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GliderGuider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-08 06:15 AM
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Climate change juggernaut on the horizon, UN talks told
Climate change juggernaut on the horizon, UN talks told

POZNAN, Poland (AFP) War, hunger, poverty and sickness will stalk humanity if the world fails to tackle climate change, a 12-day UN conference on global warming heard on Monday.

A volley of grim warnings sounded out at the start of the marathon talks, a step to a new worldwide treaty to reduce greenhouse gases and help countries exposed to the wrath of an altered climate.

"Humankind in its activity just reached the limits of the closed system of our planet Earth," said Polish Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki, elected to chair the December 1-12 meeting in the city of Poznan.

"Further expansion in the same style will generate global threats of really great intensity -- huge droughts and floods, cyclones with increasingly more destructive power, pandemics of tropical disease, dramatic decline of biodiversity, increasing ocean levels," said Nowicki.

"All these can cause social and even armed conflict and migration of people at an unprecedented scale."

The forum of the 192-member UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) comes halfway in a two-year process, launched in Bali, Indonesia, that aims at crafting a new pact in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Nowicki's warning was underscored by Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which provides neutral scientific opinion on global warming and its impacts.

"The impacts of climate change, if there is inaction, can be extremely serious," he said.

"We have projected that the number of people living in severely stressed river basins will increase from 1.4 to 1.6 billion in 1995 to 4.3-6.9 billion in 2050. That's almost the majority of humanity.

"Roughly 20 to 30 percent species assessed will be at increasingly high risk of extinction as global temperatures exceed two to three degrees Centigrade (3.6-5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.

"Abrupt and irreversible changes are possible, such as the collapse of the Greenland and West Antarctic icesheets," leading to a rise in sea levels measurable in metres, or many feet, he said.

"For Greenland, the temperature threshold for breakdown is estimated at about 1.1 to 3.8 degrees Celsius (2.0-6.8 F) above today's global average level. We're very close to that."

Progress under the so-called Bali Roadmap has been bogged down over demands for concessions and the sheer complexity of a deal.

Hopes for a breakthrough at Poznan have also been darkened by the global economic crisis.

Have a nice day, everybody.
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Kolesar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-08 06:30 AM
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1. No coverage of the "UN conference on global warming" in the Cleveland paper today
At a time when America's president-elect supports climate protection.
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The2ndWheel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-08 08:14 AM
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2. "War, hunger, poverty and sickness will stalk humanity if the world fails to tackle climate change"
Will? Our solutions to war, hunger, poverty, and sickness are factors contributing to our increased impact on the environment. It's not that they will stalk us. They are actively stalking us. They have been, in one form or another, for a long time.
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stuntcat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-01-08 05:54 PM
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3. kickity
:kick:
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