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IPCC: two to three years to avert devastating climate change

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.

From a statement by EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas on the report:

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.

Read more at the International Herald Tribune.



I didn't know this, but apparently, climate problems can be solved by simply praying to a sky-god. That's what they're doing in Georgia to alleviate the effects of severe drought in the region. Good luck with that...

I give IPCC all the credit in the world for at least making fence sitters take notice. Every environmental cause should have such a mechanism for churning out science to overcome and overwhelm the skeptics. I noticed that this past weekend the biodiversity camp is getting closer to its own version of IPCC, only they call it IMoSEB. I've summarized the report in my frog blog, and the link to the report is in there, too: http://frogmatters.wordpress.com/2007/11/20/can-this-acronym-do-for-biodiversity-what-ipcc-has-done-for-global-warming/

I perhaps was a littly too rosy in talking about that French summit on biodiversity that was going to ramp up an IPCC like group about what's happening to plant and animal life. A grim story just came out about the French meeting about IMoSEB: http://frogmatters.wordpress.com/2007/11/22/biodiversitys-equivalent-to-ipcc-gets-grim-news-report/

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