Global Warming: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid
Home | Up | BushGreenwatch | Climateprediction.net |
| Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change | An Inconvenient Truth |

"In a poll of 400 climate scientists conducted by Greenpeace International during
January & February 1992, almost half (45 percent) said that a runaway
greenhouse effect
is possible if action is not taken to cut greenhouse gas
emissions. And more than one in ten of those polled believe that such a scenario
is probable. The poll included all scientists involved in the 1990 study of the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, & others who have
published on issues relevant to climate change in Science or Nature during
1991."  Global Warming: The Possibility of a "Runaway" Global Warming

Picture of the Crevasse at Grinnell Glacier in Glacier National Park.
From EcoBridge.org

"Well, it's vitally important to confront the real issue, which in my view is the urgent need for a transition to a non-fossil fuel source of energy for our civilization. If we don't do it, we'll be faced with the alternative of possibly transforming our planet dramatically, changing the climate to one that we haven't seen for perhaps 100 million years. To make the transition, it will be necessary to recognize the magnitude of the problem and to develop a policy that addresses it." - Martin Hoffert, Professor of Physics, New York University

"...Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries, engaged in the most elaborate, well organized scientific collaboration in the history of humankind, have produced long-since a consensus that we will face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming..."- Al Gore, "On Katrina, Global Warming,"  9/12/2005.

Global warming may be twice as bad as previously expected

Global warming will be twice as severe as previous estimates indicate, according to a new study published this month in the Journal of Climate, a publication of the American Meteorological Society.

The research, conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), predicts a 90% probability that worldwide surface temperatures will rise more than 9 degrees (F) by 2100, compared to a previous 2003 MIT study that forecast a rise of just over 4 degrees.


Burning rainforests, melting tundra could accelerate global warming well beyond current projections, 2/16/2009

Projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) likely underestimate the scale and rapidity of climate change, warned a Stanford University scientist presenting Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Chicago.

Noting that industrial emissions are well out-pacing even the most aggressive forecasts, Dr. Christopher Field said the IPCC's 2007 climate assessment failed to account for potentially devastating feedback cycles that could be triggered by rising temperatures, including large-scale ignition of tropical forests and catastrophic melting of Arctic tundra, which would greatly accelerate the release of greenhouse gases.
 


Global warming increasing death rate of US trees, scientists warn, 1/22/2009

"Trees in the western United States are dying twice as quickly as they did three decades ago and scientists think global warming is to blame.

In their surveys, ecologists found that a wide range of tree species were dying including pines, firs and hemlocks and at a variety of altitudes. The changes can have serious long-term effects including reducing biodiversity and turning western forests into a source of carbon dioxide as they die and decompose. That could lead to a runaway effect that speeds up climate change."



Arctic Report Card: New Trouble for Ice Sheets, Wildlife, 10/16/2008

"Thawing permafrost, melting ice sheets and threats to Arctic wildlife are just some of the growing concerns about the effect of global warming at the top of the planet, according to a new U.S. government report card.

The incredibly rapid rate at which Canada's Arctic ice shelves are disappearing is an early indicator of the "very substantial changes" that global warming will impose on all mankind, a top scientist said on September 3, 2008. The report card notes that 2007 was the warmest year on record in the Arctic region, with sea-ice cover at record lows, less snow cover and increased effects on walruses and polar bears.

"These are clearly dynamic and dramatic times in the Arctic," said report editor Jackie Richter-Menge, a researcher with the Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H.

The massive ice sheet in Greenland underwent "record melting" in 2007, the report said, losing at least 24 cubic miles of ice.

That is about 100 times the amount of ice that the city of Los Angeles uses in an entire year, according to Eric Rignot, a scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory who was not involved in the report card."


Representatives Announce Legislative Principles to Save the Planet from Calamitous Global Warming, 10/2/2008

Today, 152 members of the House of Representatives — over one-third of all members and nearly two-thirds of all Democrats — signed and submitted a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi stating their guiding principles for “comprehensive global warming legislation” to “save the planet from calamitous global warming.” The letter, led by representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Jay Inslee (D-WA), was delivered to Pelosi this morning.

The legislators describe four key goals:

Reduce emissions to avoid dangerous global warming;
Transition America to a clean energy economy;
Recognize and minimize any economic impacts from global warming legislation; and
Aid communities and ecosystems vulnerable to harm from global warming.
These are the necessary principles that should guide any path out of the climate crisis. What makes this letter significant is the strong, specific details endorsed by the 152 signatories. These include the following measures to respect the severity of the danger of rising greenhouse gas emissions:

– “The United States must do its part to keep global temperatures from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above pre-industrial levels.”
– “Total U.S. emissions must be capped by a date certain, decline every year, be reduced to 15% to 20% below current levels in 2020, and fall to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.”
– “A mechanism for periodic scientific review is necessary, and EPA, and other agencies as appropriate, must adjust the regulatory response if the latest science indicates that more reductions are needed.”
– “Cost-containment measures must not break the cap on global warming pollution.”
– “The United States must reengage in the international negotiations to establish binding emissions reductions goals under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change . . . for the United States and other developed nations to achieve combined emissions reductions of at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020, as called for by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

The letter makes clear that a national cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions is necessary, but not sufficient. The signatories call for “complementary policies” like “smart growth measures, green building policies, and electricity sector efficiency policies.” They also agree that a national system should not preempt state efforts: “Federal global warming requirements must be a floor, not a ceiling, on states’ ability to protect their citizens’ health and state resources.”

The signatories also explain that polluter payments must go into building a green recovery, by calling for strong limits to free allowances, if any are made. Instead, the funds derived from auction pollution permits should go to:

- Clean energy and efficiency measures
– Low and moderate-income households
– Workforce development
– State and local adaptation and response to “more severe wildfires, intensified droughts, increased water scarcity, sea level rise, floods, hurricanes, melting permafrost, and agricultural and public health impacts”
– Assistance for developing countries
– Survival of wildlife and natural ecosystems

The Center for American Progress supports auctioning 100 percent of the greenhouse gas emission permits from day one under a cap-and-trade program, and this summer released a comprehensive report, Investing in a Green Economy, describing a plan for investing those revenues along the principles of today’s letter.

The signatories represent a diverse cross-section of House Members, including members of the Blue Dogs Coalition (11), the Congressional Black Caucus (27), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (8) and the New Democrat Coalition (30). Download the letter here.
 

NASA: Danger Point Closer Than Thought From Warming, 5/29/2007

Even "moderate additional" greenhouse emissions are likely to push Earth past "critical tipping points" with "dangerous consequences for the planet," according to research conducted by NASA and the Columbia University Earth Institute.

With just 10 more years of "business as usual" emissions from the burning of coal, oil and gas, says the NASA/Columbia paper, "it becomes impractical" to avoid "disastrous effects."

The study appears in the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. Its lead author is James Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York.

The forecast effects include "increasingly rapid sea-level rise, increased frequency of droughts and floods, and increased stress on wildlife and plants due to rapidly shifting climate zones," according to the NASA announcement.


Climate Target Is Not Radical Enough - Study, 4/7/2008

One of the world’s leading climate scientists warns today that the EU and its international partners must urgently rethink targets for cutting carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because of fears they have grossly underestimated the scale of the problem.

In a startling reappraisal of the threat, James Hansen, head of the Nasa Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, calls for a sharp reduction in C02 limits.

Hansen says the EU target of 550 parts per million of C02 - the most stringent in the world - should be slashed to 350ppm. He argues the cut is needed if “humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilisation developed”. A final version of the paper Hansen co-authored with eight other climate scientists, is posted today on the Archive website. Instead of using theoretical models to estimate the sensitivity of the climate, his team turned to evidence from the Earth’s history, which they say gives a much more accurate picture



CO2 output must cease altogether, studies warn: Research points to years of warming even with ambitious emission cuts, 3/9/2008

"The task of cutting greenhouse gas emissions enough to avert a dangerous rise in global temperatures may be far more difficult than previous research suggested, say scientists who have just published studies indicating that it would require the world to cease carbon emissions altogether within a matter of decades."


World fells trees at ‘alarming’ rate, experts say Scientists say global deforestation will feed global warming, 2/3/2008

"ABO EBAM, Nigeria - In the gloomy shade deep in Africa's rain forest, the noontime silence was pierced by the whine of a far-off chain saw. It was the sound of destruction, echoed from wood to wood, continent to continent, in the tropical belt that circles the globe.

From Brazil to central Africa to once-lush islands in Asia's archipelagos, human encroachment is shrinking the world's rain forests.

The alarm was sounded decades ago by environmentalists — and was little heeded. The picture, meanwhile, has changed: Africa is now a leader in destructiveness. The numbers have changed: U.N. specialists estimate 60 acres of tropical forest are felled worldwide every minute, up from 50 a generation back. And the fears have changed.

Experts still warn of extinction of animal and plant life, of the loss of forest peoples' livelihoods, of soil erosion and other damage. But scientists today worry urgently about something else: the fateful feedback link of trees and climate.

"If we lose forests, we lose the fight against climate change," declared more than 300 scientists, conservation groups, religious leaders and others in an appeal for action at December's climate conference in Bali, Indonesia.""


Escalating Ice Loss Found in Antarctica
Sheets Melting in an Area Once Thought to Be Unaffected by Global Warming


"Climatic changes appear to be destabilizing vast ice sheets of western Antarctica that had previously seemed relatively protected from global warming, researchers reported yesterday, raising the prospect of faster sea-level rise than current estimates.

While the overall loss is a tiny fraction of the miles-deep ice that covers much of Antarctica, scientists said the new finding is important because the continent holds about 90 percent of Earth's ice, and until now, large-scale ice loss there had been limited to the peninsula that juts out toward the tip of South America. In addition, researchers found that the rate of ice loss in the affected areas has accelerated over the past 10 years -- as it has on most glaciers and ice sheets around the world."

"...The new finding comes days after the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said the group's next report should look at the "frightening" possibility that ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica could melt rapidly at the same time.- Marc Kaufman, Washington Post, 1/14/2008


The Global Environment Outlook-4 (GEO-4)

PARIS: The human population is living far beyond its means and inflicting damage on the environment that could pass points of no return, according to a major report issued Thursday by the United Nations.

Climate change, the rate of extinction of species and the challenge of feeding a growing population are among the threats putting humanity at risk, the UN Environment Program said in its fourth Global Environmental Outlook since 1997.

"The human population is now so large that the amount of resources needed to sustain it exceeds what is available at current consumption patterns," Achim Steiner, the executive director of the program, said in a telephone interview. Efficient use of resources and reducing waste now are "among the greatest challenges at the beginning of 21st century," he said.

The program described its report, which is prepared by 388 experts and scientists, as the broadest and deepest of those that the UN issues on the environment and called it "the final wake-up call to the international community."

Over the past two decades the world population has increased by almost 34 percent to 6.7 billion from 5 billion; similarly, the financial wealth of the planet has soared by about a third. But the land available to each person on earth had shrunk by 2005 to 2.02 hectares, or 5 acres, from 7.91 hectares in 1900 and was projected to drop to 1.63 hectares for each person by 2050, the report said. See: Executive Overview Report, 10/25/2007


U.N. Climate Panel Says Warming Is Man-Made

An international panel of climate scientists said yesterday that there is an overwhelming probability that human activities are warming the planet at a dangerous rate, with consequences that could soon take decades or centuries to reverse.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of hundreds of scientists from 113 countries, said that based on new research over the last six years, it is 90 percent certain that human-generated greenhouse gases account for most of the global rise in temperatures over the past half-century.

Declaring that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal," the authors said in their "Summary for Policymakers" that even in the best-case scenario, temperatures are on track to cross a threshold to an unsustainable level. A rise of more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels would cause global effects -- such as massive species extinctions and melting of ice sheets -- that could be irreversible within a human lifetime. Under the most conservative IPCC scenario, the increase will be 4.5 degrees by 2100.

Richard Somerville, a distinguished professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and one of the lead authors, said the world would have to undertake "a really massive reduction in emissions," on the scale of 70 to 80 percent, to avert severe global warming.- 2/3/2007.


Smoking gun’ for human-caused warming: 1,600-page climate report, out in February, says evidence is compelling

"WASHINGTON - Human-caused global warming is here — visible in the air, water and melting ice — and is destined to get much worse in the future, an authoritative global scientific report will warn when it's released next month.

“The smoking gun is definitely lying on the table as we speak,” said top U.S. climate scientist Jerry Mahlman, who reviewed all 1,600 pages of the first segment of a giant four-part report. “The evidence ... is compelling.”

Andrew Weaver, a Canadian climate scientist and study co-author, went even further: “This isn’t a smoking gun; climate is a battalion of intergalactic smoking missiles.”

The first phase of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is being released in Paris next week. This segment, written by more than 600 scientists and reviewed by another 600 experts and edited by bureaucrats from 154 countries, includes “a significantly expanded discussion of observation on the climate,” co-chair Susan Solomon a senior scientist for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She and other scientists held a telephone briefing on the report Monday.

"...The future is bleak, scientists said. “We have barely started down this path,” said chapter co-author Richard Alley of Penn State University. - 1/23/2007


Nepal's Farmers on the Front Line of Global Climate Change Himalayan communities face catastrophic floods as weather patterns alter

"...Anecdotal observations are backed by scientists who are recording in Nepal some of the fastest long-term increases in temperatures and rainfall anywhere in the world. At least 44 of Nepal's and neighbouring Bhutan's Himalayan lakes, which collect glacier meltwater, are said by the UN to be growing so rapidly they they could burst their banks within a decade. Any climate change in Nepal is reflected throughout the region. Nearly 400 million people in northern India and Bangladesh also depend on rainfall and rivers that rise there."- 12/2/2006


Coalition of EPA scientists call for action against warming

"A coalition of environmental scientists from across the country is petitioning Congress to take action to stem the human-created causes of global warming, RAW STORY can report. "We are writing to protest the lack of progress in addressing global warming," says a letter affixed to the petition. It goes on to point out that, "the federal government is using primarily voluntary and incentive-based programs to reduce the bulk of emissions," in the United States, and that the EPA "could do more" to stem the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. According to a summary released in conjunction with the petition, the EPA labor union coalition represents over 10,000 U.S. EPA environmental scientists and other experts."- 11/29/2006.


Gaia scientist Lovelock predicts planetary wipeout

"LONDON (Reuters) - The earth has a fever that could boost temperatures by 8 degrees Celsius making large parts of the surface uninhabitable and threatening billions of peoples' lives, a controversial climate scientist said on Tuesday. James Lovelock, who angered climate scientists with his Gaia theory of a living planet and then alienated environmentalists by backing nuclear power, said a traumatized earth might only be able to support less than a tenth of it's 6 billion people. "We are not all doomed. An awful lot of people will die, but I don't see the species dying out," he told a news conference. "A hot earth couldn't support much over 500 million." - 11/28/2006.


The century of drought

"Drought threatening the lives of millions will spread across half the land surface of the Earth in the coming century because of global warming, according to new predictions from Britain's leading climate scientists." -Michael McCarthy, Environmental Editor, Independent/UK, 10/4/2006.


Study says Earth's temp at 400-year high

It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries. This statement is justified by the consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies. · Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period from A.D. 900 to 1600. Presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900. The uncertainties associated with reconstructing hemispheric mean or global mean temperatures from these data increase substantially backward in time through this period and are not yet fully quantified. · Very little confidence can be assigned to statements concerning the hemispheric mean or global mean surface temperature prior to about A.D. 900 because of sparse data coverage and because the uncertainties associated with proxy data and the methods used to analyze and combine them are larger than during more recent time periods. The main reason that our confidence in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions is lower before A.D. 1600 and especially before A.D. 900 is the relative scarcity of precisely dated proxy evidence. 6/23/2006, National Academies of Science, Committee on Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years, National Research Council


An Inconvenient Truth

"Humanity is sitting on a ticking time bomb. If the vast majority of the world's scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced."- From the film an AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, Former Vice-President, Al Gore, 5/24/2006


Earth is at the Tipping Point:  The climate is crashing and global warming is to blame. Why the crisis hit so soon -- and what we can do about it- Jeffrey Kluger, Time Magazine, 3/27/2006

No one can say exactly what it looks like when a planet takes ill, but it probably looks a lot like Earth. Never mind what you've heard about global warming as a slow-motion emergency that would take decades to play out. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the crisis is upon us.

It certainly looked that way last week as the atmospheric bomb that was Cyclone Larry -- a Category 5 storm with wind bursts that reached 180 m.p.h. -- exploded through northeastern Australia. It certainly looked that way last year as curtains of fire and dust turned the skies of Indonesia orange, thanks to drought-fueled blazes sweeping the island nation. It certainly looks that way as sections of ice the size of small states calve from the disintegrating Arctic and Antarctic. And it certainly looks that way as the sodden wreckage of New Orleans continues to molder, while the waters of the Atlantic gather themselves for a new hurricane season just two months away. Disasters have always been with us and surely always will be. But when they hit this hard and come this fast -- when the emergency becomes commonplace -- something has gone grievously wrong. That something is global warming.


Inuit alarmed by signs of global warming: 'Sentries for the rest of the world' report massive changes to Arctic life

"...The global warming felt by wildlife and increasingly documented by scientists is hitting first and hardest here, in the Arctic where the Inuit people make their home. The hardy Inuit -- described by one of their leaders as "sentries for the rest of the world" -- say this winter was the worst in a series of warm winters, replete with alarms of the quickening transformation that many scientists believe will spread from the north to the rest of the globe." - Doug Struck, Washington Post, 3/22/2006.


Alarm over dramatic weakening of Gulf Stream

The powerful ocean current that bathes Britain and northern Europe in warm waters from the tropics has weakened dramatically in recent years, a consequence of global warming that could trigger more severe winters and cooler summers across the region, scientists warn today. Researchers on a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean measured the strength of the current between Africa and the east coast of America and found that the circulation has slowed by 30% since a previous expedition 12 years ago.


Impact of Climate Change 'Can be Likened to WMD'

Climate change can be likened in its destructive scale to the effects of using weapons of mass destruction, according to Britain's leading scientist.

Lord May of Oxford, the president of the Royal Society, will say that the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina is an example of the sort of extreme weather event that climate change can trigger.

The impacts of climate change are many and serious, he contends. They include rising sea levels, changes in the availability of drinking water, and an increase in the risk of extreme weather such as floods, droughts and hurricanes.

Lord May, a former chief scientist for the Government, will say the seriousness of weather extremes, exemplified by Katrina's impact on New Orleans, "invite comparison with weapons of mass destruction".- Steve Connor, Independent/UK, 11/29/2005



The Big Thaw: Global Disaster Will Follow If the Ice Cap on Greenland Melts
Now scientists say it is vanishing far faster than even they expected; 11/20/2005

"Greenland's glaciers have begun to race towards the ocean, leading scientists to predict that the vast island's ice cap is approaching irreversible meltdown, The Independent on Sunday can reveal."

"...Research to be published in a few days' time shows how glaciers that have been stable for centuries have started to shrink dramatically as temperatures in the Arctic have soared with global warming. On top of this, record amounts of the ice cap's surface turned to water this summer.

The two developments - the most alarming manifestations of climate change to date - suggest that the ice cap is melting far more rapidly than scientists had thought, with immense consequences for civilisation and the planet. Its complete disappearance would raise the levels of the world's seas by 20 feet, spelling inundation for London and other coastal cities around the globe, along with much of low-lying countries such as Bangladesh.


More immediately, the vast amount of fresh water discharged into the ocean as the ice melts threatens to shut down the Gulf Stream, which protects Britain and the rest of northern Europe from a freezing climate like that of Labrador.


Ripples of Global Warming Spread Outward

UNITED NATIONS - Human health and the earth's ecosystems are increasingly threatened by climate change, warns a new study jointly released by three leading environmental organisations here this week.

"Climate Change Futures", by the Centre for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Swiss Re, a private health insurance company based in Switzerland, says that adverse health impacts are likely to cause severe economic consequences.

"Global climate change and the ripples of that change will affect every aspect of life, from municipal budgets for snowplowing to the spread of disease," the report says. For example, the effects of hurricanes "can extend far beyond coastal properties to the heartland through their impact on offshore drilling and oil prices."- Barbara Litzlbeck, Inter Press Service, 11/4/2005

World temperatures keep rising:  Climate data show 2005 on track to be hottest on record

"New international climate data show that 2005 is on track to be the hottest year on record, continuing a 25-year trend of rising global temperatures.

The new analysis comes as government and independent scientists are reporting other dramatic signs of global warming, such as the record shrinkage of the Arctic sea ice cover and unprecedented high ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico."- Juliet Eiperin, Washington Post, 10/13/2005


Global Warming 'Past the Point of No Return', Steve Connor, Independent/UK, 9/16/2005

"A record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer has convinced scientists that the northern hemisphere may have crossed a critical threshold beyond which the climate may never recover. Scientists fear that the Arctic has now entered an irreversible phase of warming which will accelerate the loss of the polar sea ice that has helped to keep the climate stable for thousands of years.

They believe global warming is melting Arctic ice so rapidly that the region is beginning to absorb more heat from the sun, causing the ice to melt still further and so reinforcing a vicious cycle of melting and heating."



"The Final Proof: Global Warming is a Man-Made Disaster," Steve Connor, Independent/UK, 2/19/05

"Scientists have found the first unequivocal link between man-made greenhouse gases and a dramatic heating of the Earth's oceans. The researchers - many funded by the US government - have seen what they describe as a "stunning" correlation between a rise in ocean temperature over the past 40 years and pollution of the atmosphere.

The study destroys a central argument of global warming skeptics within the Bush administration - that climate change could be a natural phenomenon. It should convince George Bush to drop his objections to the Kyoto treaty on climate change, the scientists say." - Steve Connor, Independent/UK, 2/19/05


Apocalypse Now: How Mankind is Sleepwalking to the End of the Earth

"Floods, storms and droughts. Melting Arctic ice, shrinking glaciers, oceans turning to acid. The world's top scientists warned last week that dangerous climate change is taking place today, not the day after tomorrow."- Geoffrey Lean, Environmental Editor, The Independent, 2/6/2005



Historic Kyoto Treaty Inked Without the World's Biggest Polluter the US, 2/16/05

"KYOTO, Japan - The Kyoto Protocol, the landmark treaty requiring cuts in gas emissions which cause global warming, is now in effect with the support of 141 nations but not of the world's biggest polluter the United States.

The 34 industrialized countries which have ratified the treaty are legally bound to slash output of greenhouse gases by 5.2 percent before 2012, with targets set for each nation based on their 1990 levels.

The treaty was reached in this ancient Japanese capital in 1997 amid fear that the rise in global temperatures could eventually lead to droughts and the extinction of some species."


Global Warming: Scientists Reveal Timetable, Michael McCarthy , 2/3/2005

"A detailed timetable of the destruction and distress that global warming is likely to cause the world was unveiled yesterday.

It pulls together for the first time the projected impacts on ecosystems and wildlife, food production, water resources and economies across the earth, for given rises in global temperature expected during the next hundred years.

The resultant picture gives the most wide-ranging impression yet of the bewildering array of destructive effects that climate change is expected to exert on different regions, from the mountains of Europe and the rainforests of the Amazon to the coral reefs of the tropics." -Michael McCarthy, Independent/UK, 2/3/2005



Climate Change: Countdown to Global Catastrophe: Report warns point of no return may be reached in 10 years, leading to droughts, agricultural failure and water shortages, 1/24/05

"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.

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. In as little as 10 years, or even less, their report indicates, the point of no return with global warming may have been reached." -Michael McCarthy, Independent/UK, 1/24/05

 

Dangerous' Global Warming Possible by 2026 - WWF

"OSLO - World temperatures could surge in just two decades to a threshold likely to trigger dangerous disruptions to the earth's climate, the WWF environmental group said on Sunday.

It said the Arctic region was warming fastest, threatening the livelihoods of indigenous hunters by thawing the polar ice-cap and driving species like polar bears toward extinction by the end of the century.

"If nothing is done, the earth will have warmed by 2.0 Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels by some time between 2026 and 2060," the WWF said in a report." - Alister Doyle, 1/30/05, Reuters.



Extinction Tied to Global Warming: Greenhouse Effect Cited in Mass Decline 250 Million Years Ago

"Scientists call it "the Great Dying," a 250 million-year-old catastrophe that wiped out 90 percent of ocean species and 70 percent of land species in the biggest mass extinction in Earth's geologic history.

The cause of this cataclysm is a matter of great dispute among paleontologists, but research released yesterday offers new evidence that global warming caused by massive and prolonged volcanic activity may have been the chief culprit." - Guy Gugliotta, Washington Post, 1/21/2005.


Climate change 'to reverse human progress'

"Global warming threatens to reverse human progress and make international targets on halving world poverty by 2015 unattainable, a study published today said.
 
The claim comes from charities including Greenpeace, Oxfam and Action Aid who have joined forces, under the banner of the Working Group on Climate Change and Development, to release the report called, Up In Smoke?- Threats from, and responses to, the impact of global warming on human development, in London today.

The group's warning follows a summer in which hurricanes Jeanne and Ivan wreaked havoc across the Caribbean and Bangladesh saw its worst flooding for years.

In a world in which global warming is a reality, it says, such severe weather events are likely to become more frequent and extreme - and the poor will be hardest hit." -  Guardian/UK, Press Association, 10/20/2004

 

Climate Fear as Carbon Levels Soar: Scientists bewildered by sharp rise of CO2 in atmosphere for second year running, 10/2004

"An unexplained and unprecedented rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere two years running has raised fears that the world may be on the brink of runaway global warming.

Scientists are baffled why the quantity of the main greenhouse gas has leapt in a two-year period and are concerned that the Earth's natural systems are no longer able to absorb as much as in the past." - Paul Brown, Guardian/UK


National Geographic- Signs from Earth, 9/2004

"Global warming can seem too remote to worry about, or too uncertain—something projected by the same computer techniques that often can't get next week's weather right..."

Comforting thoughts, perhaps. But turn to "GeoSigns," the first chapter in our report on the changing planet. The Earth has some unsettling news.

From Alaska to the snowy peaks of the Andes the world is heating up right now, and fast. Globally, the temperature is up 1°F (.5°C) over the past century, but some of the coldest, most remote spots have warmed much more. The results aren't pretty. Ice is melting, rivers are running dry, and coasts are eroding, threatening communities. Flora and fauna are feeling the heat too, as you'll read in "EcoSigns." These aren't projections; they are facts on the ground.

The changes are happening largely out of sight. But they shouldn't be out of mind, because they are omens of what's in store for the rest of the planet.

Wait a minute, some doubters say. Climate is notoriously fickle. A thousand years ago Europe was balmy and wine grapes grew in England; by 400 years ago the climate had turned chilly and the Thames froze repeatedly. Maybe the current warming is another natural vagary, just a passing thing?

Don't bet on it, say climate experts. Sure, the natural rhythms of climate might explain a few of the warming signs you'll read about in the following pages. But something else is driving the planet-wide fever.

For centuries we've been clearing forests and burning coal, oil, and gas, pouring carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere faster than plants and oceans can soak them up (see "The Case of the Missing Carbon," February 2004). The atmosphere's level of carbon dioxide now is higher than it has been for hundreds of thousands of years. "We're now geological agents, capable of affecting the processes that determine climate," says George Philander, a climate expert at Princeton University. In effect, we're piling extra blankets on our planet.

Human activity almost certainly drove most of the past century's warming, a landmark report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declared in 2001. Global temperatures are shooting up faster than at any other time in the past thousand years. And climate models show that natural forces, such as volcanic eruptions and the slow flickers of the sun, can't explain all that warming.

As carbon dioxide continues to rise, so will the mercury—another 3°F to 10°F (1.6°C to 5.5°C) by the end of the century, the IPCC projects. But the warming may not be gradual. The records of ancient climate described in "TimeSigns" suggest that the planet has a sticky thermostat. Some experts fear today's temperature rise could accelerate into a devastating climate lurch. Continuing to fiddle with the global thermostat, says Philander, "is just not a wise thing to do."" See also: "‘Climate Witnesses' Testify About Effects Of Global Warming, 12/11/2004, Kevin Gray, Associated Press"

 

Warming Trend Will Decimate Arctic Peoples, Report Warns

BROOKLIN, Canada - Climate change will soon make the Arctic regions of the world nearly unrecognisable, dramatically disrupting traditional Inuit and other northern native peoples' way of life, according to a new report that has yet to be publicly released.

The dire predictions are just some of the findings by the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA), an unprecedented four-year scientific investigation into the current and future impact of climate change in the region.- Stephen Leahy, Inter Press Service, 9/10/2004


Oil chief: my fears for planet: Shell boss's 'confession' shocks industry

"The head of one of the world's biggest oil companies has admitted that the threat of climate change makes him "really very worried for the planet".

In an interview in today's Guardian Life section, Ron Oxburgh, chairman of Shell, says we urgently need to capture emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, which scientists think contribute to global warming, and store them underground - a technique called carbon sequestration.

"Sequestration is difficult, but if we don't have sequestration then I see very little hope for the world," said Lord Oxburgh. "No one can be comfortable at the prospect of continuing to pump out the amounts of carbon dioxide that we are pumping out at present ... with consequences that we really can't predict but are probably not good." , David Adam, Science Correspondent, The Guardian, 6/17/04.


Global Warming Spirals Upwards

Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere have jumped abruptly, raising fears that global warming may be accelerating out of control.

Measurements by US government scientists show that concentrations of the gas, the main cause of the climate exchange, rose by a record amount over the past 12 months. It is the third successive year in which they have increased sharply, marking an unprecedented triennial surge.- Geoffrey Lean, Independent/UK, 3/28/04



Damage from Warming Becoming 'Irreversible,' Says New Report

WASHINGTON -- Ten years after the ratification of a United Nations  treaty on climate change, greenhouse gas emissions that lead to global warming are still on the rise, signaling a "collective failure" of the industrialized world, according to the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI), a leading environmental think-tank.

"We are quickly moving to the point where the damage will be irreversible," warned Dr. Jonathan Pershing, director of WRI's Climate, Energy and Pollution Program. "In fact, the latest scientific reports indicate that global warming is worsening. Unless we act now, the world will be locked into temperatures that would cause irreversible harm." - Jim Lobe, OneWorld.net, 3/15/04


Insurer Warns of Global Warming Catastrophe

GENEVA - The world's second-largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, warned on Wednesday that the costs of natural disasters, aggravated by global warming, threatened to spiral out of control, forcing the human race into a catastrophe of its own making.- Thomas Atkins, Reuters, 3/3/04


Now the Pentagon Tells Bush:
Climate Change Will Destroy Us-
Secret Report Warns of Rioting and Nuclear War; Threat to the World is Greater than Terrorism


Climate change over the next 20 years could result in a global catastrophe costing millions of lives in wars and natural disasters..

A secret report, suppressed by US defense chiefs and obtained by The Observer, warns that major European cities will be sunk beneath rising seas as Britain is plunged into a 'Siberian' climate by 2020. Nuclear conflict, mega-droughts, famine and widespread rioting will erupt across the world.

The document predicts that abrupt climate change could bring the planet to the edge of anarchy as countries develop a nuclear threat to defend and secure dwindling food, water and energy supplies. The threat to global stability vastly eclipses that of terrorism, say the few experts privy to its contents. - Mark Townsend and Paul Harris, Observer/UK; 2/22/04


'US Climate Policy Bigger Threat to World than Terrorism'

"Tony Blair's chief scientist has launched a withering attack on President George Bush for failing to tackle climate change, which he says is more serious than terrorism.

Sir David King, the Government's chief scientific adviser, says in an article today in the journal Science that America, the world's greatest polluter, must take the threat of global warming more seriously." - Steve Conner, Independent UK, 1/9/2004


U.S. Blasts U.N. Kyoto Pact as "Straitjacket"

"MILAN, Italy - The United States denounced on Monday the U.N.'s Kyoto Protocol as an unrealistic "straitjacket" for curbing global warming as officials from 180 nations met in Italy to work out details of the landmark pact.

Washington, which pulled out of Kyoto in 2001, said its own policy of promoting "breakthrough technologies" for energy was the "only acceptable cost-effective option" to limit gases blamed for heating the planet and to raise living standards.

Kyoto is "an unrealistic and ever-tightening regulatory straitjacket, curtailing energy consumption," Paula Dobriansky, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs, wrote in the Financial Times newspaper."

"The White House delegates are coming to Milan to undermine this treaty even though President (George W.) Bush pledged not to block other countries from moving forward," she said.  - Christian Plumb, Reuters, 12/1/03


Climate change blamed as largest Arctic ice shelf breaks in two after 3,000 years

"The largest ice shelf in the Arctic, a solid feature for at least 3,000 years, has broken in two and climate change is to blame, say American and Canadian scientists."

The Ward Hunt ice shelf, on the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada, has split down the middle, and a freshwater lake held behind it has drained away, the researchers say."

"...Much evidence suggests that the sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean is rapidly thinning and retreating, with reports two years ago that at one stage the North Pole itself was actually seawater rather than ice,"
Michael McCarthy Environment Editor, Independent.co.uk, 9/24/03


U.S. EPA says it won't regulate CO2 emissions from autos, 8/29/2003

"...The International Center for Technology Assessment, the Sierra Club, and Greenpeace filed a lawsuit against EPA in December 2002 to force the agency to rule on the issue. At least one of the groups said it will appeal the decision.

Environmental groups called the EPA decision another attempt by the White House to undermine public health.

"The Bush administration is again ducking its legal and moral responsibility to address global warming," said David Bookbinder, a Sierra Club lawyer.

Passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs account for 20 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, with coal-burning power plants responsible for 40 percent."


New Research on Long-Term Ocean Cycles Reveals Rapid Global Warming in Near Future

"Scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and affiliated with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, report evidence of pronounced changes in the earth's climate that can be tracked in cycles of ocean conditions over thousands of years. These cycles reveal that Earth is currently in a period in which a natural rise in global temperatures, combined with warming from the greenhouse effect, will push the planet through an era of rapid global warming." Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, 3/2000.


Danish Professor Denounced for 'Scientific Dishonesty'
Panel of Scientists Assails Scholarship of Book Praised in Press -- 'The Skeptical Environmentalist'


"Once hailed as a brilliant iconoclast who challenged environmentalists' gloom-and-doom prognoses of global warming, overpopulation and worldwide hunger, Danish author Bjorn Lomborg yesterday was denounced by a panel of his country's top scientists [Danish Research Agency] for engaging in "scientific dishonesty." -  Eric Pianin, Washington Post, 1/8/03;



Scientists Discover Global Warming Linked To Increase In Tropopause Height Over Past Two Decades

"Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have discovered another fingerprint of human effects on global climate. Recent research has shown that increases in the height of the tropopause over the past two decades are directly linked to ozone depletion and increased greenhouse gases." Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 1/6/03.


Effects Of Global Warming Already Being Felt On Plants And Animals Worldwide

"Global warming is having a significant impact on hundreds of plant and animal species around the world - although the most dramatic effects may not be felt for decades, according to a new study in the journal Nature.

"Birds are laying eggs earlier than usual, plants are flowering earlier and mammals are breaking hibernation sooner," said Terry L. Root, a senior fellow with Stanford University's Institute for International Studies (IIS) and lead author of the Jan. 2 Nature study.

"Clearly, if such ecological changes are now being detected when the globe has warmed by an estimated average of only 1 degree F (0.6 C) over the past 100 years, then many more far-reaching effects on species and ecosystems will probably occur by 2100, when temperatures could increase as much as 11 F (6 C)," Root concluded."  Stanford University, 1/1/03


US Groups Sue Government Agency Over Global Warming

Amid growing anger among environmentalists over the record and intentions of President George W. Bush, three major U.S. environmental groups said Thursday they are suing his Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for failing to curb global warming.

The lawsuit by the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and the International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA) charges the EPA with violating the 1977 Clear Air Act by failing to limit air pollution caused by automobiles that ''may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare''. - Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service.


Climate Change Surprise: High Carbon Dioxide Levels Can Retard Plant Growth, Study Reveals

"An unprecedented three-year experiment conducted at Stanford University is raising questions about that long-held assumption [that higher CO2 levels will stimulate plant growth]. Writing in the journal Science, researchers concluded that elevated atmospheric CO2 actually reduces plant growth when combined with other likely consequences of climate change – namely, higher temperatures, increased precipitation or increased nitrogen deposits in the soil." 12/6/02, Stanford University.

International Researchers Propose Advanced Energy Technologies To Help Quell Global Warming

"The report states that to stabilize climate, we will need one to three times present world power consumption to come from energy technologies without greenhouse emissions. But carbon-emissions-free energy sources do not exist yet either operationally or as pilot projects. "

"...Combating global warming by radical restructuring of the global energy system could be the technology challenge of the century.” - “Advanced Technology Paths to Global Climate Stability: Energy for a Greenhouse Planet,”  Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, 11/1/02


Study Fuels Worry Over Glacial Melting: Research Shows Alaskan Ice Mass Vanishing at Twice Rate Previously Estimated

"Alaska's glaciers are melting at more than twice the rate previously thought because of warming temperatures, dramatically altering the majestic contours of the state and driving up sea levels, according to a new study.

"...The change we are seeing is more rapid than any climate change that has happened in the last 10 to 20 centuries," said Keith A. Echelmeyer, one of the five researchers who prepared the study." - Eric Pianin, Washington Post, 7/`8/02
 

Warmer World Will Be A Sicker World, Say Scientists

"Global warming and changing climatic conditions are triggering disease epidemics in wildlife around the world, reports a renowned team of ecologists and epidemiologists in the Friday June 21st issue of Science. The outbreaks are occurring in habitats ranging from coral reefs to rainforests."


Climate Action Report 2002:
The United States of America's Third National Communication Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

"Philip Clapp, president of the Washington, DC based group National Environmental Trust, said today this study "undercuts everything President Bush has said about global warming since he took office. He has denied global warming exists, claiming scientific uncertainty justified doing nothing to stop the problem. Now a report from his own administration says global warming is real and will have real impacts on America." - Environment News Service, 6/3/02. Yet despite the recognized threat- the administration will not embrace Kyoto and is failing to take substantive action. Apparently Bush considers the report (from his own administration) as nothing more than a "product of bureaucracy." See: Reuters, 6/8/02: "Gore Slams Bush for Refusing Global Climate Report." This typifies public policy at its absolute worst.
 

Climate Change May Become Major Player In Ozone Loss; 6/6/02

"While industrial products like chlorofluorocarbons are largely responsible for current ozone depletion, a NASA study finds that by the 2030s climate change may surpass chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) as the main driver of overall ozone loss."


Signs of Thaw in a Desert of Snow:
Scientists Begin to Heed Inuit Warnings of Climate Change in Arctic

"And so it has come to be, the elders say, a time when icebergs are melting, tides have changed, polar bears have thinned and there is no meaning left in a ring around the moon. Scattered clouds blowing in a wind no longer speak to elders and hunters. Daily weather markers are becoming less predictable in the fragile Arctic as its climate changes."- Washington Post 5/27/02 article by DeNeen L. Brown.
 

Giant Glacier Falls Into Ocean Near Antarctica
"A huge ice shelf 10 times bigger than Manhattan has plummeted into the sea near Antarctica, U.S. government scientists said on Thursday, adding urgency to warnings that global temperatures are rising for the worse. The news follows the March collapse of the so-called Larsen B ice shelf in Antarctica in the Weddell Sea near Chile - which was the size of a small European country. The collapse on the Ross ice shelf - in the Ross Sea - is about 41 nautical miles long and 4 nautical miles wide." Reuters, 5/10/02


Antarctic Ice Shelf Collapses In Largest Event Of Last 30 Years
"Scientists attribute the retreats to strong regional climate warming. Antarctic temperatures have increased about 2.5 degrees Celsius since the late 1940s. Since 1974 ice shelf extent in the Antarctic Peninsula has declined by about 13,500 square kilometers, or 5,200 square miles." 3/19/02, National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado at Boulder.


Antarctica Key To Sudden Sea Level Rise In The Past; 4/1/02
 

End Of "Free Ride" On Ecosystem CO2 Absorption; 5/19/02
"The precise ecosystem study of the reaction of a Texas grassland to a range of carbon dioxide levels has shown that soil nitrogen availability may limit the capacity of ecosystems to absorb expected increases in atmospheric CO2. The researchers said their study emphasizes the urgency with which the U.S. and other nations should adopt stringent limitations on CO2 emissions, as outlined in the international Kyoto accord on climate change."

 

Global Warming Alert from NOAA & U.K

"Our new data and understanding now point to the critical situation we face: To slow future change, we must start taking action soon. At the same time, because of our past and ongoing activities, we must learn to live with the likely consequences: more extreme weather, rising sea levels, changing precipitation patterns, ecological and agricultural dislocations and the increased spread of human disease." - James Baker, Ph.D. and Administrator, U. S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Washington, D. C. & Peter Ewins, CEO, United Kingdom Meteorological Office, London, 1/9/00. Also see EPA Site: Global Warming  and NY Times article, dated 8/19/00, "Ages-Old Polar Icecap Is Melting, Scientists Find." and "Life Under the Hole in the Sky," an article about the impact ozone depletion has on the residents of Punta Arenas, Chile. Ozone depletion is also linked to global warming. The site, "Global Warming: Early Warning Signs," documents harbingers of climate change in localities throughout the world. See also: "Is Europe about to Freeze,?" an article exploring the possible impact of global warming on ocean circulation patterns which now warm much of the North Atlantic.

January 20, 2001 Warning

The Third Assessment Report of Working Group I of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): "Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis," concluded the following:

An increasing body of observations gives a collective picture of a warming world and other changes to the climate system.

Emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols due to human activities continue to alter the atmosphere in ways that are expected to effect climate.

Confidence in the ability of models to project future climate has increased.

There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities.

Human influences will continue to change atmospheric composition throughout he 21st century.

Global average temperature and seal level are projected to rise under all ZIPCC SRES scenarios.

Anthropogenic climate changes will persist for many centuries.

Further action is required to address the remaining gaps in information and understanding

Specific Conclusions of the report, according to a Washington Post article dated 1/23/01, "Scientists Issue Dire Prediction on Warming- Faster Climate Change Portends Global Calamity This Century" :

bullet The Earths average temperature could rise by as much as 10.4 degrees over the next 100 years, the most rapid change in 10,000 years.
bullet Polar ice caps and sea levels could rise by as much as 34 inches, causing floods that could displace millions of people in low-ling areas.
bullet Droughts will parch farmlands and aggravate world hunger.
bullet Storms triggered by such climate changes as El Nino will become more frequent.
bullet Diseases such as malaria and dengue will spread.
bullet Carbon dioxide levels have increased by 31% over the past 250 years.
bullet The United States is the largest producer of greenhouse gases, accounting for 25% of the worlds total. China ranks second, but its per capita amount is relatively low.

According to Geological Sciences Emeritus Professor Mark Meier of the University of Colorado at Boulder:

"The new data suggests the IPCC calculation for the 21st century -- a total of 0.16 to 0.36 feet -- was an underestimate." He calculated that glacier melting could contribute 0.65 feet or more to sea level this century.  See 2/20/02 article in Science Daily, "Global Sea Levels Likely To Rise Higher In 21st Century Than Previous Predictions."

In Spring 2001, the Bush Administration asked a committee of the National Academy of Sciences' Research Council for an assessment of the IPCC report (above). The committee, consisting of 11 top climate scientists, including a Nobel laureate, produced a 41 page report entitled, " Climate Change Science, An Analysis of Some Key Questions," The report indicated that: 

"... The conclusion of IPCC that the global warming of the last 50 years is likely the result of increases in greenhouse gases accurately reflects the current thinking of the scientific community."

"Based on assumptions that emissions of greenhouse gases will accelerate and conservative assumptions about how the climate will react to that, computer models suggest that average global surface temperatures will rise between 2.5 and 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit (1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius) by the end of this century."

"To reduce some of the uncertainties inherent in current climate change predictions, a strong commitment must be made to basic research as well as to improving climate models and building a global climate observing system. More comprehensive measurements of greenhouse gases and increased computational power also will be needed."

Tragically, the Bush Administration, chose to interpret the cautionary aspects of the report as suggesting that the evidence was "inconclusive."  See also: "Leading Climate Scientists Advise White House On Global Warming." This is also consistent with the EPA's recent backtracking on enforcement of the Clean Air Act. See: "EPA Seeks To Narrow Pollution Initiative, Utilities Fight Clinton Rules On Coal-Fired Power Plants," Eric Pianin and John Mintz, Washington Post, 8/8/2001.

The Bush Administration strongly supports anti-ballistic missile defense technology, perhaps as an alternative to MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). Yet, I know of no scientific/strategic consensus that an effective missile defense system is feasible. On the other hand, climate scientists worldwide consider the threat of human induced global warming as real and have for over twenty years. Addressing the latter, may have a short term negative impact on the U.S. economy. However, any short term cost increases are likely to be counterbalanced by immediate environmental benefits and later cost savings. See the article : "How Economists have Misjudged Global Warming." from the Worldwatch Institute. However, deployment of a missile defense system will be a boon for the military and industrial complex. Further, the 100-250 billion expenditure required to build a missile defense system, will force a reprioritization of military and domestic spending more aligned with the conservative Republican political agenda and opposed to environmental initiatives.

On November 9, 2001, 160 nations reached agreement on the Kyoto Global Warming Treaty, with the United States, the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases on the sidelines. According to an 11/10/01 Washington Post article by Eric Pianin, the treaty requires about 40 industrialized countries to reduce worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases by an average of 5.2 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. Last year alone, carbon dioxide emissions in the US increased by 3.1% and are now 14% higher than in 1990. The governing bodies of at least 55 countries responsible for 55 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions must formally ratify the pact before it takes effect. Let us hope ratification is swift, but the question remains: Is it enough?- with the United States failing to do its' part.


Science and Ideology in the Bush Administration

In another decision based on ideological grounds with willful disregard of science, the Bush administration recently limited stem cell research to human embryonic cell colonies that have been mixed with mouse cells. Because of the contact with mouse cells, there is a small but real risk of their transferring potentially deadly animal viruses to people. Further, almost a third of the colonies may not be viable. Stem cell research is critical to developing treatment for Parkinson's, spinal cord injury, ALS, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and other aliments. 

On 4/10/02, Bush proposed banning all types of human cloning, including the cloning of microscopic human embryos for research into new medical therapies,. While many support the banning of cloning for the creation of individuals, over forty Nobel laureates issued a joint statement, saying the ban Bush favors "would have a chilling effect on all scientific research in the United States." Many scientists believe cloned human embryos are ideal sources of embryonic stem cells, valuable for the reasons mentioned above. Whatever the President's real motivation, his position does appeal to his ideological base and is again, a willful disregard of science and, in my opinion, human life. See Washington Post, 4/10/02 article by Amy Goldstein, "President Presses Senate to Ban All Human Cloning."  Thankfully there are those in Congress, such as Senators Arlen Specter, Orrin Hatch, Dianne Feinstein and others who value human life more than partisan politics. See Washington Post, 5/1/02, article by Rick Weiss, "Hatch to Support Bill Allowing Stem Cell Study: Decision on Embryo Cloning Is a Setback for Conservatives."

See also: 9/17/02 Washington Post article by Rick Weiss, "HHS Seeks Science Advice to Match Bush Views,"  further supporting the view that the Bush Administration bases science related decisions on ideological grounds:

"The Bush administration has begun a broad restructuring of the scientific advisory committees that guide federal policy in areas such as patients' rights and public health, eliminating some committees that were coming to conclusions at odds with the president's views and in other cases replacing members with handpicked choices."


 

Home • Up • Earth is Beautiful • Global Warming: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid • Worldchanging • Saccharin: Toxic Chemicals • Global Economics, Politics & the Environment • Amazon Rainforest • An Open Letter to the Religious Community • Bush White House Harms Environment • Enron Scandal • Greenpeace • Greenpeace News • Natural Resources Defense Council • Environmental Network News