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Climate change is happening much faster than previously expected

Earth Egg

Creative Commons License Photo credit: azrainman

A new report from WWF says that climate change is happening much faster than the scientists have predicated earlier. The report says that we must take action on a global scale to avert devastating climate effects such as more and heavier storms, flooding, droughts, crops failures, collapse of eco systems on land and sea and rising sea levels just to name a few.

Professor Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, Professor of Climatology and Environmental Sciences at the Université catholique de Louvain and newly elected Vice Chair of the IPCC, said that "it is clear that climate change is already having a greater impact than most scientists had anticipated, so it's vital that international mitigation and adaptation responses become swifter and more ambitious."

He also said, like we here on Green Blog have pointed out several times, that the 2°C climate target that the EU have agreed on (that Italy and Poland tried to wreck) is not enough to combat climate change:

"The last IPCC report has shown that the reasons for concern are now stronger, and this should lead the EU to plead for a lower temperature target than the 2°C they adopted in 1996. But even with a 2°C target, the IPCC says that emission reductions between 25 and 40% compared to 1990 are needed by 2020 from developed countries. Reductions by 20% are therefore insufficient," Jean-Pascal van Ypersele said.

The WWF wants the EU to take the lead in climate change. Instead of a 20% emission reduction by 2020 they say the EU should "adopt an emission reduction target of at least 30% below 1990 levels by 2020". WWF also says that the emission reductions should be made inside the EU and not being outsourced to Third World countries.

"If the European Union wants to be seen as leader at UN talks in Copenhagen next year, and to help secure a strong global deal to tackle climate change after 2012, then it must stop shirking its responsibilities and commit to real emissions cuts within Europe," said Dr. Tina Tin, Climate Scientist and author of the report.

Instead of funding their offsets in Third World countries the WWF asks the EU to instead provide these countries with "substantial support and funding" to help them "tackle future climate change and adapt to those impacts that are already unavoidable".

"Climate change is a major challenge to the future of mankind and the environment, and this sobering overview highlights just how critical it is that EU Environment Ministers discussing the EU legislations against climate change today commit to a strong climate and energy package, in order to ensure a low carbon future," said Dr. Tina Tin.

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"unless something starts to happen?" Are you for real? Just because your local McDonalds is still open doesn't mean there isn't significant change and damage being to the very systems that give you fresh air to breath, clean water to drink ... and burgers to eat. Wake up or grow up. Actually scratch that, keep doing what you are doing. The rest of us will do our best carry you and your kind into a cleaner future or we'll all die trying. Enjoy your Happy Meal, carry on.

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Unfortunately, the poet G. M. Hopkins was wrong. He claimed that “Nature is never spent.†It’s simply foolhardy to keep frantically scanning the horizon for a sustainable way to fuel our lifestyles, which are unsustainable due not only to resources and carbon emission, but also to infrastructure and habits. We need to make fundamental changes in where we live, how often and how far we drive, how many electronics and vehicles we use, etc. It’s no coincidence that as a society, we are struggling with more depression and anxiety than ever before: we’re completely disconnected from the realities of life. Why do we think we have earned the right to eat, buy, and drive whatever and whenever we want? Ethanol, coal and oil, wind power, solar power–all of these are not the problem. We are. Of course, it's also true, as noted above, that people don't care unless they're impacted. Which is happening, now: floods, droughts, storms, and the World Health Organization estimates more than 150,000 deaths each year due to climate change. Wake up.

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I cannot believe the first comment made. I can only tell you that the environment is core and center to many companies and societies around the world. I have had the opportunity to speak to many people about this. The issue is that companies often do not see how they can make money by becoming greener. It would help if blogs like yours actually point that out to them. I see three advantages for companies to go greener. First it allows them to reduce cost and variability in their costs. By reducing energy consumption for example, companies on the one side reduce their costs, and there exposure to the variability of energy costs on the other. Second it allows them to grow business. Consumers increasingly are looking at environmental friendly companies, so it can be used as a marketing element to grow business and marketshare. Third, it allows to reduce risk and exposure. Several companies have been in the news due to environmental issues lately. It has damaged their brand name, not speaking about the fines they may have to pay. So, there is a financial element in becoming greener. In the current environment this is certainly something that companies are interested in.

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