Attila the Pun
Monday, January 24, 2005
Cancel those 2015 New Years Eve parties - we are all gonne die:
The global warming danger threshold for the world is clearly marked for the first time in an international report to be published tomorrow - and the bad news is, the world has nearly reached it already.
Anyone think that the threshold might be close enough to be sufficiently scary, but not so close as to be out of date in a year or two?
The countdown to climate-change catastrophe is spelt out by a task force of senior politicians, business leaders and academics from around the world - and it is remarkably brief.
Hmm - any scientists involved, maybe a climate "expert" or two?
In as little as 10 years, or even less, their report indicates, the point of no return with global warming may have been reached.
The report says this point will be two degrees centigrade above the average world temperature prevailing in 1750 before the industrial revolution, when human activities - mainly the production of waste gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), which retain the sun's heat in the atmosphere - first started to affect the climate. But it points out that global average temperature has already risen by 0.8 degrees since then, with more rises already in the pipeline - so the world has little more than a single degree of temperature latitude before the crucial point is reached.
Funny they should pick 1750 as the baseline date, and not say, a time in the middle ages, when wine grapes were grown in Europe 300 miles north of their current growing limit and Greenland was a much more pleasant holiday destination.
The report urges all the G8 countries to agree to generate a quarter of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and to double their research spending on low-carbon energy technologies by 2010. It also calls on the G8 to form a climate group with leading developing nations such as India and China, which have big and growing CO2 emissions.
But if the "point of no return" is to be reached by 2015, what is the point of generating 25% of our electricty from green sources 10 years after that?
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