Sunday, November 22, 2009

Why are there so many climate change skeptics?

Nine out of ten climate change scientists will tell you that climate change is serious problem caused by excessive greenhouse gas emissions, mostly from fossil fuels burning. But yet despite so many scientists warning governments to do something before it is too late, you have the feeling like world leaders are still skeptical on both climate change as well as agreeing on new climate deal that would significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is either that they still do not fully believe science because if they would believe scientists than they would be really stupid not to act on something that could cause serious problems in years to come, or perhaps the reasons for delays and ignorance is not in not accepting the obvious but all about fossil fuels industry lobbies that still determine the moves the politicians make.

What ever the reason behind this skepticism is, it is definitely not a good sign. Many prominent climate change scientists will tell you that there are big chances that even with the new climate deal it may be too late to stop the temperature increase of 2C, the target after which we could see the worst of climate change. Some top climate scientists like Professor Bob Watson, head scientist at the department for environment and rural affairs believe that world will do well to stabilize temperature increase between 3 and 4C, and that 2C target is well behind us. He's not alone thinking that, in fact some polls have showed that nine out of ten climate change scientists believe we won't be able to stop 2C temperature increase.

Any temperature increase bigger than 2C is very likely to cause serious damage to our agriculture, our water resources, coastal protection, human health, not to mention more frequent extreme weather events, flooding and drought.

Just imagine this, climate change scientists are issuing warnings that we should already start searching for adequate solutions on how to adapt to changed climate conditions, and yet many world leaders are still not convinced whether climate change is really a problem or not. They are still not fully aware that they negotiate with our planet's health, and that stakes are really high, meaning that mistakes are not acceptable.

The world demand for energy keeps on growing, and fossil fuels industry is still the prime supplier of energy across the globe. Powerful fossil fuels lobbies are still to strong for renewable energy sector to fight against, and I really at this point do not see how exactly will world make desired CO2 cuts of somewhere around 40% with fossil fuels remaining the dominant energy sources.

If the situation doesn't improve very soon world will even have to consider risky solutions such as geoengineering because world leaders are far away from reaching a new climate deal that would significantly reduce CO2 emissions, and stop further temperature increase at acceptable level.

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