This is one of my standard reblog posts made up of rehashed and mashed up info enhanced with additional links. My self serving intention is to combine information from a variety of sources and come up with a better understanding of a particular issue.
Millennium Development Goal 7. Environmental Sustainability has been of focus of this blog before and it is easily the most controversial. This blog does not bother to get involved in the arguments in the believe that it does not actually move anything forward. Instead it takes the view that the more information that gets out there, the more likely that more people will understand and understanding does lead to change. Still, one can't completely ignore the climate change deniers, and in specific circumstances there are viable arguments to be consider against particular aspects of climate change. One good example of such a discussion is here at MITWorld's The Great Climategate Debate. These are venues for finding solutions rather that engaging in vehement political rhetoric.
I have notice one aspect of many of the anti-climate change crowd and that is the tendency to treat the threat of climate change as a singular argument consisting of a few untested assumptions being put forward a small minority whose intentions are suspect and fraught with deception. A few well placed logical insights, usually based on political premises that are beyond questioning, and the whole facade folds. One biting comment from a blog of no greater reputation than this one sends the scientific climate change cronies scurrying for cover.
Leaving the climate change debate for a second, as an municipal economic development professional I do see the 21st century being a clean energy century and America falling behind in this business opportunity without any need to even bring up the topic of climate change. I also stand with the side that says climate change is a self-inflicted experiment that we cannot take a chance on being wrong about.
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) provided 10 arguments from respected sources concerning the case for acute climate change. The EDF has provided consultation to the private-equity firm Kohlberg, Kravis Roberts & Co on its environmental initiatives since 2007 and a former project manager from the nonprofit is overseeing an expansion of its Green Portfolio Program.
10 startling facts underscoring the threat of acute climate change:
- Current level of CO2 in the atmosphere – about 390 parts per million – is higher today than at any time in measurable history -- at least the last 2.1 million years. Science
- Arctic ice cover remains perilously thin, it is vulnerable to further melting, posing an ever increasing threat to Arctic wildlife including polar bears. National Snow and Ice Data Center
- The Arctic summer could be ice-free by mid-century, not at the end of the century. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
- Climate changes are already observed in the United States and… are projected to grow. "increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening ice-free seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows." U.S. Global Change Research Program
- Slight changes in the climate may trigger abrupt threats to ecosystems that are not easily reversible or adaptable, such as insect outbreaks, wildfire, and forest dieback. "More vulnerable ecosystems, such as those that already face stressors other than climate change, will almost certainly reach their threshold for abrupt change sooner." US Geological Survey
- Most mid-Atlantic coastal wetlands from New York to North Carolina will be lost with a sea level rise of 1 meter or more. EPA, USGS and NOAA
Wired.com/Wired Science blog provides another 7 ecological tipping points
South Asian monsoons, the Amazon rain forest and polar sea ice -- all significant environmental systems that control and regulate the climate of the entire planet -- could each serve as the site of an environmental tipping point as global temperatures rise, according to this article. Scientists are unable to predict the consequences of tipping-element changes to the Bodélé Depression in Chad or the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean, though changes to these systems have already been recorded. This is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg but it is enough to keep me firmly in the camp that says climate change cannot be ignored.
Yet merely agreeing or acquiescing to the position that climate change is a reality is not enough. The EDF tells us that we have an historic opportunity to cap America's global warming pollution and put people back to work building America's clean energy future. We need your help to make sure the Senate gets the message: The time for climate action is now! Take action to deliver this message to your Senators.
President Obama says that our environmental and economic renewal "starts with a cap and trade" system to deal with global warming. But he needs the support of Congress to achieve this historic goal this year. Please take action now