Yesterday’s report on global warming sounded quite serious. However, I am convinced that we will have to wait for our next President, who hopefully will understand the scientific arguments, appreciate the sense of urgency, and provide meaningful U.S. leadership on this issue.
PARIS, Feb. 2 — In a grim and powerful assessment of the future of the planet, the leading international network of climate scientists has concluded for the first time that global warming is “unequivocal” and that human activity is the main driver, “very likely” causing most of the rise in temperatures since 1950.
They said the world was in for centuries of climbing temperatures, rising seas and shifting weather patterns — unavoidable results of the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere.
“In our daily lives we all respond urgently to dangers that are much less likely than climate change to affect the future of our children,” said Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program, which administers the panel along with the World Meteorological Organization.
Some authors of the report said that no one could honestly point to any remaining uncertainties as justification for further delay.
“Policy makers paid us to do good science, and now we have very high scientific confidence in this work — this is real, this is real, this is real,” said Richard B. Alley, one of the lead authors.
[U.S.] Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman rejected the idea of unilateral limits on emissions. “We are a small contributor to the overall, when you look at the rest of the world, so it’s really got to be a global solution,” he said.
The United States, with about 5 percent of the world’s population, contributes about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, more than any other country.
From The New York Times.