Report: Climate change crisis 'catastrophic'
The first comprehensive report into the human cost of climate change warns the world is in the throes of a "silent crisis" that is killing 300,000 people each year.

More than 300 million people are already seriously affected by the gradual warming of the earth and that number is set to double by 2030, the report from the Global Humanitarian Forum warns.
I'd be one of them if it wasn't for Air Conditioning.
And if that number doesn't motivate you they'll triple it. Then they'll quadruple it. Whatever it takes to make you subservient ...
"Climate change is the greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time, causing suffering to hundreds of millions of people worldwide," said the forum's president, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
You mean like Kim Jong Ill? Hoogo Chavez? Nutjob? Mugabe?
In a statement accompanying the report's release in London Friday, Annan said that it gave the world a glimpse of a grim future if Member States fail to reach a "global, effective, fair and binding" outcome on climate change at the United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December.

"I hope that all Member States will go to Copenhagen with the political will to sign up to an ambitious agreement to tackle climate change," he said. "As this report shows, the alternative is greater risk of starvation, migration and sickness on a massive scale."
Good thing you guys don't have to worry about it.
The report's startling numbers are based on calculations that the earth's atmosphere is currently warming by 0.74 degrees celcius. The Global Humanitarium Forum says that temperatures will rise by almost two degrees celcius, regardless of what's agreed in Copenhagen.
The latest I read said that if the rise were actually to happen, it would be over a 500 year span. Kinda hard to get excited about that, which is why the time span is not mentioned.
"No matter what," the report concludes, "the suffering documented in this report is only the beginning." A rise of two degrees, it says, "would be catastrophic."

Of the 300,000 lives being lost each year due to climate change, the report finds nine out of 10 are related to "gradual environmental degradation," and that deaths caused by climate-related malnutrition, diarrhea and malaria outnumber direct fatalaties from weather-related disasters.
So let's improve food distribution by building roads and ending wars, install decent sanitation to provide healthy water, and spray DDT on the inner walls of building to kill malaria-carrying mosquitos. Real problems solved.
The vast majority of deaths -- 99 percent -- are in developing countries which are estimated to have contributed less than one percent of the world's total carbon emissions.
How about water vapor? Do they make any water vapor in third world countries? How about cows? Could we get them more miniature cows? And get them to lay off the veal, too.
The report warns climate change threatens all eight of the Milliennium Development Goals, which include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, and reducing child mortality and the spread of diseases including HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Boy, if it hadn't been for Global Warming the bleeding hearts might have actually accomplished all this. Oh well, better luck changing human behavior next time.
Around 45 million of the 900 million people estimated to be chronically hungry are suffering due to climate change, the report says.
I thought that chronic hunger is mostly due to poor food distribution. Of course, there is also soil degradation and water shortages.
Within 20 years that number is expected to double.
How can things be so horrid if the survival rate of the next generation is so high that the population in affected areas is expected to double? Perhaps they ought to work on that problem instead.
At the same time food production is expected to fall, driving food prices up 20%.
That doesn't compute. If population will double, but food production will fall, I would expect food prices to go up 220% at least... over twenty years. But I recall being told that prices in the U.S. have historically gone up 100% per decade, so a projected increase of only 20% over two decades suggests humanity will be doing something very right.
The countries considered to be most vulnerable are those in the semi-arid dry land belt that runs from the Sahara/Sahel to the Middle East and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Latin America and parts of the U.S., small island states and the Arctic region.

Australia is singled out as the developed country most vulnerable to the direct impacts of climate change, and to the indirect impact of climate stress in neighboring countries. Over the past 15 years, the combination of rising temperature and lower rainfall has produced the worst drought in the country's recorded history.
Of course, most of Australia's weather history is unrecorded, so this claim is quite misleading.
While developed countries -- including Australia -- have committed funds to counter the impact of climate change, the Global Humanitarian Forum says developing nations need a dramatic injection of funds -- up to 100 times more than is currently available to help them adapt to the changes.

The total economic cost of climate change each year is thought to be $125 billion, although the Forum warns that figure may be too conservative and doesn't take into account the impacts on "health, water supply and other shocks."

The Forum's report comes just six months before the meeting in Copenhagen which aims to forge a post-Kyoto climate agreement for 2012 and beyond. The group says the talks could "well be the last chance for avoiding global catastrophe."
That ought to give them something to talk about.
A group of 20 Nobel-prize winning, scientists, economists and writers added their voice to the call for immediate global action after meeting in London this week.
That's going to happen. I thought Nobel prize winners were supposed to be smart.
In a statement titled "The St James's Palace Memorandum," the group said the temperature rise must be contained to two degrees celsius if the world is to avoid "unmanageable climate risks."

To do that, they said global carbon emissions must start falling by 2015. They set a benchmark of a 50 percent cut by 2050, which they said could only be achieved if developed nations slash their emissions by 25 to 40 percent by 2020.

They also called for an "unprecedented" partnership between government and business to create low carbon energy infrastructure including "smart grids" to distribute and store renewable energy. And, for a solution to rainforest protection, without which, they said, "there is no solution to tackling climate change."
By the way, does anyone know why Greenland is named Greenland?
When is Europe going to embark on a serious program of reforestation to replace the ongoing clearing that started in the Roman Classical period? The beam in your eye vs. the mote in others', my dears.

Posted by: gorb 2009-05-29