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Over Easy: IPCC on Climate — Tragedy of the Commons

4:07 am in Uncategorized by Crane-Station

The White House released the National Climate Assessment Report today eliminating legitimate doubt that climate change is underway with increasingly dire and catastrophic consequences to the global biosphere and to human life yet to come. The report is the product of more than four years of work by hundreds of scientists and it is substantially more comprehensive and alarming than its predecessor report issued in 2009. Unlike the United Nation’s report released three weeks ago, this report focuses on what is happening in eight geographical regions of the United States.

After reviewing the White House report and the United Nation’s report, I do not see how any reasonable person who knows how to read can continue to doubt that human activity has caused and will continue to cause global warming and climate change.

The Republican Party likely will persist in denying climate change because the oil companies and the rich people who own them intend to continue to enrich themselves at our expense. For example, FOX News is claiming that President Obama and the Democrats made up this report to distract our attention from what happened at Benghazi.

Global warming and climate change is the new reality and no amount of denial will make it go away. Instead of pointless arguments regarding whether it exists, we must accept that it does and do everything in our power to avoid contributing to the problem.

To accomplish this, we will need a collective change of heart. As the report explains, climate change is really a case of the ‘tragedy of the commons.’

Mitigation is a public good; climate change is a case of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ (high confidence). Effective climate change mitigation will not be achieved if each agent (individual, institution or country) acts independently in its own selfish interest, suggesting the need for collective action. Some adaptation actions, on the other hand, have characteristics of a private good as benefits of actions may accrue more directly to the individuals, regions, our countries that undertake them, at least in the short term. Nevertheless, financing such adaptive activities remains an issue, particularly for poor individuals and countries. [3.1]

Collective action means that we change our hearts about mass consumption and greed. Following the no harm rule, we are capable of working to decrease air pollution, acid rain and ocean acidification, leaving future people with an environment that is not uninhabitable. With a change of heart, we can work to eradicate poverty, rather than strip-mining a couple of large western states of coal that we send to China by way of the Evergreen State. Before we do that, maybe we would consider having an intelligent conversation about how we can all decrease some of these emissions- China is working on that, why can’t we? We can reduce our waste is this country as well. There is no longer any excuse for it.

This is an opportunity for once, to work together in the world instead of trying to take it over, or lie, cheat and rip people off and then blame them (whoever they are) for all of our problems.

Over Easy: IPCC WG2 2014 Climate Change Report

4:05 am in Uncategorized by Crane-Station

On Monday, Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its report on the current state of scientific knowledge about the changing climate. The report did not mince words: extreme weather events are already occurring and catalyzed by carbon emissions. The good news is that adaptation is possible, if communities and governments immediately and aggressively pursue adaptation and mitigation.

If the climate extremes continue unabated, systems that will be impacted are:

  • availability of water, and clean water.
  • There will be negative impacts on crop yields, especially in the lower latitudes. We have already seen the devastating effects of drought to agriculture, for example.
  • Migration of species. As species move away from areas that impact survival and reproduction, they face new challenges and difficulties in the new locations, specifically, difficulty living together with new species.
  • There will be greater instance of disease, morbidity and mortality; the urban poor are especially at risk.
  • Lowline coastal areas could be vulnerable to extreme weather events, and even catastrophic damage.
  • Conflict can be exacerbated, compromising territorial integrity, and leading to displacement.

The key to our survival will be the extent to which we are willing to mitigate, and adapt. The upcoming working group 3 will talk about emissions of greenhouse gases. We simply have no more excuses , according to this IPCC Review. Everyone has a reason to care about it.

The IPCC Report scientists expressed particular concern with the marine environments. The report is large, and it states in the beginning that everyone should have good reason to be concerned with the findings, and pay close attention to Working Group 3′s Report that will be issued later this year, addressing adaptation and mitigation. Reading between the lines, our governments are currently insufficiently prepared for the reality of a changing climate that is impacting our food, water, health and survival.

Related:

The world is not ready for the impacts of climate change, including more extreme weather and the likelihood that populated parts of the planet could be rendered uninhabitable, says the planet’s leading body of climate scientists in a major new UN report. (National Geographic)