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Climate change is here now and it could lead to global conflict
Nicholas Stern, The Guardian
Many commentators have suggested that we are suffering from unprecedented extreme weather. There are powerful grounds for arguing that this is part of a trend… A warmer atmosphere holds more water. Add to this the increase in sea level, particularly along the English Channel, which is making storm surges bigger, and it is clear why the risk of flooding in the UK is rising. But it is not just here that the impacts of climate change have been felt through extreme weather events over the past few months. Australia has just had its hottest year on record, during which it suffered record-breaking heatwaves and severe bushfires in many parts of the country. And there has been more extreme heat over the past few weeks. Argentina had one of its worst heatwaves in late December, while parts of Brazil were struck by floods and landslides following record rainfall…
The upward trend in temperature is undeniable, despite the effects of natural variability in the climate which causes the rate of warming to temporarily accelerate or slow for short periods, as we have seen over the past 15 years.
If we do not cut emissions, we face even more devastating consequences, as unchecked they could raise global average temperature to 4C or more above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century…
The shift to such a world could cause mass migrations of hundreds of millions of people away from the worst-affected areas. That would lead to conflict and war, not peace and prosperity…
(14 February 2014)
Kerry: Climate change as dangerous as WMDs
John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, has stressed the importance of tackling climate change in a speech in Indonesia, saying that it may be the world’s "most fearsome" weapon of mass destruction.
Kerry, who delivered the speech on Sunday in the capital, Jakarta, spoke critically about climate change sceptics adding that everyone and every country must take responsibility and act immediately.
"We simply don’t have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation," he said, referring to what he called "big companies" that "don’t want to change and spend a lot of money" to act to reduce the risks.
He later singled out big oil and coal concerns as the primary offenders.
"The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand," Kerry said.
(17 February 2014) Climate Progress picks up this story with regard to the pending decision on Keystone XL.
NYT Dot Earth wonders why this speech in Indonesia?
UK newspapers are talking more about climate change and flooding
Mat Hope, Carbon Brief
Last week, we published a blog showing that only a small fraction – around seven per cent – of newspaper articles about flooding over the past two months had mentioned climate change.
Over the past week, as climate change has become a more prominent part of the story, that percentage has doubled – to about 15 per cent.
The past week has seen commentators respond to a Met Office report looking at the impacts of climate change, the energy secretary criticising his coalition colleagues for having their heads in the sand on climate change, and Ed Miliband calling for politicians to unite in the name of climate action – all against the backdrop of continued flooding…
(17 February 2014)
From Occupy to Climate Justice: Merging Economic Justice and Climate Activism
Wen Stephenson, DeSmog Blog
This article was originally published in the February 24th issue of The Nation and is republished with permission. by Wen Stephenson It’s an odd thing, really. in certain precincts of the left, especially across a broad spectrum of what could be…