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Climate change future looks sandy

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Climate change future looks sandy


Former wetlands in north-west China (Gansu province) have been sucked dry as the climate has changed. It is a stark warning that we can expect other ecological disaster areas like it to develop elsewhere.

With the acceleration of global warming since the Second Industrial Revolution — specifically from 1880 to 2012 — the average temperature planet-wide has risen by almost one degree Celsius — 0.85.

Heat-trapping gas emissions in our atmosphere are the highest they have been for 800,000 years.

The UN climate emergency panel meeting in Copenhagen on Sunday pretty was much calling red alert.

The Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Rajendra Pachauri said: “Now, as it happens, the window of action is really closing very rapidly, so we have a very short window of opportunity. If you look at the total carbon budget to ensure that temperature increase by the end of this century will not exceed two degrees Celsius, we’ve already used up a substantial share of this.”

In order to not exceed the much-feared two-degree tipping point beyond which (in layman’s terms) uncontrollable climate hell breaks loose, we’re going to need a 40-70 percent global emissions reduction by 2050, and to bring emissions to zero by the end of this century. Zero.

Replacing fossil fuels completely by alternative, sustainable power generation methods is possible, the pundits insist, without harming economic growth.

Long-established major oil interests, of course, sound determined not to give an inch, such as a builder of a planned pipeline from the prairies of Canada all the way to the gulf of Mexico through the USA.

Spokesman for the company Cenovus Energy Al Reid said: “Fossil fuels have created a lifestyle and a quality of life in North America that is second to none, as well as in Western Europe, and we think that is something that will continue.”

It is among the most ecologically controversial projects in the country, yet President Obama is poised to sign the cross-border deal.

It’s not that the farmers in the path of it aren’t offered real money to let oil flow over their land. Some just feel strongly that it’s wrong in all sorts of ways.

Nebraska farmer Rick Hammond said: “Our generation, that grew up when Kennedy was president, was about leaving the world a better place, do your part, leave the world a better place. At this point, with global warming, I just want to leave it viable.”

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