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"What is now plain is that the emission of greenhouse gases, associated with industrialisation and strong economic growth from a world population that has increased sixfold in 200 years, is causing global warming at a rate that began as significant, has become alarming and is simply unsustainable in the long-term. And by long-term I do not mean centuries ahead. I mean within the lifetime of my children certainly; and possibly within my own. And by unsustainable, I do not mean a phenomenon causing problems of adjustment. I mean a challenge so far-reaching in its impact and irreversible in its destructive power, that it alters radically human existence."

--- Tony Blair, 9/14/2004

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"Ocean, land, and atmosphere scientists at some of the world's most prestigious organizations have uncovered new evidence over the past decade suggesting that the plausibility of severe and rapid climate change is higher than most of the scientific community and perhaps all of the political community is prepared for. If it occurs, this phenomenon will disrupt current gradual global warming trends, adding to climate complexity and lack of predictability. And paleoclimatic evidence suggests that such an abrupt climate change could begin in the near future."

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"With at least eight abrupt climate change events documented in the geological record, it seems that the questions to ask are: When will this happen? What will the impacts be? And, how can we best prepare for it? Rather than: Will this really happen?"

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"There is a debate in newspapers around the globe today on the impact of human activity on climate change. Because economic prosperity is correlated with energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, it is often argued that economic progress leads to climate change. Competing evidence suggests that climate change can occur, regardless of human activity as seen in climate events that happened prior to modern society.

" It's important to understand human impacts on the environment -- both what's done to accelerate and decelerate (or perhaps even reverse) the tendency toward climate change. Alternative fuels, greenhouse gas emission controls, and conservation efforts are worthwhile endeavors. In addition, we should prepare for the inevitable effects of abrupt climate change -- which will likely come regardless of human activity."

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"...even the most sophisticated models cannot predict the details of how climate change will unfold, which regions will be impacted in which ways, and how governments and society might respond."

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"Human civilization began with the stabilization and warming of the Earth's climate. A colder unstable climate meant that humans could neither develop agriculture or permanent settlements. With the end of the Younger Dryas and the warming and stabilization that followed, humans could learn the rhythms of agriculture and settle in places whose climate was reliably productive. Modern civilization has never experienced weather conditions as persistently disruptive as the ones outlined in this scenario. As a result, the implications for national security outlined in this report are only hypothetical. The actual impacts would vary greatly depending on the nuances of the weather conditions, the adaptability of humanity, and decisions by policymakers."

--- "An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario and Its Implications for United States National Security," By Peter Schwartz and Doug Randall, October 2003

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"Human activities have become a major source of environmental change. Of great urgency are the climate consequences of the increasing atmospheric abundance of greenhouse gases and other trace constituents resulting primarily from energy use, agriculture, and land clearing. These radiatively active gases and trace constituents interact strongly with the Earth's energy balance, resulting in the prospect of significant global warming."

--- American Meteorological Society, "Climate Change Research: Issues for the Atmospheric and Related Sciences", 2/9/2003

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"Human activities are increasingly altering the Earth's climate. These effects add to natural influences that have been present over Earth's history. Scientific evidence strongly indicates that natural influences cannot explain the rapid increase in global near-surface temperatures observed during the second half of the 20th century."

--- American Geophysical Union, "Human Impacts on Climate", 12/2003

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"With the possible exception of another world war, a giant asteroid, or an incurable plague, global warming may be the single largest threat to our planet. For decades human factories and cars have spewed billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and the climate has begun to show some signs of warming. Many see this as a harbinger of what is to come. If we don’t curb our greenhouse gas emissions, then low-lying nations could be awash in seawater, rain and drought patterns across the world could change, hurricanes could become more frequent, and El Niños could become more intense.

"On the other hand, there are those, some of whom are scientists, who believe that global warming will result in little more than warmer winters and increased plant growth. They point to the flaws in scientists’ measurements, the complexity of the climate, and the uncertainty in the climate models used to predict climate change. They claim that attempting to lower greenhouse emissions may do more damage to the world economy and human society than any amount of global warming.

"In truth, the future probably fits somewhere between these two scenarios."

--- "Global Warming" By John Weier, NASA's Earth Observatory (4/8/2002)

 

 


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