Sunday, November 18, 2007

IPCC Issues Final Report

The final report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was issued yesterday, and the UN Secretary General had pointed things to say to countries like China and the United States that seem unwilling to take necessary steps:

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, describing climate change as “the defining challenge of our age,” released the final report of a United Nations panel on climate change here on Saturday and called on the United States and China to play “a more constructive role.”

His challenge to the world’s two greatest greenhouse gas emitters came just two weeks before the world’s energy ministers meet in Bali, Indonesia, to begin talks on creating a global climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

The United States and China are signatories to Kyoto, but Washington has not ratified the treaty, and China, along with other developing countries, is not bound by its mandatory emissions caps.

“Today the world’s scientists have spoken, clearly and in one voice,” Mr. Ban said of the report, the Synthesis Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “In Bali, I expect the world’s policymakers to do the same.”

He added, “The breakthrough needed in Bali is for a comprehensive climate change deal that all nations can embrace.”

. . .

Members of the panel said their review of the data led them to conclude as a group and individually that reductions in greenhouse gases had to start immediately to avert a global climate disaster, which could leave island nations submerged and abandoned, reduce African crop yields by 50 percent, and cause a 5 percent decrease in global gross domestic product.

The panel’s fourth and final report summarized and integrated the most significant findings of three sections of a climate-science review that were released between January and April. Because the data had not previously been reviewed as a whole, scientists said the synthesized report was more explicit, creating new emphasis and alarm.

Read it all here. The summary of the Report can be found here (pdf). The IPCC website can be found here.

I would like you to focus on the preduction in the last paragraph--that crops in Africa could be reduced by half. I then invite you to read again what Jesus says in Matthew about concern for the least of these, and then imagine how you intend to defend inaction to Jesus when he asks you what you did to the least of these.

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