Who suffers the most from global warming? Why, the poorer nations and the helpless creatures and plants that have no say in the matter. It's always thus when the powerful make a massive mistake. Like, how many of the folks who once lived in New Orleans really had any chance to make that city safe before Katrina? What could the dodo have done to protect itself from human predation? Why doesn't that stupid polar bear just buy a condo in Seattle?
Well, we're gonna see disasters like that play out on a global scale says the U.N.'s IPCC. They just issued their fourth and final report on global warming and its effects. It did not pass unnoticed in the real world that the U.S. reps to this gathering in Spain tried to water down the end-of-world language. Here's a report from the Times of India:
"While US negotiators reportedly wanted the word 'irreversible' struck off the text, India demanded greater emphasis on the importance of adapting to climate change.
US, which till date has refused to reduce its carbon footprint under the UN-mandated treaty called Kyoto Protocol, acted to ensure the pressure doesn't build up any further on it to change its stance at the forthcoming, critical UN convention on climate change in Bali in December.
Coming against the backdrop of the recently revealed proof that the developed countries had done trifle little even after signing the Kyoto Protocol to actually reduce their emissions, India indirectly tried to reinforce the point that the rich nations were yet to come true on their commitments, while asking the developing countries to act could jeopardize their attempts to reduce poverty and achieve growth."
Three things to note. 1) The U.S. never ratified the Kyoto Treaty because we're better than that. We are Number One, after all. 2) You gotta be proud to be American these days. What are these whiners going on about with the little bit of extra heat on their puny little planet? We 'Mericans are just gonna take all our money and move to another planet, right? Someplace where you can hit a golf ball nine thousand yards because there's less gravity. 3) Why are poor nations like India even worrying about growth? Isn't that what got us here in the first place? Consuming more and more and more and.... Fergeddit, let's just go shopping.
For you less imaginative types, who may think you have to stick to Earth, here are some of the salient points from this fourth IPCC report:
We're destroying the oceans by makiing them acidic. Here's what the UK's "Independent" reports, and don't think you'll find this in American mainstream media: "Humanity is rapidly turning the seas acid through the same pollution that causes global warming, the world's governments and top scientists agreed yesterday. The process – thought to be the most profound change in the chemistry of the oceans for 20 million years –is expected both to disrupt the entire web of life of the oceans and to make climate change worse."
Okay, so Flipper and his friends are toast. Forget that red snapper you just ordered, the species has gone extinct. Would you like the cockroach with marinara instead, sir? It's made with organic tomatoes canoed in from the Yukon.
For you doubters of global warming and its importance, here's the American delegation's press briefing as transcripted on the White House website. As always, America's right and the rest of the world is sadly beknighted because it doesn't care about the Dow Jones Industrial average.
If any of the surviving stockbrokers can see beyond the mortgage mess, they aren't gonna like this little snippet in the "New York Times" online report: "Members of the panel said their review of the data led them to conclude as a group and individually that reductions in greenhouse gases had to start immediately to avert a global climate disaster, which could leave island nations submerged and abandoned, reduce African crop yields by 50 percent, and cause a 5 percent decrease in global gross domestic product."
Oh no, smaller economic growth numbers? That's definitely un-American. We are supposed to continue to consume more and more every year. And Africa with less food? More famine? What a trite headline. Can't they find something original? Can't make much of a movie out of ANOTHER African famine. Maybe we could at least set a new TV reality show in a famine-famished desert?
We need an 85% cut in CO2 emissions to prevent climatic disaster says the IPCC. Hah, between the U.S. and China, there's no way. We need all that coal burning away. Why it's providing the electricity so I can blog and you can read it.
Never ones to side-step a crisis, the Brits have stepped forward, promising to lead the world in averting the crisis ahead. Stiff-upper-lip, soldier on, etc. Meanwhile, even the VOA report has no comment from the American President. Today the IPCC report is out and W's radio talk was all about how fearful taxes can be to Americans. I sure wouldn't want to pay any of my hard-earned money just to prevent some environmental disaster. Who needs red snapper and polar bears? I can learn to like cockroach as long as it's cheap at Wal-mart.