tisdag 25 augusti 2009

Obama and Reinfelt Saving the World

Obama announced his presidency plans in New Direction on Climate Change:
  • Few challenges facing America and the World are more urgent than combatting climate change.
  • The science is beyond dispute, the facts are clear:
  • Sea levels are rising, coast lines are shrinking, record drought, spreading famine and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season.
  • Climate change and our dependence of foreign oil if left unaddressed will continue to weaken our economy and threaten our national security.
  • We will invest $15 billion each year to catalyze private sector effort to build a clean energy future: We will invest in solar power, wind power and next generation of biofuels.
  • This investment will not only help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil, making the US more secure, and will not only help us bring about a clean energy future saving the planet,  but it will also help us transform our industry and steer our country out of the economic crisis by creating 5 million new green jobs that pay well a cannot be outsourced.
Obama seems to believe that the science beyond dispute is represented by chief climate activist James Hansen, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies,  stating in a presentation in DC in 2007
  • Why should I be speaking out? 
  • I think there is a huge gap between what is understood about global warming by the relevent scientific community and what is known about global warming by those who need to know, the public and policy makers.
  • There is an urgency in the problem because of the large inertia in the systems. We have had in the last 30 years 0.5 degree C of global warming. But there is another half degree in the pipeline because gases that are already in the atmosphere, and another half degree because of energy infrastructure which is place.
  • Even though the climate change so far is just beginning to be noticable, there is a lot more in the pipeline.
  • If we follow the present course for another 10 years, we will have a different planet: No ice in the arctic, sea level rise of 6 meter and extermination of species. It's an urgent problem to begin to address.
  • Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet decreasing. Sea level is now rising 35 cm per century but the concern is that it is a very nonlinear process which could cause a sea level rise of 5 - 6  meters over a century. If we continue with business as usual we will get global warming of 2-3 degrees C.  We need to get on a different track within the next few years.
  • We cannot burn fossil fuels unless we capture the CO2.
Our Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfelt also believes in James Hansen, and Obama, as he prepares for the Copenhagen Climate Council in December:
  • I have on the behalf of the EU wellcomed the new signals and leadership now shown on climate change from the US adminstration. We are following very closely what they are intending to do and hoping to come together in our efforts. I think it is extremely important with the incoming EU presidency of Sweden to be very active in talks and in working together between the EU and US on this issue.
But the science of global warming is not beyond dispute, as I have discussed on previous blogs.
Suppose Obama gets to know that the science is disputed and that the facts are not clear. What would he then say? And what would Reinfelt then say? Would that change the subject of the talks?

But Obamas idea of saving at the same time the US from both the economical crisis and energy security threats, and the World from burning up, is clever, maybe even too clever...

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