The Weekly Report Cornerstone

   WEEK 26 June 16th to 22nd 2003


   The world is turning from hot to red-hot. This realization is dawning on even the slowest of cupcakes.
   In general most scientists have agreed upon the IPCC's (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) estimates of between five and six degrees Celsius rise in average worldwide temperature within 2100. There have been several groups of Japanese scientists, though, predicting a far higher rise, on an accelerated rate, as high as ten degrees Celsius within 2050 and even as early as 2020. Now, scientists all over the world, among them Paul Crutzen and Swedish Bert Bolin are recognizing that they probably have been right. The release of Sulphur to the atmosphere has slowed down the increase, delayed it, but as models show it won't stop it. Climate gases stay in the atmosphere for a hundred years or more. Aerosols do not. And when the rise is getting into high gear the rise will be faster than previously believed.
   - We have been getting off easy, Paul Crutzen says to New Scientist. - So far.
   A result of a rise of ten degrees Celsius, it's pointed out, is "beyond imagination, when considering the consequences". And the fact is, it won't stop there. It will continue to grow hotter, as long as humanity is straight out producing enormous amounts of climate gases, like CO2 and Methane. The stop in the rise of the use of climate gases agreed on in the Kyoto Protocol isn't even remotely sufficient. A reduction of ninety percent of current use won't cut it. "The truth of the matter is", as a scientist, who insists on being anonymous, insists, "we would have to reduce the use to pre-industrial levels to even make a dent".
   The world is changing. Clouds are thickening. The desert is spreading, from south to north, north to south, on both sides of the Equator. In America, Africa and Asia areas that not long ago were fruitful are now nothing but sand and dust. One billion people are already affected directly, according to UN-expert Arba Diallo, and the numbers are increasing rapidly. There are more droughts. And in other areas there are more floods. Storms are increasing, in numbers and strength. In governmental circles around the globe there is a lot of talk about adapting "to the increasing threat", to ride it out, rather than doing useless attempts to stop it". But this talk about adapting never really goes skin deep. No plans are made to change our current way of life, "the way of life as we know it", as some puts it. It's more along the lines of preparing a defense, drawing a line against the approaching enemy.
   Nature is the enemy, and we are drawing a line in the sand, on the beach of life... awaiting the tsunami.







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Entered 2003-06-18