December 08, 2003

Global Warming: Melting Ice 'Will Swamp Capitals'

Clinton-Gore saved the Kyoto accords, and signed on to
the Kyoto accords. One of the _resident's first and
most loathesome actions was to renege on the US
commitment to the Kyoto accords. Gore would not pulled
the US out of Kyoto. No way, no how. He would have
worked tirelessly for it, and for more than it (everyone acknowledges that Kyoyo is not nearly enough) -- to
confront Global Warming, one of the issues (along with AIDS in Africa
*and* al-Qaeda) that had already been identified as
National Security Threats in the Clinton-Gore
administration. Gore would not have been abale to win
ratification of Kyoto on Capitol Hill, because of GOP
control abbetted by too many craven "Democrats," BUT
he would have kept the heat on (no pun intended) and
he would have used the bully pulpit of the White House
to EDUCATE the US electorate and to LEAD the world in
this VITAL struggle. Instead, we have the Bush cabal playing games, pretending that there is no scientific consensus on human activity as a contributing factor...Nero played his fiddle while Rome burned, the _resident is playing politics while the planet burns... There is no more compelling evidence of Ralph Nada's BIG LIE that there was no difference between voting for Bush or Gore, and those who refuse to accept this irrefutable political fact
need to come to grips with themselves and face
reality...Nada siphoned off enough votes from Gore to
have overcome the votes that were thrown away in
Fraudida, Nada siphoned off enough votes in other
states to have cancelled out the abomination in
Fraudida...and even now, after all that has befallen
this country, Nada has the nerve to launch an
"exploratory committee." How disgraceful.

Save the Environment, Show Up for Democracy in 2004:
Defeat Bush (again!)

http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1207-04.htm

Published on Sunday, December 7, 2003 by the
lndependent/UK
Global Warming: Melting Ice 'Will Swamp Capitals'
by Geoffrey Lean

Measures to fight global warming will have to be at
least four times stronger than the Kyoto Protocol if
they are to avoid the melting of the polar ice caps,
inundating central London and many of the world's
biggest cities, concludes a new official report.

The report, by a German government body, says that
even if it is fully implemented, the protocol will
only have a "marginal attenuating effect" on the
climate change. But last week even this was thrown
into doubt amid contradictory signals from the Russian
government as to whether it will allow the treaty to
come into effect.

Global warming already kills 150,000 people a year
worldwide and the rate of climate change is soon
likely to exceed anything the planet has seen "in the
last million years" says the report, produced by the
German Advisory Council on Global Change for a meeting
of the world's environment ministers to consider the
future of the treaty in Milan this week.

It concludes that the protocol must urgently be
brought into force, but only as a first step,
insisting that "catastrophic" climate change "can now
only be prevented if climate protection targets are
set at substantially higher levels than those agreed
internationally until now".

The report, written by eight leading German
professors, says that "dangerous climatic changes"
will become "highly probable" if the world's average
temperature is allowed to increase to more than 2
degrees centigrade above what it was before the start
of the Industrial Revolution.

Beyond that level the West Antarctic ice sheet and the
Greenland ice cap would begin gradually to melt away,
eventually raising sea levels world wide by up to 30
feet, submerging vast areas of land and key cities
worldwide. London, New York, Miami, Bombay, Calcutta,
Sidney, Shanghai, Lagos and Tokyo would be among those
largely submerged by such a rise.

Above this mark too, other "devastating" and
"irreversible" changes would be likely to take place.
These include a cessation of the Indian monsoon and
the ending of the Gulf Stream, which would
dramatically worsen the climate in Britain and western
Europe, even as the world warms. Another risk is the
so-called "runaway greenhouse" where rising
temperatures lead to the release of huge reservoirs
methane stored in permafrost and the oceans, adding to
global warming and starting a self-reinforcing cycle
that would eventually make the earth uninhabitable.

To avoid such catastrophe, the report says that
industrialized countries will have to cut emissions of
greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide by at least 20
per cent by 2020, and by up to 60 per cent by 2050.
The Kyoto Protocol would at best cut them by 5 per
cent by 2012, and probably less, even if it were
brought into force and fully implemented.

In the meantime the world looks as if it will greatly
exceed the targets. Writing in The Independent on
Sunday today, Michael Meacher, the former environment
minister, calculates that global emissions of
greenhouse gases could increase by 75 per cent by
2020, "putting the world well on the way to doomsday".

2003 Independent Digital (UK) Ltd

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Posted by richard at December 8, 2003 09:42 AM