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Bush and GOP Fiddle, While The UN Climate Panel Warns of Global Climate Disaster

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, describing climate change as "the defining challenge of our age," released the final report of a United Nations panel on climate change here in Valencia, Spain), Saturday and called on the United States and China to play "a more constructive role."

His challenge to the world's two greatest greenhouse gas emitters came just two weeks before the world's energy ministers meet in Bali, Indonesia, to begin talks on creating a global climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

And the US reaction..It was 'muted'. The "scientific definition" of the dangers of climate change "is lacking" said Jim Connaughton, chairman of White House's Council on Environmental Quality. "The United States repeatedly challenged passages emphasizing the level of threat posed by climate change, objecting that the wording was imprecise."

The Bushies have gone from absolute denial and ridicule to an attempt to water down (if that is the operative word) the looming threat of the drying up and heating of the globe.

For the present effects of the drought in Atlanta ,and other regions in the US and the world, read Tom Engelhardt. As the World Burns, the Bush administration fiddles and worries about imprecision and definitions. The same small minded administration, that defers unquestioningly to fundamentalist preachers who preach the literal gospel of the bible in the Oval Office regularly, a gospel based on 'a UN panel of thinkers' of 2,000 years ago, who believed absolutely that the world was flat, this same Executive so respective of biblical 'junk science', written millennia ago, goes over with a fine tooth comb editing or excising 21st scientific reports that only show by graph, computer and satellite what everyone else in the world knows intuitively.- anthropogenic global warming is getting far worse every year and threatens to completely overwhelm the globe if we don't do something about it and now, pronto.

It is a pity that global warning in this election is certainly not half the heated issue that drivers' licences for illegals is. It is not even on the radar screen for the GOP.

Today, Saturday, November 17, See the live webcast when it begins, at 5:15 EST. Grist will be sponsoring the first-ever presidential candidate forum focusing on the issues of energy policy and climate change. All Democratic and Republican presidential candidates were invited to attend; Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, and Dennis Kucinich have accepted the invitation. Obama was in Austin Texas, for a big reception, and couldn't come presumably...All the Republican candidates turned down the invitation.The only risk for global warming in the United States for them, are some over heated Imans in the Arabian desert..

Unfortuntely, the UN panel says we have only a window of opportunity as little as 2 to 3 years to begin to turn the globe around..It will be a catastrophe if the Republicans get back into the Oval Office and manage to postpone action for 4 to 8 years as they have since 2000..

UPDATE.(no need to change my title)..Clinton at Grist conference "we can't afford to fiddle as the world warms."

Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (6)

MunDane68[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Fact: The earth is going through a warming cycle

Not a Fact: Human activity has anything to do about it. That is the consensus of most climatologists. (That report is more than six months old already!)

Fact: Clinton/Gore did not submit the Kyoto treaty to the Democratically controlled Senate.

Fact: Meeting the Kyoto protocols for the US would require the shutdown every heavy industry, every automobile, every powerplant running on fossil fuel that is East of the Mississippi.

Fact: The IPCC prediction is a .7C gain over 30 years. This is burning?

Herman4747[TypeKey Profile Page]:

"Fact: Clinton/Gore did not submit the Kyoto treaty to the Democratically controlled Senate." -- MunDane68

Uh, this "fact" is SIMPLY UNTRUE. The 1994 elections had given control of the Senate to the Republicans. And Clinton and Gore both knew that the Republicans weren't going to do anything about global warming.

"Not a Fact: Human activity has anything to do about it. That is the consensus of most climatologists." -- Mundane68

Your own stupid BUSH ADMINISTRATION Environmental Protection Agency website admits that human activity does INDEED have something to do with global warming. Who are these "most climatologists" whom you speak of? Do they exist only in a conservative dream????

"Fact: The IPCC prediction is a .7C gain over 30 years. This is burning?" -- MunDane68

Try for once (FOR ONCE) to think a little more DEEPLY, conservative. Assuming that that 0.7 degree C gain is true, it isn't going to exactly 0.7 degrees up throughout the entire planet, the Arctic and Antarctic will experience a notably higher increase, and therein lies the problem!!!

"It is a pity that global warning in this election is certainly not half the heated issue that drivers' licenses for illegals is. It is not even on the radar screen for the GOP." -- Steve Crickmore

This is EXACTLY what I've been recently thinking, Steve. The planet faces an emergency and all the Republicans can think of is their own petty racist xenophobia. But hey, doing something about global warming may involve some degree of sacrifice, and Republicans love their air-polluting SUVs far too much ever to consider conservation, which to them is merely a "personal virtue" (-- Darth Cheney), not something that should guide public policy.

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Herman, I really wish MunDane was right (at least he is concerned to follow this issue) but unfortunately, the evidence and consensus is consolidating rapidly against the sceptics. I have a 4 year old daughter...She is going to see enormous negative changes in her lifetime, and I think catastrophic changes for her children? We look like we are really in for it. Why? Well to begin in the last 5 years the projections of global warming haven't kept up with the pace of the real thing.

If you look at the overall picture of impacts, both those occurring now and those projected for the future, they appear to be both larger and appearing earlier than we thought [in our 2001 report]," Martin Parry, co-chair of the impacts working group, told BBC News

"Some of the changes that we previously projected for around 2020 or 2030 are occurring now, such as the Arctic melt and shifts in the locations of various species."

"There are indications that projected increases in droughts are also happening earlier than expected, he said, though that was less certain."

Some conservatives i.e, at Wizbang classic..have said something like New Study Proves Global Warming Models Worthless "to paraphrase, "the situation ( in the Arctic) has become much worse and moving more quickly than scientists predicted, this is a cause for optimism,,because all scientific projections are unreliable and we can ignore them.".hmnnn...The reason that the situation is getting dire is that the oceans are getting to a point where they can't absorb the carbon dioxide..This is a newly discovered phenomena ( just 3 years ago). In today's 'Independent on Sunday' A world dying..'

Scientists have found that the seas have already absorbed about half of all the carbon dioxide emitted by humanity since the start of the industrial revolution, a staggering 500 billion tons of it. This has so far helped slow global warming - which would have accelerated even faster if all this pollution had stayed in the atmosphere, already causing catastrophe - but at an increasingly severe cost.

Scientists add that, as the seas become more acidic, they will be less able to absorb carbon dioxide, causing more of it to stay in the atmosphere to speed up global warming. Research is already uncovering some signs that the oceans' ability to mop up the gas is diminishing.

Environmentalists point out that the increasing acidification of the oceans would in itself provide ample reason to curb emissions of carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels and felling forests even if the dwindling band of sceptics were right and the gas was not warming up the planet.

Since three/quarters of the world is water... and since many GOP politicians and voters as you suggest, Herman, are looking ahead only as far their own pocket books, we really are going to be in terrible mess.

Herman4747[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Steve, don't despair, it's likely that in next year's presidential election the Democrat will emerge victorious, and all three major Democratic candidates are quite concerned about global warming (particularly Edwards, who has some well-thought-out ideas on what he would like to do about it). The only problem will be that the Democrats still will unlikely have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, which may mean, in some instances, slightly watered-down compromises. Still, I suspect that this country will undertake some significant actions starting in 2009. And of course, the other industrialized nations are already ahead of us and likely to take significant measures even sooner.

MunDane68[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Yay! Finally a discussion.

Yes, I made some outrageous claims mostly for fun. I hereby state that the first and third statements were made up out of whole cloth purely to seen if anyone, besides me, actually commented. (Because, let's face it, the comments section here is about as empty as the patchouli oil shelf space in Olympia Washington.)

Now, the EPA is run by bureaucrats, like every other government office in DC. Bureaucracies can not and should not be trusted to do anything that would interfere with their "mission", which mostly extends no farther than a nice house in Virginia and other perks of continued government employment and toadying up to the current congressional committee, sub- or otherwise, which controls their budget.

As far as a .7 C drop being a harbringer of the Apocalypse; Get a grip on reality. The mean surface temperature of the earth dropped 1 C, in a single year(!), after the Pinatubo eruptions and we did not have glaciers creating skiing conditions in Atlanta.

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

MunDane68...I'm not sure where you get the .7 degrees C rise.? I think this could be around the most conservative projection for the next 30 years depending what we do or don't do..

The last hundred years have seen a drop of .74 degrees C and a little more on land than over the oceans and a little more in the northern latitudes.. in Fahrenheit, that's about 1.35 to 1.6 degrees spread over hundred years but it is definitely accelerating in the last dozen years, because of the heavy C02 emission trends and the cutting down of the rain forests, and the increasing acidification of the oceans. These are converging trends: burgeoning population demands for energy/coal plants especially in the third world, the Amazon being cut down for soya and illegal hardwood exports etc.

MunDane 68..As you know governments and politicians normally won't act until there is a crisis put upon them. (9/11) is good example of Bush's blase lack of proactive response before Sept 11..But because the lag and feedback loops, it will be too late to escape the full force of global warming, if we don't begin to take urgent and remedial action now.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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