Monday, December 1, 2014

Grave Warning on Global Warming

The NY Times lead article this morning is on the climate talks in Lima.  Their conclusions are grim:
they warn that it now may be impossible to prevent the temperature of the planet’s atmosphere from rising by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. According to a large body of scientific research, that is the tipping point at which the world will be locked into a near-term future of drought, food and water shortages, melting ice sheets, shrinking glaciers, rising sea levels and widespread flooding — events that could harm the world’s population and economy.
3.6 degrees would be serious, but the problem is
While a breach of the 3.6 degree threshold appears inevitable, scientists say that United Nations negotiators should not give up on their efforts to cut emissions. At stake now, they say, is the difference between a newly unpleasant world and an uninhabitable one.
Yes, uninhabitable.  From the start I've made dire predictions about the consequences of global warming, but they are based on nothing being done.  If we were to seriously approach the problem, by instituting a carbon tax, for example, the consequences might be restricted, as they said at Lima, to "drought, food and water shortages, melting ice sheets, shrinking glaciers, rising sea levels and widespread flooding", but very little is being done.

And so at this point, truly dire consequences are even more likely.
That reality is already setting in among low-lying island nations, like the Marshall Islands, where rising seas are soaking coastal soil, killing crops and contaminating fresh water supplies.
“The groundwater that supports our food crops is becoming inundated with salt,” said Tony A. deBrum, foreign minister of the Marshall Islands. “The green is becoming brown.”
Many island nations are looking into buying farmland in other countries to grow food and, eventually, to relocate their populations.