Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Inching Toward Apocalypse - Next IPCC Report Leaked
Sorry, kids, but here's your inheritance - starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease.
A leaked draft of the report due in March from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the future holds more of all of those scourges in store for our kids and theirs.
A leaked copy of a draft of the summary of the report appeared online Friday on a climate skeptic's website. Governments will spend the next few months making comments about the draft.
"We've seen a lot of impacts and they've had consequences," Carnegie Institution climate scientist Chris Field, who heads the report, told The Associated Press on Saturday. "And we will see more in the future."
Cities, where most of the world now lives, have the highest vulnerability, as do the globe's poorest people.
"Throughout the 21st century, climate change impacts will slow down economic growth and poverty reduction, further erode food security and trigger new poverty traps, the latter particularly in urban areas and emerging hotspots of hunger," the report says. "Climate change will exacerbate poverty in low- and lower-middle income countries and create new poverty pockets in upper-middle to high-income countries with increasing inequality."
The simple fact is we can avert some of these consequences entirely and most of the others to a significant degree if we act to decarbonize our economies and our societies. There are clean, alternative energy sources that can affordably meet most existing fossil fuel applications. Price carbon fuels realistically according to the emissions targets we need to achieve, charge fossil fuel producers the full value of the natural capital they consume, end fossil fuel subsidies entirely and alternative, clean energy options will flood the market. It will take an unusual degree of courage, vision and political will rarely seen in our elected leadership which suggests we have to demand far better from those we select to lead us.