"A child's learning is the funtion more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Climate Scientists Fed Up with the Foot-Dragging Corporate Politicians

From the AP:

WASHINGTON - For the first time, more than 200 of the world's leading climate scientists, losing their patience, urged government leaders to take radical action to slow global warming because "there is no time to lose."

A petition from at least 215 climate scientists calls for the world to cut in half greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It is directed at a conference of diplomats meeting in Bali, Indonesia, to negotiate the next global warming treaty. The petition, obtained by The Associated Press, is to be announced at a press conference there Wednesday night.

The appeal from scientists follows a petition last week from more than 150 global business leaders also demanding the 50 percent cut in greenhouse gases. That is the estimate that scientists calculate would hold future global warming to a little more than a 3-degree Fahrenheit increase and is in line with what the European Union has adopted.

In the past, many of these scientists have avoided calls for action, leaving that to environmental advocacy groups. That dispassionate stance was taken during the release this year of four separate reports by the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

But no more.

"It's a grave crisis, and we need to do something real fast," said petition signer Jeff Severinghaus, a geosciences professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif. "I think the stakes are way way too high to be playing around."

The unprecedented petition includes scientists from more than 25 countries and shows that "the climate science community is essentially fed up," said signer Andrew Weaver of the University of Victoria in Canada. It includes many co-authors of the intergovernmental climate change panel reports, directors of major American and European climate science research institutions, a Nobel winner for atmospheric chemistry and a winner of a MacArthur "genius" award. . . .

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