OUR Roof is on Fire: Dangerous Climate Change is Here

It will take lot of us – probably in the streets” to make politicians face the truth, says climate scientist James Hansen.

[Dangerous climate change is already upon us say some of the best scientists we have. But political leaders — and most of the public — don’t get it. This is an attempt to close the chasm between climate reality and climate denial fantasy. I wrote this at the end of the Copenhagen Climate meetings last December thanks in part to financial contributions from readers that allowed me to do the research and interviews. — Stephen]

Our leaders do not get the scale of the problem or the rapidity of the changes.”            — Andrew Weaver, climatologist at Canada’s University of British Columbia

Analysis by Stephen Leahy

COPENHAGEN Dec 22 ,2009 (IPS/TerraViva)

The roof of our house is on fire but our leaders, our economic system and we ourselves are ignoring the alarms and continuing to add more fuel. There are no exit doors in our house; there is nowhere else to go.

Dangerous climate change is already here.

The two-week climate summit in Copenhagen came to an end with disappointing results and details that are still vague.

A ”Copenhagen Accord” was agreed by the US, China, South Africa and India by Friday night. It was unclear which other countries were willing to support it.

But coral reefs are dying, the Arctic is melting and rising sea levels threaten the homes of millions. And we’re on our way to a planet-transforming four-degree C rise in global average temperatures in as soon as 50 years.

Future generations could face an utterly transformed planet, where large areas will be seven to 14 degrees C warmer, making them uninhabitable. In this world-on-fire, the one to two metre sea level rise by 2100 will leave hundreds of millions homeless, according to the latest science presented at the “4 Degrees and Beyond, International Climate Science Conference” at the University of Oxford in September.

That’s the science-based, slap-in-the-face reality as the Copenhagen climate talks fizzle out here with little progress Friday.

Our leaders do not get the scale of the problem or the rapidity of the changes. They don’t get that it must be dealt with now,” said Andrew Weaver, a climatologist at Canada’s University of British Columbia and lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports. Continue reading