By Shaun Tandon, AFP
World climate negotiators set a 2009 deadline Saturday for a landmark treaty to fight global warming after two weeks of intense haggling led to a climbdown by an isolated United States. Following gruelling all-night talks, the conference of 190 nations finally launched a process to negotiate a new treaty for when the UN Kyoto Protocol’s commitments expire in 2012.
The United States, the only major industrialised nation to reject the Kyoto treaty, reached a compromise with the European Union to avoid mentioning any figures as a target for slashing greenhouse gas emissions. Hans Verolme of conservation group WWF accused the world of bowing to US pressure and removing a scientific punch needed to fight global warming. Read more here.
By Marc Marano, EPW
The UN climate conference met strong opposition Thursday from a team of over 100 prominent international scientists, who warned the UN, that attempting to control the Earth’s climate was “ultimately futile.” The scientists, many of whom are current and former UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) scientists, released an open letter to the UN Secretary-General questioning the scientific basis for climate fears and the UN’s so-called “solutions.” “Attempts to prevent global climate change from occurring are ultimately futile, and constitute a tragic misallocation of resources that would be better spent on humanity’s real and pressing problems,” the letter signed by the scientists read. The December 13 letter was released to the public late Thursday.
The letter was signed by renowned scientists such as Dr. Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists; Dr. Reid Bryson, dubbed the “Father of Meteorology”; Atmospheric pioneer Dr. Hendrik Tennekes, formerly of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute; MIT atmospheric scientist Dr. Richard Lindzen; UN scientist Dr. Vincent Gray of New Zealand; French climatologist Dr. Marcel Leroux of the University Jean Moulin; World authority on sea level Dr. Nils-Axel Morner of Stockholm University; Physicist Dr. Freeman Dyson of Princeton University; Physicist Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, chairman of the Scientific Council of Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection in Poland; Paleoclimatologist Dr. Robert M. Carter of Australia; Former UN IPCC reviewer Geologist/Geochemist Dr. Tom V. Segalstad, head of the Geological Museum in Norway; and Dr. Edward J. Wegman, of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.
“It is not possible to stop climate change, a natural phenomenon that has affected humanity through the ages. Geological, archaeological, oral and written histories all attest to the dramatic challenges posed to past societies from unanticipated changes in temperature, precipitation, winds and other climatic variables,” the scientists wrote. “In stark contrast to the often repeated assertion that the science of climate change is ‘settled,’ significant new peer-reviewed research has cast even more doubt on the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming,” the open letter added.
By Simon Caldwell, Daily Mail
Pope Benedict XVI has launched a surprise attack on climate change prophets of doom, warning them that any solutions to global warming must be based on firm evidence and not on dubious ideology. The leader of more than a billion Roman Catholics suggested that fears over man-made emissions melting the ice caps and causing a wave of unprecedented disasters were nothing more than scare-mongering. The German-born Pontiff said that while some concerns may be valid it was vital that the international community based its policies on science rather than the dogma of the environmentalist movement. His remarks will be made in his annual message for World Peace Day on January 1, but they were released as delegates from all over the world convened on the Indonesian holiday island of Bali for UN climate change talks.
“It is important for assessments in this regard to be carried out prudently, in dialogue with experts and people of wisdom, uninhibited by ideological pressure to draw hasty conclusions, and above all with the aim of reaching agreement on a model of sustainable development capable of ensuring the well-being of all while respecting environmental balances. “If the protection of the environment involves costs, they should be justly distributed, taking due account of the different levels of development of various countries and the need for solidarity with future generations. “Prudence does not mean failing to accept responsibilities and postponing decisions; it means being committed to making joint decisions after pondering responsibly the road to be taken.”
Read more here.