An emergency "Plan B" using the latest technology is needed to save the world from dangerous climate change, according to a poll of leading scientists carried out by The Independent. The collective international failure to curb the growing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has meant that an alternative to merely curbing emissions may become necessary.
When Nelson Mandela formed the Elders in 2007 to promote peace and human rights across the world, he challenged us to be bold and to give a voice to those who have none. No issue demands these qualities more than our collective failure to tackle climate change. Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time. It threatens the well-being of hundreds of millions of people today and many billions more in the future.
Seven of Canada's most prized scientific libraries are being shut down, and some of their contents have already been burned, thrown away or carted off by fossil fuel consultancy firms. This development is part of a Harper administration plan to slash more than $160 million in the coming years from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans--or DFO, an agency charged with protecting the country's vast waterways.
Below is an open letter (dated 13th Dec. 2013) to the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, outlining how, if the EU is to “set in stone a commitment to cap the temperature increase at 2 degrees Celsius” it must double its proposed 2030 decarbonisation target. As the letter makes clear, for the EU to honour this commitment the Commission must find the courage to pursue an equitable and science-based 2030 decarbonisation target of around 80%.
Tropical rainforests are becoming less able to cope with rising global temperatures according to a study that has looked back over the way they have responded to variations in temperature in the past half a century. For each 1C rise in temperature, tropical regions now release about 2 billion extra tonnes of carbon-containing gases – such as carbon dioxide and methane – into the atmosphere, compared to the same amount of tropical warming in the 1960s and 1970s, the study found.
Chris Bretherton’s office on the seventh floor of the Atmospheric Sciences building at the University of Washington is like a scene from the Cloud City, only without the nonstop sunset. All that’s visible outside the plate-glass windows is an endless stream of cars filing across the I-5 bridge through the soup of Seattle’s infernal January fog.
Climate skeptics in Congress, and oil and coal industry lobbyists like the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the American Coal Council (ACC) may be preventing any significant action in the US on reducing this country’s emissions of carbon into the atmosphere, but at the Pentagon, and in the executive suites of the oil industry giants, there is no doubt about the reality of climate change.
As 2014 gets underway, humanity’s carbon emissions remain on course to catastrophically reshape the global climate over the next century or two. Global carbon emissions increased 1.4 percent in 2012, hitting an historic high of 31.6 billion metric tons released in a single year, according to a recent assessment by the International Energy Agency (IEA).