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Climate Change TOTW [23.04.07 - 29.04.07]

Stella

New Member
The United Nations Climate Change Conference is just being held in Nairobi (from 6-17 November) with the participation of the treaty parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992). Its ultimate objective is the 'stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.' Greenpeace

We know that the earth has become warmer over the last century. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group established by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), reports that the average surface temperature of the earth has increased during the twentieth century by about 0.6° ± 0.2°C. (The ± 0.2°C means that the increase might be as small as 0.4°C or as great as 0.8°C.) This may seem like a small shift, but although regional and short-term temperatures do fluctuate over a wide range, global temperatures are generally quite stable. In fact, the difference between today’s average global temperature and the average global temperature during the last Ice Age is only about 5 degrees C. Indeed, it’s warmer today around the world than at any time during the past 1000 years, and the warmest years of the previous century have occurred within the past decade.

We also know that human activities—primarily the burning of fossil fuels—have increased the greenhouse gas content of the earth’s atmosphere significantly over the same period. Carbon dioxide is one of the most important greenhouse gases, which trap heat near the planet’s surface.

The vast majority of climate researchers agree with these overall findings. The scientific disagreements that do still exist primarily concern detailed aspects of the processes that make up these largely accepted general themes.

source:Global Climate Change


We can already observe the alarming signs of the climate change, effecting our everyday life as a whole, in the long run threatening with disastrous consequences, if we dont start acting today!! Should the global warming increase indeed in the future, we can expect ever more intense floods, hurricanes, droughts, magnetic field anomalies, change in the Gulf Stream...


Map of global warming

Walrus on ice floe, 13 July 1999, Chukchi Sea Russian Federation​


Promoting the use of alternative and renewable energies is far from enough yet, more intense campaigns would be needed worldwide in order to accept and adopt this kind of culture. Certainly this faces many obstacles, like the growing threat of the energy-hungry huge Chinese economy, or the responsibility of the USA by not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol (Whole Text) - entered into force in February 2005, aside from the economical impacts, based on the argument that China has been granted exemption.

Awareness raising and education would be needed both at corporate and individual level.
We, as citizens can also do a lot to help to stop this ever accelerating process, by acting in a more environmental conscious way. You can pay attention to reduce your traditional energy consumption which emits carbon-dioxide into the air, by for example cut back on using your car. You can buy energy efficient appliances, simply turn off your electronic devices when not using them, and try to switch to solar energy when its applicable.

Heres an interesting example what I found, promoting the use of nuclear power:

- Nuclear power only produces electricity, and thus only marginally deals with our need for services such as hot water and central heating, and doesn’t meet our energy needs for transport at all. Instead of focusing solely on electricity production, governments need to address the energy system as a whole.

- US researchers from the respected Rocky Mountain Institute have estimated that for the same investment, energy efficiency can achieve up to ten times more carbon savings than nuclear power.

- The IEA’s nuclear plan would require more than 200 new reactors in the next 24 years. Climate scientists warn we have ten years to act. Nuclear power plants that come on line in 2025 to 2030 will begin replacing coal and oil too late to meet the short term need for emission reductions.

- The capital and subsidies for such an unrealistic expansion would be so huge that they would strangle investment in renewables and energy-efficiency, which the world desperately needs. Nuclear would prevent the very change the IEA is calling for.

- The report grossly underestimates the ready potential of energy efficiency and renewable energy – which already play a larger role than the IEA projects for nuclear power in 2030.

source:IEA report


I would like to hear your opinions about climate change and its possible dangers, as well as what you can do personally to treat its root causes.
 

Incognito

Well-Known Member
Hopefully with the Democrats in power we will see a change in US politics on climate change. Bush has been the only obstacle in the world, it's as almost as if he's the anti-Christ and wants this planet to fall apart.

We need to act quickly. Australia is already feeling climate change, our summers are ridiculously hot, we have little rain and the droughts are killing our farmlands.
 

Hye4Lebanon

Well-Known Member
Its already too late. Studdies have shown that the impact you are seeing was caused 50 years ago.

But, putting Democrats aside and the Kyoto, it should start from you. You as a person can make a change by simply working on Reducing, Reusing, and Recylcing. The three Rs.

In addition, ride or walk to school, or business if you can. Carpool or take the train if you can. If the light is on, and no one is using the room, turn off the lights. There are hundreds of resources out there on how you can make an impact to counter Global warming.
 

Stella

New Member
Incognito,

Actually the Kyoto Protocol was opened to signature in 1997, at the time of the Clinton administration, and was signed by them in 1998, only symbolically. Neither Clinton, nor Bush had the intention to ratify the protocol.
Its obvious their own economic interests come first when deciding about the ratification, no matter if the planet will die out in 100 years. Heres what Bush said:

This is a challenge that requires a 100% effort; ours, and the rest of the world's. The world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases is the People's Republic of China. Yet, China was entirely exempted from the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. India and Germany are among the top emitters. Yet, India was also exempt from Kyoto … America's unwillingness to embrace a flawed treaty should not be read by our friends and allies as any abdication of responsibility. To the contrary, my administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change … Our approach must be consistent with the long-term goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere."

Wikipedia

I dont think we can expect a change from the democrates led senate regarding the Protocols ratification.

Hye,

Great suggestion:) In addition for example switch off the TV when your not around, or better get rid of it completely.
If you are a smoker, start quitting today, tomorrow it would be already late!
 

Incognito

Well-Known Member
Hi Stella,

I think awareness on climate change is much more profound than it was 5 years ago.

Americans are much more concerned and it is being reflected in their politics. Al Gore's film has been an incredible boost. The Senate's environmental head is about to be replaced by a Democrat who believes that climate change is the greatest challenge of our times.

In Australia, we were much the same. 5 years ago, like the Americans, we didn't pay much attention to climate change. Now Australians overwhelmingly are declaring that they want to act, even if it includes higher taxes.

In 5 years there has been a dramatic change of public opinion and awareness, and I think that is going to be reflected in future US policies and I know that will be the case here in Australia.


Hye,

I'm aware the person can contribute, and don't worry I'm very green in thinking and practice.
 

Stella

New Member
Hi Stella,

I think awareness on climate change is much more profound than it was 5 years ago.

Americans are much more concerned and it is being reflected in their politics. Al Gore's film has been an incredible boost. The Senate's environmental head is about to be replaced by a Democrat who believes that climate change is the greatest challenge of our times.

In Australia, we were much the same. 5 years ago, like the Americans, we didn't pay much attention to climate change. Now Australians overwhelmingly are declaring that they want to act, even if it includes higher taxes.

In 5 years there has been a dramatic change of public opinion and awareness, and I think that is going to be reflected in future US policies and I know that will be the case here in Australia.

Incognito,

Well then if its true, glad to hear that. I hope the politicians of the developed countries will take now the leading role to promote environment friendly culture, and also draw binding regulations.
Dont know though how we can handle such emerging countries` emissions like China.

We can feel already that climate change is effecting our lives, I guess everywhere. In my country for example this was the 2nd year when the Spring is missing, the weather is becoming ever extreme.

I hope this process is not irreversible yet though. I will try to find some details on it.
 

JD06

Active Member
Incognito,

Well then if its true, glad to hear that. I hope the politicians of the developed countries will take now the leading role to promote environment friendly culture, and also draw binding regulations.
Dont know though how we can handle such emerging countries` emissions like China.

We can feel already that climate change is effecting our lives, I guess everywhere. In my country for example this was the 2nd year when the Spring is missing, the weather is becoming ever extreme.

I hope this process is not irreversible yet though. I will try to find some details on it.

U CAN FEEL IT IN LEBANON ALSO , MY GRANDFATHER ALWAYS SAYS THT THE WINTERS USED TO BE SOO HARSH IN THE VILLAGE WER HE LIVES(AROUND 1930,DOUMA), AND NOW ITS NOT AS COLD AND THE WINTER IS SHORTER. AND LOOK AT US TODAY ITS NOVEMBER AND ITS 25 DEGREES!!
 

Stella

New Member
U CAN FEEL IT IN LEBANON ALSO , MY GRANDFATHER ALWAYS SAYS THT THE WINTERS USED TO BE SOO HARSH IN THE VILLAGE WER HE LIVES(AROUND 1930,DOUMA), AND NOW ITS NOT AS COLD AND THE WINTER IS SHORTER. AND LOOK AT US TODAY ITS NOVEMBER AND ITS 25 DEGREES!!

Lucky man!!!!! Here we are freezing! The winters are getting ever colder and the spring has disappeared completely the last few years, the summer heat is coming right away without transition.
 

JD06

Active Member
Lucky man!!!!! Here we are freezing! The winters are getting ever colder and the spring has disappeared completely the last few years, the summer heat is coming right away without transition.

wow thts weird ,yala let thm keep cutting down trees and making cars like the hummer, humans r so violent we even managed to destroy seasons
 

Inanna

Well-Known Member
i read almost a week ago an article where they expect a huge climate change in the ME region in the upcoming 80-100 years maximum, they expect the 4 seasons we enjoy in lebanon to turn into 2, a very cold winter and a very hot summer, and the ME will become a place for huricanes!
 

shadow1

Legendary Member
Orange Room Supporter
As long as climate change doesnt lead to the extinction of birds of Paradise in Papua new Guinea than it's fine. If they lead to increase in sea level by just 20 meters is great, my house in lebanon would have a sea front and tripple in value.
But the hole thing should be taken seriously. I reckon the Lebanese governemt should start buyong Land in Canada and Siberia to grow the future food needs of Lebanon in case Lebanon becomes a desert. They can do it now very cheaply. In 70 years it might cost a fortune.

And if worse come to worse and water disappears entirely from lebanon, the government can ship all of its subjects there. That is what they have always wanted anyway. At that time Canada and Siberia will be like the cote d'Azure wheras Lebanon wil;l be like the Namibian Desert. Think ahead people, think ahead.
 

Stella

New Member
As long as climate change doesnt lead to the extinction of birds of Paradise in Papua new Guinea than it's fine. If they lead to increase in sea level by just 20 meters is great, my house in lebanon would have a sea front and tripple in value.
But the hole thing should be taken seriously. I reckon the Lebanese governemt should start buyong Land in Canada and Siberia to grow the future food needs of Lebanon in case Lebanon becomes a desert. They can do it now very cheaply. In 70 years it might cost a fortune.

And if worse come to worse and water disappears entirely from lebanon, the government can ship all of its subjects there. That is what they have always wanted anyway. At that time Canada and Siberia will be like the cote d'Azure wheras Lebanon wil;l be like the Namibian Desert. Think ahead people, think ahead.

Well I guess most part of Canada and Siberia are not really famous for their crop growing and exporting business. Anyway we will be forced to use the new innovative techniques to save this dieing planet, dont know if we arent too late already.

It wouldnt make much sense for the most developed countries to use renewable resources and advanced environmental freindly technologies when China would damage all its achievements for the planet in a week with its gas emmission. So most urgent would be to make these technologies cheap and accessable for poor countries, or we really face extinction in short period.
 

JD06

Active Member
As long as climate change doesnt lead to the extinction of birds of Paradise in Papua new Guinea than it's fine. If they lead to increase in sea level by just 20 meters is great, my house in lebanon would have a sea front and tripple in value.
But the hole thing should be taken seriously. I reckon the Lebanese governemt should start buyong Land in Canada and Siberia to grow the future food needs of Lebanon in case Lebanon becomes a desert. They can do it now very cheaply. In 70 years it might cost a fortune.

And if worse come to worse and water disappears entirely from lebanon, the government can ship all of its subjects there. That is what they have always wanted anyway. At that time Canada and Siberia will be like the cote d'Azure wheras Lebanon wil;l be like the Namibian Desert. Think ahead people, think ahead.

ill buy a nice piece of land in the north pole, it will have the same climate as lebanon by then , thanks for the advice
 

Stella

New Member
ill buy a nice piece of land in the north pole, it will have the same climate as lebanon by then , thanks for the advice

By the way the magnetic fields of the poles are shifting too, so you will have to define your desired area of land for buying on a continuous base :p Also you may get the south pole instead of the north if the process accelerates!
 

Stella

New Member
Some interesting updates on the Nairobi Conference, emphasizing the escalating costs of climate change:


"Experts-- members of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)-- are warning that losses from extreme weather events linked to climate change are doubling every 12 years.

Over the next three to four decades the world could witness a year in which losses from droughts, storms surges, hurricanes and floods hit one trillion dollars.
...

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), said: “Adaptation to climate change is a wide ranging issue which is already touching on every facet of economic and development life. The finance, insurance and re-insurance industry is skilled in the management of risk. In the past, this creativity has been largely confined to covering people and populations in developed countries”.

“However, the reality of climate change is spawning new ideas which are now beginning to emerge. These make it possible to bring instruments to people and communities who have in the past been denied access to the formal insurance and finance markets. They also offer the UN and donors fresh and potentially lower cost avenues by which they can nip a climate-linked crisis in the bud before it develops into a full-scale and much more costly disaster,” he added.

...

Typhoon Shanshan, which hit Japan in September, caused overall losses of 2.5 billion dollars; followed by the tornadoes that struck the United States in March at 1.5 billion dollars and typhoon Saomai, which hit China and the Philippines in August with overall losses of 1.4 billion dollars.

In Africa, the on going drought and floods in Ethiopia and Somalia have been among the worst weather-related disaster leaving some 280,000 people homeless along with drought in Kenya. This actually began in late 2005 with the failure of the short rains at the end 2005 and which has affected an estimated three million people. "

UNEP

More informations about the conference and the workshops` themes: UNFCCC
 

lebanesecanadian

Well-Known Member
http://www.ecogeek.org/content/view/342/

The condom-The Single Most Important Environmental Innovation
Written by Hank Green
Sunday, 12 November 2006

Any of you who read EcoGeek regularly know that we don't usually do this. Our articles generally focus on new technologies that will make human existence more stable by lessening our impact on our environment. But sometimes it is difficult to keep things in perspective. Can technology truly save mankind? Are there inventions in our past that have, without a doubt, prevented ecological catastrophes of meteoric proportions?

Yes, yes there have. Several, by my count. But one outweighs them all: The latex condom, or more broadly, modern birth control, including the condom's younger sister, the pill.

The source of human-induced ecological crises is not inherent evil or callousness. We don't destroy the environment because it's fun. In fact, none of us, individually, are causing very much harm. I could drive a 747 to work every day for the rest of my life and not measurably impact the environment. The problem isn't even that we all drive cars and eat too much MacDonald's. The problem is that there are over six billion of us included in 'all'.

The problem of population was first really explored by Thomas Malthus in a paper published in 1798. His idea was that, unfortunately, populations increase exponentially until all available resources are used up. Then competition and starvation halts the growth of the population. This, Malthus predicted, would happen to the population of humans alarmingly soon.

What he didn't count on was our unique ability to create more resources from the land. We could rip up more, create machines, burn stored carbon, pave the world, manufacture powerful chemicals and otherwise subdue and control the Earth. We did it all because, by the very nature of life, we hate to see our children die, and we can't stop, y'know... makin' babies. That is the heart of our ecological crisis, and, without effective means of controlling Malthusian population dynamics, the Earth was screwed.

When effective, simple and reliable birth control was invented, first in the form of the latex condom, and then through various hormonal contraceptives, our species was given the ability to control this vicious system. For the first time in the HISTORY OF LIFE on this planet, a species is choosing not to use up every available resource and, instead, control it's own population without the looming prospect of starvation.

Condoms aren't solar powered or reusable or even recyclable, but they've made the environmental revolution possible. As simple birth control continues its spread across the globe, it leaves behind happier healthier societies with significantly less impact on the planet. That is the power of true innovation.
 

Stella

New Member
Lebanesecanadian,

I dont think that the birth control would decrease considerably the problems caused by climate change. The Earth provides us endless resources, but our means are destructive when using them.

It would be interesting to discuss the use and effects of different contraception methods in various societies, but that requires another thread.:smile:
 

lebanesecanadian

Well-Known Member
Lebanesecanadian,

I dont think that the birth control would decrease considerably the problems caused by climate change. The Earth provides us endless resources, but our means are destructive when using them.

It would be interesting to discuss the use and effects of different contraception methods in various societies, but that requires another thread.:smile:

Stella,

The article that I posted is simply giving another interesting perspective on the usual take on climate change that you presented. Your statement in bold isn't very accurate ; the earth's resources are NOT endless. Most natural resources (Oil, wood, water,coil...) will be gone after (hopefully) a long period of time. Even all people switch to electric cars, gas emissions will be reduced but not eliminated. "Clean" energy source when combined with maintaining our current living standards will reduce the damage each individual does but not eliminate the danger looming ahead. In order to preserve mankind, we will have to reduce our birth rate in order to maximize. This already happened in most Western countries where population growth is zero and in some cases (France) even negative. And it was done simply by raising awareness. I hope you didn't think that by posting this article I was condoning the horrible baby massacres that are happening in China.

P.S: I'd be really interested in discussing contraception methods in another thread but Finals never looked so close. :frown:
 

Stella

New Member
Stella,

The article that I posted is simply giving another interesting perspective on the usual take on climate change that you presented. Your statement in bold isn't very accurate ; the earth's resources are NOT endless. Most natural resources (Oil, wood, water,coil...) will be gone after (hopefully) a long period of time. Even all people switch to electric cars, gas emissions will be reduced but not eliminated. "Clean" energy source when combined with maintaining our current living standards will reduce the damage each individual does but not eliminate the danger looming ahead. In order to preserve mankind, we will have to reduce our birth rate in order to maximize. This already happened in most Western countries where population growth is zero and in some cases (France) even negative. And it was done simply by raising awareness. I hope you didn't think that by posting this article I was condoning the horrible baby massacres that are happening in China.

I do think the resources are endless, only if we would operate with much wiser methods. Our ways are now destructive, although I can imagine another, where we can even enhance the planet`s energies on a mutual level. We shall aim to seek and implement those revolutionary techniques, and also make them accessable, we have no other chance.

P.S: I'd be really interested in discussing contraception methods in another thread but Finals never looked so close. :frown:

Maybe someone could open it, who has got reasonable knowledge in this issue.


Heres another interesting update about climate change. Incognito may be right in the end, and the US is reconsidering?:smile:


Feeling the heat

From The World in 2007 print edition

Emma Duncan predicts a political climate change


Most of the manifestations of climate change that the world will be talking about next year are not predictable. The north Atlantic hurricane season may or may not be particularly violent; it was brutal in 2004 and 2005, but wasn’t in 2006.There may or may not be heatwaves; there was one in Europe in 2003, but subsequent summers have been only pleasantly warm; there was one in the American West in 2006. Uncertainty is what makes climate change so difficult to deal with. Global warming increases the risk of dangerous events, but the timing and frequency of those events are unpredictable, which makes them hard to prepare for.

One development, however, is pretty certain since international bureaucracies are more reliable than the weather: the completion of the fourth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It will be more interesting than it sounds, for it will be gloomier than previous ones, and will cause plenty of argument.

The IPCC was set up by the United Nations to establish a consensus about what is happening to the climate, so that governments should be able to make policy on the basis of some agreed facts. It has produced three reports, but no consensus. Sceptics maintain that it has frozen out dissenters. A hurricane climatologist resigned because the lead author of the chapter on hurricanes and typhoons gave a press conference attributing the increase in the number of intense storms to climate change. There have been complaints that its predictions of the likely spread of malaria are alarmist, given that economic development, rather than temperature, determines the disease’s prevalence. And other critics have complained that the panel’s economics are dodgy. But even if its conclusions are disputed, the IPCC remains the most authoritative body holding forth on climate change, so its reports influence policymaking.

Its new report will surely feature some alarming developments in climate-change science. The melting of Arctic sea ice, for instance, has speeded up. A paper published in September 2006 suggested that perennial sea ice (the sort that is around all year, as opposed to the stuff that melts in summer) shrank by 14% between 2004 and 2005. And the (very slow) rise in sea level seems to have accelerated; the IPCC report is likely to attribute this in part to an increase in glacier flow in Greenland and West Antarctica.

As the science of climate change shifts, so the pressure on politicians increases—particularly in America. America is the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, and the only developed-world polluter, other than Australia, not to ratify the Kyoto protocol to control emissions. China will overtake America within the next decade, and India is coming up fast too. Climate change is just starting to become part of the political debate in those countries. But since developed countries, not developing ones, are mostly responsible for the historical build-up of greenhouse gases, it is generally accepted that they have a moral responsibility to act first. So America is regarded as the key to a solution.

Many Democrats are eager to introduce federal emissions controls. Significantly, a growing number of Republicans are starting to take that view—and not just in California, where Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican governor, backed Kyoto-style controls that were passed into law in 2006.

Evangelical Christians concerned about the stewardship of the Earth, farmers who see alternative energy sources as a new income stream, hawks who want to reduce America’s dependency on Middle Eastern oil and hunters who worry about the environment have all come together to put pressure on the White House. And many businesses are also pushing for federal controls. This is partly because they fear a confusing patchwork of state-level controls, partly because they would rather have regulation of the sort that George Bush would endorse than the sort that, say, Hillary Clinton would bring in, and partly because they reckon that regulation will spawn new businesses that they may benefit from.

A bunch of climate-change bills in Congress is gaining support. Politics, like climate change itself, is an uncertain business. But the chances of an American shift on controlling carbon emissions are growing.

The Economist
 

Orange Patriot

Well-Known Member
Heres a link to the An Inconvenient Truth website.

An Inconvenient Truth



Skimming through the list of links, it seems pretty informative for those who are interested.

Of course it might be better to watch the DVD first or catch it at the theater, before plowing through the site in depth.
 
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