A new look at climate change

By Mike Honda and Michael Shank
December 9, 2013

The annual United Nations climate change talks, which concluded last month in Warsaw, unfortunately found little common ground on carbon. The talks broke down over the world’s richest nations’ inability to agree with the poorest on how to address the financial costs of global climate change.

While disappointing, it’s not surprising. Developed countries like the United States and the nations of the European Union, which have wielded the largest carbon footprints over the past decades, are not as often the victims of climate-related disasters. In fact, the countries facing the most severe effects of climate change are often the poorest and most under-developed. They are forced to confront not only natural destruction but economic ruin.

Consider the Philippines, now recovering from Super Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the country last month. The rate of sea-level rise in the Philippine Sea is one of the fastest in the world — nearly 12 millimeters per year. Yet the Philippines contributes less than 1 percent of the total CO2 emitted in the world annually. This demonstrates the stunning inequality of climate change.

Haiyan’s Category 5 storm conditions lasted 48 hours, with sustained winds of 195 miles per hour and gusts in excess of 220 miles per hour. Few buildings anywhere can withstand that kind of force. The typhoon is estimated to have cost the Philippine economy $14 billion; to say nothing of the tragic human cost, now estimated to be at least 5,000 lives.

Something must to be done to lessen the destructive impact of climate change.

As the planet warms and the international community slows in their response to climate change, these “super typhoons” will only become more common and more severe. Scientists believe that storms like Haiyan will come to represent the norm for typhoons and hurricanes.

If we hope to make any headway meeting our goals for mitigating the effects of climate change, we must act now. The urgency was reinforced by last month’s World Energy Outlook report from the International Energy Agency, which predicted that CO2 emissions will continue to rise by a total of 20 percent by 2035.  We will exceed the international target of a 2 degrees Celsius temperature increase by more than 1.5 degrees, the agency reported.

This is unacceptable. We are already facing the real effects of climate change with rising sea levels, which make any storm’s destruction greater with increased water surge and erosion.

Going forward, the United States should look to the Montreal Protocol — one of the most successful international treaties dealing with a planet-wide environmental issue — as a model for tackling CO2 emissions that lead to global warming. The Montreal Protocol successfully limited the release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere and has largely stopped the hole in the ozone layer from growing larger.

Carbon dioxide and CFCs do not adhere to international boundaries once they enter the atmosphere. This is why we need innovative technologies to begin making strategic climate choices.

This is easier than many may think.

In fact, Washington can do something now to help cool the earth. Representative Mike Honda (a co-author of this piece), has co-sponsored several major bills regarding climate change. One would end federal tax cuts for the fossil fuel industry, another would fund students who develop, operate, and maintain clean-energy infrastructure. We have the talent and ingenuity to find ways to use technology to move toward a greener future, and these bills are a start.

As we help the Philippines recover from Super Typhoon Haiyan, we must remember that its impact was worsened by climate change. Those effects will only become greater and more widespread unless we act now, before another abnormal weather catastrophe wreaks incalculable damage.

 

PHOTO (TOP): Survivors stay in makeshift shelters amid debris and the remains of a residential neighborhood devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, in Tacloban city in central Philippines, November 21, 2013. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

PHOTO (INSERT 1): Houses near the sea devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan are seen in Tacloban city, central Philippines. November 11, 2013. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

PHOT (INSERT 2): Residents cover their noses as they walk past devastated houses after Super Typhoon Haiyan hit Tacloban city, central Philippines, November 11, 2013. REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco

24 comments

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@stevedebi “Let us hope that global warming is real; global cooling would likely cost at least a billion lives due to starvation, as the breadbaskets of the world get too cold to produce well.

Apparently you know little on the subject, so I will teach you.

Rapid Accelerated Climate Change has many causes and many related effects.

One of the effects is a widening of temperature differentials.

What this means is that the temperatures around the world are getting warmer and colder simultaneously.

This effect of warmer and colder air fronts is what causes more intensified storms, be it hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes, straight line winds, thunderstorms…

As the years past these temperature differentials are consistently becoming wider. Increasingly warmer fronts and colder fronts clashing = ever increasing storm intensification season to season, hence RACC.

So yes, billions could die soon, by heat/ freeze and starvation due to crop failure.

As I said there are many causes and effects related to RACC. Widening temperature differentials is one.

You are wrong. The technology is available in every industry to remedy the problem with more then 98% efficiency with the use of quantum physics/ mechanics. It’s called The Model of The Theory of Everything and it was discovered in 2009.

Although the “Wrath” is on, Our Earth can still repair itself (given reconciliation) with the full commercial use of technology (revealed in the model of ToE) that is 98+% more energy efficient then what we use today.

Oil companies… and associated governments are suppressing the technology.

Do you understand?

Omega

Posted by Lovetwo | Report as abusive

Climate change always brings out very emotional arguments as we can see here too.
I don’t even dare to dive in, most of all since I do not have the necessary factual knowledge about it.
But the climate, or other environmental changes, negative events for example “Lovetwo” made references to are only parts of the whole picture.
Even if we totally forget about climate, the environment we see how the global crisis is spreading everywhere, involving every facet of human life from economics to financial institutions, from social inequality, social tensions, unemployment to education, health services, culture, including classical sciences, the family structure and so on. And these are systems, structures we ourselves built, still today we are standing helplessly as they slip through our fingers.
We are living and excessive, unnatural life within a closed and finite natural system.
We stubbornly try to maintain “free”, “individual” lifestyle, polarized worldview while we evolved into a global and integral human network.
Whether we want or not something will have to give.
And since we are simply parts of the vast natural system we evolved from and still exist in only we can change the system will not.
And here no technology, invention can help us until we change the human being itself.

Posted by ZGHerm | Report as abusive

Pretty well said @ZGHerm. I think we have front row seats to the largest evolutionary change in mankind’s history, and it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Posted by tmc | Report as abusive

“As one example of how man-made EME inflicts death: It is very predictable that in a few weeks on New Years 2014, when everyone uses their cell phones to call, in some areas birds will drop dead out of the sky due to electrolyte failure as has been the case for the last few New Years.”

Up-date.

http://beforeitsnews.com/mass-animal-dea th/2014/01/18-million-birds-dead-in-arka nsas-what-caused-this-extinction-event-p icture-2432310.html

Posted by Lovetwo | Report as abusive