The Copenhagen Climate Negotiations Are Open!

Without putting too much emphasis on this, the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen which opened this morning has the potential to be one of the defining moments in human history.

What?

Sounds like hyperbole to me…

Your author has a quite fortunate position in the media which allows access to all sorts of experts, politicians and events. Having spoken to some very knowledgable people about climate change, humanity is essentially doomed unless we do something quick-smart to change our ways.

You may have seen in the news stories that discuss aims to keep temperature rises to a maximum of 2 degress celcius within the next 100 years or so (the dates tend to vary). You might have also have read other experts state that we are almost certainly going to miss that target.

Not good.

2 degrees does not sound like much. It probably isn’t in the grand scheme of things. Well, 4 degrees is a bit of a nightmare that has the potential to unleash all sorts of problems as sea-levels rise, methane levels rise, more species are wiped out yada yada yada. We have heard it all before…

Well the thing you don’t hear so often - and has been said to me independently by three different and very knowledgable people - is that 6 degrees of temperature increase will equal, err, umm, phew, well, probably the extinction of mankind.

In short, if we don’t try and sort this out, within about 150 - 200 years, there might not be humanity. A pretty sobering thought I think you will agree.

150 years sounds like a long way away, but it isn’t really. Why? Because the effects will be being felt a long time before then. Somewhere in the region of 1 billion people live within 1 metre of sea-level. This could wipe out the population of places like Bangladesh with storm surges every time there is poor weather. And this could be happening with 50 - 100 years - it could be argued that it is happening already.

So we all need to make changes to our lifestyles if we - or our children or grandchildren - are to have a fighting chance at life. This means less trips in the car, eating less red meat, less flights, switching to energy efficient appliances and lighting, switching things off that are not in use, recycling and much more besides. Are you up to the challenge?

As a part of my work, it now seems highly likely that I will be in Copenhagen for the last few days of the summit. These will be the Ministers Days and Leaders Days. I will be there to try and obtain as many interviews as I can for my employer with my camcorder and microphone in hand, to be added to our blog platform. I’ll do my best to blog here about it as well.

Are you up to the challenge?

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