Climate Change – One Planet, One Chance

One Planet, One Chance

Here is a photo essay by Magnum Photographers, which I found on the Ecological Buddhism website. Do check it out they have many interesting articles there.

Climate change will affect rainfall, temperature and water availability for agriculture in vulnerable areas. The danger is that extreme food insecurity episodes will become more common. Major killer diseases could expand their coverage.

Rich countries are already preparing public health to deal with future climate shocks. For poor countries it is much harder; they need international support to adapt. We are drifting into a world of adaptation apartheid.


if this video is no longer available please leave a comment so I can update the page

Dalai Lama on One World

 




Possibly Related Posts:


2 comments to Climate Change – One Planet, One Chance

  • The only good news I have read recently is that former US President Jimmy Carter’s cause, to eradicate the guinea worm scourge is nearing success.

    “In the 1950s the 3-foot-long guinea worm ravaged the bodies of an estimated 50 million people, forcing victims through months of pain while the worm exited through a swollen blister on the leg, making it impossible for them to tend to cows or harvest crops. By 1986, the number dropped to 3.5 million. Last year only 3,190 cases were reported.

    Today the worm is even closer to being wiped out. Fewer than 1,700 cases have been found this year in only four countries – Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali and Sudan, where more than 95 percent of the cases are. The worm’s near-eradication is thanks in large part to the efforts of Carter and his foundation.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/searchS/?q=Guinea+Worm+Jimmy+Carter

    As a species, however, we’re the scourge of the planet and frankly, since Al Gore wasn’t inaugurated as president instead of Bush, fear we’re toast.

  • Wondering how many years more we can waste!

    Published on Sunday, December 26, 2010 by The Guardian/UK
    After a Wasted Year, Climate Change Must Once Again Be Our Priority
    There is no doubt that greenhouse gas emissions are rising remorselessly. We must sideline the sceptics
    by Robin McKie

    On an observatory 11,000 feet high on Mauna Loa, a volcano in Hawaii, a pair of ageing, automated detectors have been churning out details about the make-up of our atmosphere for several decades. This month, they produced their most alarming result to date. They showed that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have touched 390 parts per million – a 40% increase on pre-industrial levels.

    The timing was striking. Just as negotiators were reaching their compromise deal on global warming in Cancún two weeks ago, the Mauna Loa machines showed the problem of greenhouse gas emissions – left largely unresolved in Mexico – have reached an unprecedented level. Humans have procrastinated while the composition of the air around us has changed remorselessly.

    It is a point stressed by Pieter Tans, who heads the US government’s carbon monitoring programme. “I find it shocking,” he said after Republican politicians claimed carbon dioxide posed no threat to Earth. “We really are in a predicament here and it’s getting worse every year.”

    Nor is it hard to understand his despair. Humanity was served notice of impending catastrophe 50 years ago when climate scientist David Keeling decided to investigate the fate of the carbon dioxide that was being pumped into the atmosphere from factories and cars. Were the oceans absorbing most of this input, as some scientists said, or was it lingering in the atmosphere? To find out, Keeling installed his detectors on Mauna Lea in March 1958.

    At first, he was baffled by his results: carbon dioxide levels rose to 315.1 in May. Then they fell for the next six months to 310.6. After that, they started to rise again until a new dip started six months later. Then Keeling twigged. Those levels were fluctuating as the world’s forests and plants – found mostly in the northern hemisphere where Earth’s landmasses are concentrated – drew in carbon dioxide during the growing season in spring and summer and then let it out in winter. Keeling was watching the planet breathe.

    But its breathing was troubled, he realised. Those annual cycles did not begin at the same low point each year. “It was higher the second year,” Keeling recalled. “Then it was higher the third year. And then the fourth. Then we knew something was going on.” In fact, each early winter low in the carbon dioxide cycle was 1 to 2ppm higher compared with the previous year – thanks to rising outputs of industrial carbon dioxide. Keeling started when overall levels were 315ppm. Today they stand at 390 and will touch 400 around 2015.

    This discovery is probably the most important ever made in climate science, say Robert Kunzig and Wallace Broecker in their book, Fixing Climate. “If Keeling had not been so devoted to measuring carbon dioxide, the debate on global warming would be even more mired in polemics than it is now. Instead, the ‘Keeling curve’ of carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa has become one of the debate’s few universally acknowledged truths.”

    This is a crucial point. Climate change deniers, as they try to sow doubt about global warming, have attempted to tarnish every meteorological finding they have come across. Hence the furore they created over the leaking of emails from the East Anglia Climate Research Unit a year ago. However, they have never made a dent in the Keeling curve. As a result, we face the indisputable fact that levels of carbon dioxide, a gas known to warm the atmosphere, is rising relentlessly as we burn the concentrated organic carbon deposited as coal, gas and oil several hundred millions years ago. In burning this fossil legacy: “Human beings are now carrying out a large scale geophysical experiment of a kind that could not have happened in the past nor be reproduced in the future,” said US scientists Roger Revelle and Hans Suess in 1957.

    You get the message. We were warned long ago but have done nothing about the threat of carbon dioxide such is our dependence on fossil fuel. As a result, the interlude between introducing ecological constraints to halt its increased emission and the onset of the ecological catastrophe that will be triggered if we take no action is now being squeezed alarmingly. We are running out of time.

    Indeed, many scientists now believe we passed the point of no return when we breached the 350ppm carbon dioxide level in 1990. This was the maximum figure our planet could tolerate without suffering some climate change. “We have already seen temperature rises of 0.8C thanks mainly to greenhouse gas emissions,” says Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change. “And even if we stopped all these emissions tomorrow, the gases we have already put up there will still produce a further 0.2C rise in global temperatures by 2030 because of the lag in their effect on the atmosphere and the oceans.”

    Thus the world cannot avoid becoming at least 1C hotter than it was in the 19th century thanks to human activities. How much hotter it will get is a more difficult question to answer. Most scientists say increases of at least 2C above pre-industrial levels by 2100 are now inevitable. That doesn’t sound so bad until you note such a rise will expose up to 3 billion people to the risk of water shortages, says Professor Martin Parry of the UK Met Office, while the UN states global food production will also be disrupted.

    In fact, most climate scientists say rises could easily go up to 4C to 6C, producing global average temperatures not seen on Earth for 50 million years. Deserts will spread, ice caps melt, coastal areas flood and millions forced from their homes.

    Some sceptics deny such changes will occur. Others say it is too costly to abandon the burning of fossil fuels even if this does dump billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. They say we should just put up with those spreading deserts and flooded coastlines – a notion of staggering immorality, according to Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway in their book Merchants of Doubt. “This is the equivalent of medical researchers arguing that they shouldn’t try to cure cancer because it is too expensive and that, in any case, people in the future might decide that dying from cancer is not really that bad.”

    After a year in which climate talks have stalled and the climategate affair has induced near paralysis in dealing with the discussion of global warming issues, we can see we are in a bad shape. Nothing new there. We have been doing nothing about global warming for 50 years, despite the warnings. Nor do the omens for the next 50 look better, a point highlighted by one US researcher. “When you go to Washington and tell them carbon dioxide will double in 50 years and will have major impacts, what do they say? They ask me to come back in 49 years.”

    It goes without saying, of course, that in 49 years, it will be too late.

Leave a Reply

 

 

 

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>