Beyond Bali: Stop taking it out of the ground

This is, by far, one of the best POV I have heard about Climate Change and the resistance of governments to fight it.
Kolhatkar: Is it true that even the most drastic cuts being recommended at the table in Bali are not realistic, not based on current science and just not going to be good enough to save the planet?

Monbiot: That’s right. If you look at the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it shows that if we’re going to avoid 2 degrees Celsius, that’s 3.6 degrees Farenheit of warming, above pre-industrial levels – and that’s really the critical cutoff point; we have to avoid that level of warming – then we need a global cut of 85% of carbon emissions by 2050.

Via Znet

3000 Walrus Die in Stampede

From MSNBC:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Several thousands Pacific walruses above the Arctic Circle were killed in stampedes earlier this year after the disappearance of sea ice caused them to crowd onto the shoreline in extraordinary numbers, deaths some scientists see as another alarming consequence of global warming.

The deaths took place during the late summer and fall on the Russian side of the Bering Strait, which separates Alaska from Russia.

“It was a pretty sobering year — tough on walruses,” said Joel Garlach-Miller, a walrus expert for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Unlike seals, walruses cannot swim indefinitely. The big, tusked mammals typically clamber onto the sea ice to rest, or haul themselves onto land for just a few weeks at a time.

But ice disappeared in the Chukchi Sea this year because of warm summer weather, ocean currents and persistent eastern winds, Garlach-Miller said.

Read the rest of this sad story here.

How can they get away with it, again?

I have been asked many times, why I bothered to concentrate on US politics so much. I am not a citizen, I won’t be voting, my postings won’t change a thing. Shouldn’t I try to concentrate on issues over here? I asked myself the same repeatedly.

Apart from  the fact, that I am not a citzen of the country I live in and won’t be able to vote here either, I am convinced, that a large part of our future will continue to be shaped by US politics. Even more so, because we are facing global problems, that can’t and won’t be solved without the support of a great and powerful nation like yours. And time is running short.

I have monitored the Bali conference, applauded Al Gore’s speech and was hopeful, when it started to look as if Europeans first and foremost, but many third world countries, too were about to stop using conferences like the Bali conference as windowdressing and started to push for mandatory reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

And it looks like there will be a climate deal after all.

The agreement, which lays the foundation for a new worldwide treaty to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, was expected to be finalised tonight. The breakthrough comes after two weeks of torturous discussions, insults, arguments, threatened boycotts and trade sanctions, as countries fought over who should take responsibility for major cuts in carbon pollution.

A closer look at the “deal” is very disappointing, however. They caved in to the US oppositon – again. The mandatory reduction is reduced to a footnote. Or, as “The Guardian” reports:

In a move that was widely expected, Europe was reported tonight to have dropped its demands for a 25%-40% cut on 1990 levels by 2020, a proposal that was bitterly opposed by the US.

I’m tired of it and disgusted.

Arctic Summers May Be Ice-Free by 2013

From Jonathan Amos, BBC:

A startling new modeling study tells of Arctic ice melting much more quickly than previously anticipated.

Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice.

Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.

Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss.

Summer melting this year reduced the ice cover to 4.13 million sq km, the smallest ever extent in modern times.

Remarkably, this stunning low point was not even incorporated into the model runs of Professor Maslowski and his team, which used data sets from 1979 to 2004 to constrain their future projections.

Even this study may be too optimistic…

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN-led body which assesses the state of the Earth’s climate system, uses an averaged group of models to forecast ice loss in the Arctic.

But it is has become apparent in recent years that the real, observed rate of summer ice melting is now starting to run well ahead of the models.

The minimum ice extent reached in September 2007 shattered the previous record for ice withdrawal set in 2005, of 5.32 million square km. (Emphasis added)

Read the rest of the story here.

HT: TerrytheTurtle