Thursday, November 13, 2014
Victoria's Green Matters - 13th November 2014
Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury: Climate change, global warming – call it what you will, the effects are the same and it is set to inflict ‘severe, widespread and irreversible impacts’ around the world if there is no action to cut carbon emissions.
This is the conclusion of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in Copenhagen last week. It is the work of thousands of scientists and is agreed by all the world’s governments. UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, has said that ‘Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in the message’.
The report makes it clear that carbon emissions, mainly from burning coal, oil and gas are currently rising to record levels. Two thirds of all permissible carbon emissions have already been propelled into the atmosphere. Droughts, coastal storm surges, heat waves and extreme rain storms causing floods are already impacting on human and natural systems around the world. We have only to look at the excessive rainfall of last winter in the UK to know that this is true.
The solutions are many and they are now becoming economically viable, so much so that growth rates are hardly affected and, in some cases, improved because health damaging air pollution is reduced.
Emissions must peak by 2020 and then fall to zero later in the century, a tall order when we have governments intent on short term thinking and politicians who remain climate change deniers or are too readily influenced by the fossil fuel lobby.