The IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - has issued their fourth and final report. It's much more pessimistic than the first three, and those weren't walks in the park, either. Two alarming quotes from scientists on the panel:
Jeffrey Sachs, head of Columbia University's Earth Institute:
It's extremely clear and is very explicit that the cost of inaction will be huge compared to the cost of action. ... We can't afford to wait for some perfect accord to replace Kyoto, for some grand agreement. We can't afford to spend years bickering about it. We need to start acting now.
The IPCC chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, an engineer and economist from India:
If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment. ... If you look at the scientific knowledge things do seem to be getting progressively worse. So you'd better start with the interventions even earlier. Now.
The report's findings amount to a stark warning that the world must act fast to slash greenhouse gas emissions if we are to prevent climate change from reaching devastating levels. ... The good news is that it also shows that deep emission cuts are both technologically feasible and economically affordable.