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..There's a little Samuel Pepys in all of us..

Monday, October 30, 2006

Disturbing news..
Not unexpected.. this blog has been writing about it for years..
But finally, Tony has released the results of a report which predicts that global warming, as contributed to great effect by our carbon emissions, have reached the point where within 15 years, it could cost the global ecomony close to £4 trillion.. 20% of the current total..
What's perhaps more disturbing is, that even if Britain cut it's emissions to zero, developing industry in China alone would wipe out any reduction we could make..
Herein lies the problem. We have India and China evolving to Western standards of living. It's not a quick process.. it will be decades to reach the point wherein there are hundreds of thousands from starvation levels enjoying electricity, plumbing, such basics as running water at a kitchen sink..
And to give these people the basics, as we would see them, it will take vast expansion of particularly the Indian economy, and that, as technology now stands, demands excessive carbon emissions..
Unless the West can offer technology that replaces that which brought us our own prosperity, to those countries straining to achieve parity, we are, without exaggeration, doomed.
India itself will be one of the primary areas affected.. as the Himalayan glaciers melt, Indian lowlands will be permanently innundated, which in turn will create a catastrophic drop in food production..
The African continent as a whole will be drastically affected.. reports have that areas general temperature as risen .3 of a degree in the last two years.. other reports have specific areas, the likes of the Horn and the sub-Sahara, rising an average 20 degrees in the last three years.
But once again, while we have the US refusing to even sign up to the Kyoto Accord, which in itself does not go far enough according to this latest British report, how can we expect to get agreement from China.. or India..
China, by the way, has not even been asked to reduce emissions, as it qualifies as a 'developing nation'..
Now while there are those who say carbon emissions are not the main cause of this climate change.. that it is a natural cycle of the earth, the fact remains that we are between a rock and a very hard place, and if there is anything we can do to even slow this process, we would be nothing short of idiots not to make an attempt.
It's the old argument of economics.. lobbies such as those representing the car industry in the States dictate government policy.. We seem to have an inexplicable reluctance to legislate what would amount to a retooling of our way of life, and to fund the development of technology that would ease the threat we now face..
It will take the innundation of the American East Coast.. the British seacoast.. the Indian lowlands.. the deaths of milions and the loss of £billions before those in power will even consider doing something to combat further damage.
We seem bent on short-term views, ignoring the obvious until indeed it is too late..
It is a fact that those, in this country, are on the whole reasonably well informed concerning the effects of global climate change, and it will be perhaps the prominent issue when our next elections roll around. But what is desperately needed is a response from those who hold the reins, right now..
And it will certainly require global agreement on a plan to implement changes, radical changes.
And this, is far to much to reasonably expect..
At the very least, as we have said again and again, we should be making moves away from our dependence on the Middle East, and the oil it provides us..
Truthfully, it is a question that no-one can answer.. that which will be left for our grandchildren to deal with..
And we are lead by those, who apparently couldn't give a damn.

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