some bullshit, some bullshit, my kingdom for some total bullshit
Reuters, via ENN:
BANGKOK, Thailand -- After two reports predicting a warmer Earth where life is fundamentally changed, a U.N.-sponsored scientific panel next month will issue a third study describing how a united world can avert the worst, by embracing technologies ranging from nuclear power to manure controls.
Under a best-case scenario for heading off severe damage, the global economy might lose as little as 3 percentage points of growth by 2030 in deploying technologies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, says the panel's draft report, obtained by The Associated Press.
But it won't be easy.
"Governments, businesses and individuals all need to be pulling in the same direction," said British researcher Rachel Warren, one of the report's authors.
For one thing, the governments of such major emitters as the United States, China and India will have to join the Kyoto Protocol countries of Europe and Japan in imposing cutbacks in carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases emitted by industry, power plants and other sources.
The Bush administration rejected the protocol's mandatory cuts, contending they would slow U.S. economic growth too much. China and other poorer developing countries were exempted from the 1997 pact, but most expected growth in greenhouse emissions will come from the developing world.
The draft report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose final version is to be issued in Bangkok on May 4, says emissions can be cut below current levels if the world shifts away from carbon-heavy fuels like coal, embraces energy efficiency and significantly reduces deforestation.
"The opportunities, the technology are there and now it's a case of encouraging the increased use of these technologies," said International Energy Agency analyst Ralph Sims, another of the 33 scientists who drafted the report.
Two previous IPCC reports this year painted a dire picture of a future in which unabated greenhouse emissions could drive global temperatures up as much as 6 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2100. Even a 2-degree-Celsius (3.6-degree-Fahrenheit) rise could subject up to 2 billion people to water shortages by 2050 and threaten extinction for 20 percent to 30 percent of the world's species, the IPCC said.
The third report makes clear the world must quickly embrace a basket of technological options -- both already available and developing -- just to keep the temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
The report says governments could lower economic costs if low-carbon technologies are promoted via carbon taxes or "cap-and-trade" systems like Europe's, whereby industry is allocated emissions quotas, which can then be traded among more efficient and less efficient companies.
Turning the report into reality, authors acknowledge, will require a significant shift in political will among some large economies. The last IPCC assessment, in 2001, also called for introduction of many of the same technologies, but they so far haven't been widely embraced.
"I've been involved in this game for 35 years. We're not progressing as quickly as we could or should," Sims said.
The draft notes, in fact, that current government funding for most energy research programs is about half what it was in 1980.
If, like a good little blograt, you were watching Moyers' superfuckingbrilliant "Buying the War" last night, you surely noticed Eric Bohelert's estimate that the Washington Post wrote at least a million words in favor of invading Iraq, the bulk of it either front-page pieces repeating the harum scarum put out by the admin, or pissier-than-thou-remember-9/11-remember-9/11-the-lessons-of-9/11 editorials. You may have also noticed the fact that very little of all that shit was particularly well-sourced or researched; the phrase "tissue of lies" springs to mind.
Essentially, it took about a year and a half for the country to get bullshitted into a war, and, as you surely noticed, the worst part about the whole thing is how hamfisted the whole scam was - plagarized grad papers and such.
A year and a half. A year and a half to dupe all of this country's major social and political institutions into dropping nearly a million people, American and Iraqi, into a meat grinder.
Can you imagine what this country might look like if those same major institutions had bought into even a tenth of the sum total of knowledge out there - very little of it bullshit - around global warming or renewable energy?