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Climate change could drive economic disaster: Cancun

Citing potential climate-related GDP losses of up to 20 per cent by 2050 and the economic benefits of shifting to low carbon and resource efficient economies, investors are calling for national and international policies that will spur private investment into low carbon technology and adaptation measures.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/investors-cancun-climate-change-business

“We cannot drag our feet on the issue of global climate change,” said Barbara Krumsiek, chair of the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative and chief executive of US-based investment firm Calvert Investments.

“Based on the Stern Report, we know these impacts could reach global GDP cuts of an unimaginable 20 per cent per year. Why should we take that risk? The solutions are quickly emerging and we must deploy these solutions to help secure the innovation and sustainable growth our economies need.”

So how is Canada, which has by and large survived the Great Recession better than most, positioned to address this urgent challenge?

A global-warming bill that passed the House of Commons with the support of Canada’s elected officials, was abruptly killed by the Conservatives with a snap vote in the Harper-appointed Senate on Tuesday. In other words, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have just sabotaged climate-change legislation in a manner that has provoked national alarm regarding the state of democracy in the country.

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/technology/tough+climate+scientist+when+dinosaurs+making+calls/3847040/story.html#ixzz15kqcAbtB

Meanwhile, sub-national governments and groups around the world are simply giving up on lame-duck national leadership and are getting on with facing the challenge, and making new opportunities, under their own steam.

‘R20’ is the name of a new initiative that seeks to bring together regional governments from across the world in order to share knowledge and push ahead with actions to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean transport. The initiative, launched in California this week (15-16 November), is being actively supported by regions across Europe.

http://www.euractiv.com/en/climate-environment/eu-regions-back-schwarzenegger-initiative-save-climate-news-499830

And this year the Navajo tribal government has announced a move away from coal, as well as approving a wind farm to be built west of Flagstaff, Ariz., to power up to 20,000 homes in the region. Last year, the tribal legislative council also created a Navajo Green Economy Commission to promote environmentally friendly jobs and businesses.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/26/science/earth/26navajo.html?_r=1

So will Canada catch up in Cancun? Or will we continue to lag behind, and potentially compromise our so-called recession-proof economy?

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  1. Tony Butler says:

    The best and most scientific option is to do nothing.

    The Earth has survived far higher and lower temperatures that prevail today, prior to man emerging his the caves, as has all our wildlife all of which is at least six-million-years old.

    As for CO2, Nature produces 95% of the 4% in the atmosphere,thirty-two times the amount produced by anthropogenic burning of fossil fuels.

    The 650,000 year-old ice-cores show that over this period rising global temperatures resulted 800 – 2,000 years later, in identical rises in CO2 levels.

    Global temperatures take hundreds of years to warm the oceans and causes them to produce more CO2.

    Al Gore ‘inadvertently’ revered the science in his film, An Inconvenient Truth, just as the IPCC and East Anglia University cherry-picked data for their useless climate computers, and Mann faked the Hockey-stick Graph.

    Anthropogenic global warming is a deliberate hoax instigated by the UN during its African Review. Initially it was a scam to silence objection to a tax on CO2 emissions, those whop objected were branded enemies of the planet. CO2 taxes are in reality the UN’s wealth re-distribution taxes aimed at benefiting Africa, but they were too scared of public reaction to say so.

    It is the stupid drive to push heavily subsidized green energy that has sent inflation soaring. It has almost bankrupted Holland and Spain, will almost certainly bankrupt the UK and cripple American industtry.

    However the bankers and suppliers of wind-turbines and solar panels will make billions.

  2. Deborah says:

    As someone who works on climate change and with the data being produced and analyzed on a daily basis, the overall view seems to be that, yes, temperatures on earth have of course fluctuated many times in its long history, as have CO2 levels. The difference now is that our population, which has grown at an unprecedented rate to 6 billion from half that in the last 50 years, is releasing CO2 at a rate that will cause changes faster than species can adapt to naturally – and that all over the world these changes are already being felt.

    Given the singular human advantage of being able to project the future and act upon our projections, I support pro-active adaptation planning as a way of saving money, lives, and time to figure out how to manage the speed, and hopefully the magnitude, of our emissions.

    Reducing carbon emissions is good for other things too, including air and noise pollution, and the health of our communities, which are fragmented by reliance on vehicles and would benefit from a focus on local accessibility.

    For those still questioning the climate science, I will direct you to impartial reviewers here:
    http://www.factcheck.org/2009/12/climategate/

    Best regards,
    Deborah Harford
    Executive Director, ACT

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