Monday, October 30, 2006

Wake the F up

For God's sake, people, what the hell is it going to take for us to realize that we are running out of time on climate change?

The Stern Review came out today and probably didn't even make the news back home (did it?). Nicholas Stern is a former World Bank head, not your typical ecogeek, and produced the massive report in his role as one of Tony Blair's senior economists. To summarize the 700-page document: we act now, or we see an average global temperature rise of 4 to 5 degrees Celsius in the next 100 to 150 years.

"It is not in doubt that, if the science is right, the consequences for our planet are literally disastrous," Stern said. "Unless we act now, these consequences... will be irreversible."

On the same morning, the UN issued a report which found that the industrialized world has done almost nothing to reduce its emissions.

Think this doesn't matter? Tell that to Katrina victims, farmers losing their crops in drought-stricken regions, entire nations in the Pacific who are being forced to relocate to other countries. Hell, tell it to your own family: Stern's report found that we could realistically witness a 20% reduction of the global economy if we let the changes continue unchecked. Thank God Tony Blair at least pays attention: he stood up today and said it's time to stop kidding ourselves by twiddling our thumbs over tiny scientific discrepancies when the big picture is painfully clear. This isn't a sci-fi scenario concocted by a bunch of America-hating Greens, people. This is reality.

Yet, it can take as little as
one per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP) to mitigate the damage, Stern said. Or, we can fiddle while Rome burns and watch 40% of the planet's species disappear while millions of climate refugees stand outside our door.

I just don't get it. We should be doing something, even if it's only out of self-interest. This is going to hurt our country, our whole species, but we can't be bothered thinking about it.

Here's the cold, hard truth: acting is going to hurt. We're going to have to pay more for our products, travel less, maybe even institute taxes based on carbon consumption. But it's that or make the immoral decision to turn our backs on future generations. If that's the case, we deserve whatever we get.

4 comments:

kristy said...

Oh my God! Where have I been? Your new design is great! Well done! What a difference having a little time can make, eh?

Meg said...

Thanks! :) Yep, a little time, a little nervous energy...all a good thing.

Suebob said...

Right on, woman.

And one of the 4,000 reasons I didn't have kids...I kind of saw it coming.

Meg said...

I hear you. Every time I wonder about having kids, stuff like this stops me from continuing that train of thought.