“BEIJING — Rising seas besieging China’s economically vital coastal zones. Mighty feats of infrastructure, like the Three Gorges Dam and railway in Tibet, strained by turbulent rainfall and the melting of frozen earth. And on the Himalayan frontiers, the risk in future decades of international conflict over dwindling water supplies as glaciers retreat.These and other somber scenarios are laid out in the Chinese government’s latest scientific assessment of global warming, released just before negotiations in Paris for a new international agreement on climate change.“There’s deepening awareness of the gravity of the problems,” Zhang Haibin, a professor at Peking University who was among some 550 experts who prepared the report, said in an interview. He noted a shift since the first such assessment was issued nine years ago. “From the first to the second to this third report, the negative impacts of climate change on China are increasingly apparent.” ”
“India will be one of the states hardest hit by climate change, with increased coastal flooding and melting Himalayan glaciers. Rising global temperatures would make water security an even greater problem in India-Pakistan relations. William Cline, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, has estimated that a modest increase in average global temperatures would cut agricultural output in India by 38 percent.
The stakes are as great for China. Earlier this year, the head of China’s national weather service warned that climate change would have “huge impacts” on the country, including reduced crop yields, ecological harm and unstable river flows. A 2011 government report anticipated a 5-to-20 percent drop in grain output resulting from climate change by 2050. Never mind the crisis the Chinese leadership already faces from unsustainable levels of air pollution in the country’s major cities.”
Great article by John Schwartz on Al Gore and his work. I didn’t realize that Al Gore is behind The Climate Reality Project. Gore thinks we are turning a corner, and will confront this beast. I agree. I have been saying for about a year, that I think in the next 5 years or so, there will be a huge, upsurge in acceptance of climate change as a national and international threat. I like to joke, that in 5 years, we will miss the old days, when it wasn’t so popular.
When we get the carbon tax, which I so keenly espouse, along with most scientists and economists who have studied the issue of pollution externalities, gas powered vehicle travel will become more expensive, but the chances of the earth as we know it remaining for our grand children and great grand children will increase. The Republicans are slowly realizing, one at at time, that they too, have progeny to care for.
Henry Fountain: “But the outlook for nuclear power dismays the industry and its supporters, including some environmentalists, who point out that replacing the lost electricity from Vermont Yankee and the other recently closed reactors with power from natural gas could result in the release of as much carbon dioxide as is produced yearly by two million cars or more.
“We can’t take a carbon-free source of energy off the table,” said Carol M. Browner, a former head of the Environmental Protection Agency who is now with Nuclear Matters, an industry-backed group.”
I agree with Carol Browner.Climate change is a threat to life as we know it.
I just commented at the NY Times on Joe Nocera’s column:
These are hard issues. On fracking, I’m against it, unless they do it in New York the way it should be done, approaching perfect containment of poisons and pollution. While it might be expensive, someone should figure out if it actually can be done safely and properly, which unfortunately, now also includes carbon dioxide sequestration, or whatever it is called. It might be best to wait until the solutions are found poisoning the water elsewhere. 350.org takes the position that we cannot afford to release the carbon that fracking will produce. Poorly done fracking will end life as we know it.
On local gambling, it probably is bad, but local casinos should have a smaller carbon footprint than distant ones, which makes it possibly an improvement. Even people who gamble and spend money at casinos should reduce their carbon footprint.
Coral Davenport for the NY Times reports:”At the global climate change negotiations now wrapping up in Peru, American negotiators are being met with something wildly unfamiliar: cheers, applause, thanks and praise.”
Extra, Extra, The Philippines makes history in fighting climate change.
“But while scientists and climate-policy experts welcome the new momentum ahead of the Lima talks, they warn that it now may be impossible to prevent the temperature of the planet’s atmosphere from rising by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. According to a large body of scientific research, that is the tipping point at which the world will be locked into a near-term future of drought, food and water shortages, melting ice sheets, shrinking glaciers, rising sea levels and widespread flooding — events that could harm the world’s population and economy.”
Eduardo Porto: “If a carbon tax were to be imposed next year, starting at $25 and rising by 5 percent a year, the Energy Information Administration estimates, carbon dioxide emissions from American power plants would fall to only 419 million tons by 2040, about one-fifth of where they are today. Total carbon dioxide emissions from energy in the United States would fall to 3.6 billion tons — 1.8 billion tons less than today. By providing a monetary incentive, economists say, such a tax would offer by far the most effective way to encourage business and individuals to reduce their use of fossil fuels and invest in alternatives.” NYT 11/18/14 Economy