Global warming: it’s really happening

I wonder where your correspondent G. Metcalfe really stands on the issue of climate change.
Global warmingGlobal warming
Global warming

On one hand, he seems to be berating the nations for not taking action to reduce greenhouse gases now before it is too late.

On the other hand, he seems sceptical about the need to do so by his misleading and cynical comments about icebergs collapsing naturally into the sea for thousands of years and doubting the wisdom of having low-energy light bulbs to reduce consumption and conserve energy.

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By the way, Mr Metcalfe, the melting of the ice caps is growing at such a rapid rate that massive ice sheets are being lost as the sea warms up and levels of water rise. We are not talking about a few icebergs.

We should not ignore the critical and urgent nature of the problem. 97% of climate change scientists agree human activity is the primary cause of a dramatic increase in global warming with the burning of fossil fuels. The very small number of deniers and sceptics are mainly on the payroll of the fossil (oil and gas) industry.

It is not just environmentalists who are saying how serious climate change has become, as we continue to accelerate the increase of greenhouse gas emissions. In the 1990s they rose by 1% per year. In the first decade of this millennium, they have continued to rise by 3.4% a year (apart from 2009) and even more to the present day.

The World Bank warned in its report: “We’re on track for a 4% warmer world (by the end of the century) marked by extreme heat waves, declining global food stocks, a loss of ecosystems and biodiversity and a life-threatening sea level rise” (November 2012).

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The accounting giant, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has also published a report warning businesses we are headed for “4%, or even 6%, of warming” (November 2012).

Meanwhile, the usually cautious International Energy Agency published a report projecting we are: “On track for 6% degrees Celsius – 10.8 degrees Fahrenheit – of warming” (November 2011).

If these global financial, business and energy agencies are warning us, then governments must act globally with effective and widespread measures to reduce the impact of climate change at the 2015 Paris Conference. It is the last chance saloon. If we don’t act immediately, it will too late to reverse the advance of catastrophic climate change.

David Penney

Noyna Street