Tag Archives: New York Times

Self-Preservation Anyone?

In an upcoming report from a United Nations panel about the science of climate change, scientists reiterate that human activity is one of the causes of climate change. For some, the report underscores a message they have been saying for decades: climate change is happening and we need to do something about it.

The report isn’t an isolated discussion of the issue. In a recent HBO / VICE  documentary: The World is Sinking ,  for instance, director Shane Smith and the VICE team looked at some of the problems resulting from climate change.

Sir. Robert Watson, a professor of environmental sciences at Tyndall College at the University of East Anglia and the former Senior Scientific Adviser to the World Bank, discussed the range of consequences with the filmmakers.

“We’re clearly seeing changes in temperature. We’re clearly seeing changes in precipitation patterns with more droughts and more floods, ” he said. ” We are seeing sea level rise. Once you get to half a meter, one meter, one and a half meters; then these are quiet serious events for many parts of the world, potentially displacing large numbers of people in coastal areas, low-laying deltaic areas, small island states, etc. Small island states are really quite threatened.”

The findings of the upcoming U.N. report lend support Sir Watson’s claims. In fact, the consensus of  the mainstream science of climate change agrees on a troubling formula ” If the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere doubles, which is well on its way to happening, the long-term rise in the temperature of the earth will be at least 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, but more likely above 5 degrees.”

It’s important to note that the drafters of this report also had data from outlier science which claimed that “[t]he rise (in temperature) could come in well below 3 degrees.” After reviewing the data, drafters of this report chose to treat the outlier science conclusion as not very credible.

Whatever the case, one thing is certain: climate change is happening. In the interest of self-preservation, humanity better start addressing the issue as soon as possible.