Stern’s warning: Act now or consequences could be disastrous

Posted by Laura Grant on February 23, 2009
Posted in Green News

What do you do if bad weather leaves you stranded in a Cape Town hotel? You discuss climate change, obviously. Well that seems to be what Sir Nicholas Stern, the former World Bank economist and author of the British government’s oft-cited Stern Review – on the economics of climate change – and a select group of environment ministers, climate negotiators and experts from 16 countries did this weekend while they waited for their flight to Antarctica to get the go-ahead.

According to AP, Stern told the party that if the world doesn’t deal with climate change decisively we could be looking at an “extended world war”.

He said that if global average temperature rise is to be contained to 2 degrees Celsius this century country’s needed to act responsibly and … to quote the AP report …

… achieve “zero-carbon” electricity production and zero-carbon road transport by 2050 – by replacing coal power plants with wind, solar or other energy sources that emit no carbon dioxide, and fossil fuel-burning vehicles with cars running on electric or other “clean” energy.

But if emissions reductions are not made soon and deep, the severe climate shifts and sea-level rises projected by scientists would be “disastrous.”

It would “transform where people can live,” Stern said. “People would move on a massive scale. Hundreds of millions, probably billions of people would have to move if you talk about 4-, 5-, 6-degree increases”. And that would mean extended global conflict, “because there’s no way the world can handle that kind of population move in the time period in which it would take place.”

Stern and the group were reportedly scheduled to fly to Antarctica to learn what melting polar ice might do to the world’s sea-levels. Read full report here

[Via Huffington Post]


3 Responses to “Stern’s warning: Act now or consequences could be disastrous”

  1. abraxas
    February 24th, 2009 @ 11:21 am

    I still don’t understand how carbon cuts will help? Carbon dioxide does NOT drive temperature, and it’s only a fraction of what’s it’s ben before.

    I’m still waiting for proof that carbon dioxide drives climate warming, and if you’re listening to Al Gore … well, i hope you don’t get too burnt.

    Reconsider please, you have a really cool blog, except for the climate change line you’re pulling. Talking about 6 degree increases in temp, means nothing without SCIENTIFIC back up. Which they don’t have?

  2. Laura Grant
    February 25th, 2009 @ 5:57 am

    Hi. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. But I’m afraid I’m unlikely to reconsider my “climate change line”. There are about 2,500 scientists working in this area on the IPCC who seem pretty convinced by the evidence that there’s a link between increasing carbon dioxide and other ghs in the atmosphere and global average temperature increase. (Here is a link to the UNFCCC’s website I’m sure there are a few who disagree with them. But, do they have scientific back up? It would appear not enough to allay growing concerns that human activities are changing the global climate.

  3. abraxas
    February 25th, 2009 @ 7:39 am

    This is about the strongest evidence i’ve seen, could be summed up here:

    taken from:

    Core ice samples, giving a long term view. However, i do not wish to convert you to anything ;-), really great site, some really good ideas you share too.


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