Letters to the Editor

Copenhagen or Planet B

“There is no way the world can, or should take these risks,” say MIT scientists who discovered that, when they factored human economic activity into their climate change model, it projected impacts twice as great as before.

With the most sophisticated climate change simulator yet, they ran 400 different scenarios of equal probability and had the process peer reviewed. They discovered that only the most drastic cuts in CO2 production, of 80 percent by 2020, will keep atmospheric CO2 levels below 425 ppm, the level at which catastrophic impacts ensue. At 350 ppm the impacts would be manageable, unfortunately, that’s where we were 2 years ago. We are now at 390 ppm. As a reference, when the fossil fuel age began in the 1800s, the level was 285 ppm.

Recently the House of Representatives narrowly passed the Waxman–Markley Comprehensive Energy Bill: HR 2454 , 219 to 212, requiring a 17 percent reduction in CO2 by 2020. This is less than one quarter of the recommended reductions! It is clear that we cannot rely on the Congressional Corporate Collusion to look out for our interests. Recall that Kyoto was 12 years ago. What a lost opportunity.

On Dec. 7 the UN Climate Change Conference will convene in Copenhagen. The world is waiting for the United States to finally demonstrate responsible leadership on the biggest issue ever facing humanity since the nuclear arms race. We led in that challenge. Will we lead again? If nothing meaningful comes out of Copenhagen, better start looking for Planet B.

Gary Piazzon


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