fredag 14 augusti 2009

Al Gore in the Kingdom of Denmark

  • 150 years ago the scientist John Tyndall in UK discovered for the first time that CO2 intercepts infrared radiation/heat.
  • From his discovery followed a great deal of work that led to growing concern that from the rapid accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere, the build up of heat in the atmosphere and ocean would reach dangerous levels.
  • This year an important event will take place in this hall in this city, in this Kingdom. All nations will gather in an effort to secure a treaty limiting the accumultation of greenhouse gases and the emissions that lead to this accumulation.
  • We are now facing three interrelated crisis: climate, financial and energy security, all three linked by a common thread to an absurd overdependence on carbonbased fuels. If we grab hold of that thread and pull it, these crisis begin to unravel and we hold in our hands the answer to all three:
  • A historic shift from expensive vulnerable polluting carbonbased to new sources of energy that are free for ever: wind, solar and earth. In Denmark now 1/4 comes from wind
  • CO2 is tasteless, odorless, colorless and has no price tag. It does trap heat.
  • More increases are in store because the heat built up in the oceans that will be released into the atmosphere.
  • We must put top urgent priority on preventing the catastrophy that would befall us if we did not act.
  • The changes that are now needed will require participation and leadership from all parts of civilization.
  • It is critically important that we get the rules of the market place correct and that the signals we derive from the market, are ones that accurately reflect human values, so that we can make decisions... that will allow us to live our lives in ways that are in keeping with what we know to be right.
  • There is a very simple test of what is right where the climate is concerned: If the next generation looks back at this year and sees around them the worsening catastrophies that were foretold if the world did not act....If they look back on us and ask: What were they thinking, why did they sit on their hands, why did they choose not to take action to avoid the horrendous catastrophy that the scientific community spelled out to them, and told them would happen if they did not act.
  • If they instead see around them in their world millions of good green jobs, a spirit of renewal, a sense of optimism and hope, a feeling that, yes we can deal with the problems. If they look back with gratitude, this means we have done our job.
  • But it is not much time; we have to do it this year, not next year. The clock is ticking, beacuse mother Nature does not do bail-outs: 
  • We have already as predicted seen increasing droughts, destructive fires, stronger storms, record flooding, spread of tropical diseases...
  • But there is good news: The worlds business community and leaders are beginning to respond.
  • Our policies in the US are changing: President Obama within on one month passed the largest green renewable energy stimulus bill in history. 
  • Every nation and business has a leadership role to play.
In short, Gore first claims that scientists have shown that:
  • CO2 emission causes global warming, which will cause horrendous catastrophy,
and then makes a political call:
  • The Leaders of the World have to act and limit CO2 emissions.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon backs up Al Gore's message in his address to the Global Environment Forum sending the scaring message:
  • droughts, floods and other natural disasters... as well as mass social unrest and violence... human suffering will be incalculable... if the world’s leaders do not seal a deal  on climate change... in Copenhagen...
  • We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet.
But  scientists do not seem to agree on answers to the basic questions:
  • How much global warming is caused by CO2 emission?
  • What will be the effects of global warming?
  • What will be the effects of limits of CO2 emission, for the developing world?
In order for the December meeting in Copenhagen to be meaningful, some answers seem to be required...unless everything is just politics for the Leaders of the World...

One question naturally presents itself: Does the ambition of the World Leaders of industrial countries to limit the use of carbonbased fuels, come from self-interest to guarantee continued access to these fuels?

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