Friday, April 06, 2007

Climate Change; Iraq Supplemental

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its "Summary for Policy Makers".

My impression of this report, after a very quick scan, is the admission that temperature itself is not the only impact of atmospheric carbon, nor is heat the only threat posed to species endangered by climate change. Habitat destruction, modification and conversion to human use is, in my mind, the greater short term threat to biodiversity and stable climate processes. Carbon emissions have to be reined in, but we must do a better job of conserving habitat. We also have to do a better job gathering data, the data sets involved are drawn primarily from the developed countries of the Northern Hemisphere. We must devote attention and resources to physical research (not just satellite map analysis) to climate change in the developing worlds, especially the equatorial forest belts in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Some of the passages that really popped out at me, on first read:

The uptake of anthropogenic carbon since 1750 has led to the ocean becoming more acidic with an average decrease in pH of 0.1 units [IPCC Working Group I Fourth Assessment]. However, the effects of observed ocean acidification on the marine biosphere are as yet undocumented. [1.3]


Sea-level rise and human development are together contributing to losses of coastal wetlands and mangroves and increasing damage from coastal flooding in many areas. [1.3]


The progressive acidification of oceans due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide is expected to have negative impacts on marine shell forming organisms (e.g., corals) and their dependent species. * N [B4.4, 6.4]


Freshwater availability in Central, South, East and Southeast Asia particularly in large river basins is projected to decrease due to climate change which, along with population growth and increasing demand arising from higher standards of living, could adversely affect more than a billion people by the 2050s. ** N

Coastal areas, especially heavily-populated mega-delta regions in South, East and Southeast Asia, will be at greatest risk due to increased flooding from the sea and in some mega-deltas flooding from the rivers. ** D

On the Iraq War Emergency Supplemental, debate rages about efforts to compromise with the President to avoid a veto, and what a second draft after a veto should look like.

Big Tent Democrat's post on Edwards and Obama on the Reid-Feingold proposal has started an interesting discussion, and the fact the John Edwards is launching an effort to gather signatures in a petition supporting H.R. 1591 to deliver to Congress at the end of Easter recess is noteable.

However, I see Edwards effort to be more of an act of grandstanding that betrays his lack of interest in actually ending the war that he began as co-sponsor of the 'Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002', since Edwards own proposal is to begin with a cap in tropp strength in Iraq at 100,000 and then a withdrawal of U.S. combat forces at some later date.

The way to get out Iraq now is to stop appropriating money for continued combat operations, and to demand the withdrawal of those combat forces beginning immediately, and the leverage you have on the President, if you are Congress is the power of the purse, plus the credible threat of impeachment.

Passing around a petition designed to commit Congress to supporting a record breaking authorization for emergency war funding, for continued combat operations, is in no way an anti-war action. Edwards continues to support his war in Iraq.

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