Those are some of the words from the U.N. Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, speaking in Geneva this morning. He was at a World Climate Conference, having just paid a personal visit to to the Arctic where melt is happenin'. Ban says the Arctuic is warming faster than anywhere else on earth. The Secretary General calls for urgent and serious action to avoid the abyss of global warming.
Further quotes: "Our foot is stuck on the accelerator and we are heading towards an abyss."
"Scientists have been accused for years of scaremongering. But the real scaremongers are those who say we cannot afford climate action -- that it will hold back economic growth." "We have 15 negotiating days left until Copenhagen. We cannot afford limited progress. We need rapid progress."
Copenhagen is the site of a global climate change conference in December. It's aimed at drafting an new agreement to continue after the Kyoto Protocol expires. The world's top two CO2 emitters, China and US, never agreed to Kyoto, of course.
India also refuses any carbon caps and its government just issued a report saying the world's carbon emissions will triple in per capita rate in the next two decades. Whooopee. Invest in sunscreen makers now!
ARCTIC ICE MELT EFFECTS
Ban warned that continued ice melt in the Arctic, especially on the Greenland land mass, threatens higher sea levels. He said as many as 130-million people could be forced to migrate. In Bangladesh they are worried that one third of their low-lying country will be lost beneath the Indian Ocean.
Further, Ban sats there's already a political scramble to claim the de-iced resources of the Arctic. Power and profit as ever beckon to the quick and strong. I blogged before about the opening of the Northwest Passage and new fossil fuel reserves in the Arctic.
STANDARD BOILER PLATE
This verbiage will now be attached to any blog I do about global warming. It’s amazing to me that somebody who can apparently read and then post comments still wonders in public why global warming matters on a technology web site. But I am naive, always assuming everybody’s paying attention.
It’s because of money. If global warming has enough acceptance among corporations, the public and even pols, there will be more money spent on green tech, wisely or unwisely. If oil prices stay low and most people don’t care a fig about global warming, green tech will have a difficult time succeeding, regardless of its merits. Not every good idea succeeds. VCs usually invest where they think there’s best chance for a good return. In greentech as in any tech the winners will often be determined by luck, brilliance, timing, happenstance and even marketing. Behind it all will be the money and behind that: whether the evidence for global warming and curtailing pollution drive action or is written off as claptrap.