Thursday, October 04, 2007

The Inevitability of Climate Change

Massive planetary climate change and its inevitability will become a pivotal point in both human history and human evolution. Without the intervention of some miracle technological innovation, we as a species have set in motion a system, a mindset, and an obsession that is delivering our planet to an intersection from which there is no return.

In a recent article, Why Climate Change Can't Be Stopped, authors Paul J. Saunders, Vaughan Turekian effectively explain why.

The international political environment also makes truly significant emissions cuts very unlikely. In 2010, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, developing countries will emit nearly 20 percent more CO2 emissions than developed countries. Indeed, only in China (and perhaps India) would emissions limits or cuts make more of a difference than in the United States. By one estimate, China has already surpassed America in emissions to become the world’s leader and, with sustained high growth rates, will open the gap even further. In fact, if China grows at 8 percent for the next nine years, its economy will double in size—and its greenhouse gas emissions can be expected roughly to double as well. Moreover, as China’s economy expands, it is turning increasingly to carbon-laden coal for electricity. And although China’s energy intensity (energy consumed per unit of economic output) has decreased by nearly 5 percent per year for the last two decades as a result of greater efficiency, it is still nearly seven times that of the United States, according to the World Bank. At this rate, China’s growth trajectory could add the equivalent pollution of another present-day United States to the climate system in a little more than a decade. Read entire article here.

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