The world will have to end growth of carbon emissions within seven years and become mostly free of carbon-emitting technologies in about four decades to avoid killing off as many as a quarter of planet's species, according to top United Nations scientists. The stark choice laid out by the agency's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) describe the daunting task if the world is to avoid the consequences of temperatures raised up by more than 3.6 degrees just since 2000.
"The scientists now have done their work. I call on political leaders to do theirs," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said upon formally receiving the report Saturday in Valencia, Spain.
That will require a drastic reworking of industrial processes, transportation, agricultural practices, the buildings people live in, and a reduction in the world population, especially in the United States, Russia, China and India where the production of greenhouse gases per capita is the highest.
If the world's spiraling growth in greenhouse- gas emissions does not end by 2015 and does not stabilize carbon dioxide emissions until 2030, the planet's temperature will increase by as much as 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit above 2000 temperatures. That level of warming would result in widespread extinctions of species, as slowing of the global ocean currents, decreased food production, a loss of 30% of global wetlands, flooding for millions of people and higher numbers of deaths from heat waves. It is virtually a matter of life or death for some communities on Earth.
So what can be done to save Planet Earth and what can be done to enable the U.S. to do its part in meeting our share of the needed reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions. An earlier U.N. report drew the rather obvious conclusion that, with a high probability, people are the cause of global warming and greenhouse-gases. But it is not just the growth in the raw numbers of people but the things they demand: beef from flatulent cows, autos, refrigerators and air conditioning, power and all manner of manufactured items the processes for which produce these gases directly or indirectly. We can all begin by "going green". In the U.S., we can adopt stringent immigration controls and secure our borders to make sure we can stabilize our population. We need to adopt tax policies that encourage families to limit the number of children to the replacement level, a fertility rate of about 2.03 for all women during their child bearing years.
We need all citizens of whatever ethnic origin or political leanings to get on the band wagon and insist that Congress take this threat to our planet seriously. We can no longer listen to Republican propaganda. We can no longer allow illegal aliens to enter or remain in our country with impunity. W e must reduce legal immigration below 200,000 per year. Every loyal American needs to support these goals before it is too late. It is a matter of humanity at its most fundamental level.
(See Doug Struck, The Washington Post for the basic report on this subject)