentagon Report says:

Projected climate change poses a serious threat to America’s national security. The predicted effects of climate change over the coming decades include extreme weather events, drought, flooding, sea level rise, retreating glaciers, habitat shifts, and the increased spread of life-threatening diseases. These conditions have the potential to disrupt our way of life and to force changes in the way we keep ourselves safe and secure.

The nature and pace of climate changes being observed today and the consequences projected by the consensus scientific opinion are grave and pose equally grave implications for our national security. Moving beyond the arguments of cause and effect, it is important that the U.S. military begin planning to address these potentially devastating effects. The consequences of climate change can affect the organization, training, equipping, and planning of the military services. The U.S.
military has a clear obligation to determine the potential impacts of climate change on its ability to execute its missions in support of national security objectives.

In the national and international security environment, climate change threatens to add new hostile and stressing factors. On the simplest level, it has the potential to create sustained natural and humanitarian disasters on a scale far beyond those we see today. The consequences will likely foster political instability where societal demands exceed the capacity of governments to cope.

Unlike most conventional security threats that involve a single entity acting in specific ways and points in time, climate change has the potential to result in multiple chronic conditions, occurring globally within the same time frame.  Economic and environmental conditions in already fragile areas will further erode as food production declines, diseases increase, clean water becomes increasingly scarce, and large populations move in search of resources. Weakened and failing governments, with an already thin margin for survival, foster the conditions for internal conflicts, extremism, and movement toward increased authoritarianism and radical ideologies.

So, what do you do with all of this?

You might wonder why I am writing this?  What do I expect you, my readers, to do with this information?  Maybe you suspect that I am hoping that all of you will undergo a sudden conversion and become rabid tree-huggers?

Nope, it is none of those and this is not a partisan based appeal either.   This is decidedly not about Conservative vs. Liberal or Religious vs. Secular.

It may be true, in general, that Liberals have been quicker than Conservatives to embrace a belief in Global Climate Change. But, in truth, neither side’s response to these problems has been anything other than tepid and lukewarm.  The best you can say for the Liberals is that they are still willing to “talk” about it though they’ve showed no serious signs of engaging it.   And with the Conservatives, it’s even worse as they are seeming moving away from the issues.

In 2008 the Republican party platform at least included language that called for a “decrease in emissions, reduction of excess greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and mitigation of the impact of climate change“.

By this most recent election cycle, there was a major shift away from this point-of-view.  The Republican 2012 platform eliminated any reference to climate change with the exception of prohibiting the “EPA from moving forward with new greenhouse gas regulations.”  Their platform also supported vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s accusation that climatologists use “statistical tricks to distort their findings and intentionally mislead the public on the issue of climate change.”

It is deeply scary that the Republican Party, that represents half of the American population, is in active denial of Global Climate Change.  And it is only slightly better that the Democrats at least still profess to still “believe” in the issue.  But all President Obama has really offered up in terms of improving things is to implement some better mileage requirements for cars.  In truth, he’s literally just messing with the deck furniture while the Titanic sails on to its appointment with an iceberg called Global Climate Change.

Folks, I’ll repeat myself.   This isn’t a partisan rant, this isn’t about Republicans vs. Democrats.  The  issues we’re talking about here cut a lot deeper than any of that.

What this is about is trying to convince you that these threats are terrifying and real,  And that they are going effect everyone and everyplace on this planet before long and that some of the biggest power players and smartest people on the planet are coming to that profound realization.

Vote – that’s what it’s about

This is about getting you to think about who you vote for because that is the leverage that each of us in a democratic society has to affect things.  Political parties don’t lead.   They simply reflect the beliefs of those whom they consider their electorate.  You, the voters, have to change and your parties will follow.  Show your change by who you vote for.

I urge you to vote for people, regardless of whether they are conservative or liberal, who’ve

A. Shown that they understand the issues around Global Climate Change.

B. And shown that they believe the issues are real and hugely important.

C. And shown that they are motivated to do something about it.

Many of our current politicians on both sides of the aisle  just cannot seem to see that the world is changing around us in dangerous ways.  For whatever reason, many of our current politicians are in serious denial about the coming consequences of Global Climate Change.

And in their denial they are frittering away all of our futures.  And most especially they are frittering away the futures of our children.

If you still have doubts about all of this, then go back and reread the reports I’ve referenced by the Pentagon, The World Bank and Lloyd’s of London again.  And then reflect on who these organizations are.  They are not tree-huggers or environmental destroyers.  And they most definitely are not here with ulterior motives to pull the wool over our eyes.

And these three organizations are not the only ones.  Governments and major business organizations all over the world are beginning to worry about what’s coming.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get the people we elect to wake up  and smell the coffee too?

 

 

One Response to “Who do you trust on Climate Change?”

  1. Kathy says:

    Thanks for posting this one. I am indeed afraid for my nieces’ futures and the world they are going to inherit!