[Marxism] The Most Important Article of 2004: Global Warming, The World Is Skating On Thin Ice
obeynow20001 at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 31 09:09:45 MST 2004
We can and we must have a better world. The Green Party must rededicate itself to taking a leading role in the movements and far less time on questions of process. Activists must turn away from the trap of the Democratic Party and help build the Green Party and Green Alliance.
The price of failure is death- it will make the South Asian tsunami look like a day at the beach.
Global warming: The world is skating on thin ice
...To achieve stabilisation, total global greenhouse gas emissions must be cut by at least 60% of todays emissions within 25 years. Anything less will not control global warming.
...Not only are colossal climate changes scientifically possible, but they could take place within very short periods. Of course, they would not take place in hours, days or weeks, as in The Day After Tomorrow, but they could unfold in the space of a decade or a persons lifetime. This is a tiny faction of the time that climate change usually takes place.
As Harvard University palaeoclimatologist Daniel Schrag told the Scripps Howard News Service on May 14, while the movie greatly exaggerates how quickly climate change can happen ... it is possible that the ultimate consequences of climate change ... may be just as severe and disastrous.
Scientists freely admit that the consequences of global warming are so complex that it is impossible to predict what sort of events may be unleashed, and when. But they agree that once it begins, it cannot be stopped.
Not too late
It is not too late to turn around global warming, but time is short. It is estimated that critical levels of atmospheric C02 will be reached within 25 years at the current levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
The rich capitalist countries refuse to seriously reduce greenhouse gases reaching the atmosphere. North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand are responsible for more than 80% of past emissions and 75% of current ones. Yet these governments place the protection of the profits and competitiveness of their powerful corporations above the welfare of the world's people.
The US is the worst offender. With around 4.5% of the world's population, in 1990 the US emitted 36.1% of all greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gas emissions in the US are predicted to increase 30% from 1990 levels by 2010. The US and Australian governments have refused to ratify the 1997 Kyoto Protocols modest goal of a reduction in greenhouse gases to 5.2% below 1990 levels.
We urgently need a massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve that requires fundamental changes in the way the world is organised. The private profit system, which has brought us to the brink of calamity, needs to be replaced by a system that puts people and the planet before profits.
>From Green Left Weekly, June 2, 2004.
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