Climate at five minutes to midnight: IPCC head

Sep 02, 2013
Chairman of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Rajendra Pachauri, speaks on June 6, 2011 in Oslo. Humanity has pushed the world's climate system to the brink, leaving itself only scant time to act, the head of the UN's group of climate scientists said on Monday.

Humanity has pushed the world's climate system to the brink, leaving itself only scant time to act, the head of the UN's group of climate scientists said on Monday.

"We have five minutes before midnight," warned Rajendra Pachauri, whose organisation will this month release the first volume of a new assessment of global warming and its impacts.

"We may utilise the gifts of nature just as we choose, but in our books the debits are always equal to the credits," Pachauri told a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the environmental organisation Green Cross International, quoting fellow Indian Mahatma Gandhi.

"May I submit that humanity has completely ignored, disregarded and been totally indifferent to the debits?

"Today we have the knowledge to be able to map out the debits and to understand what we have done to the condition of this planet," Pachauri said.

The IPCC is made up of several hundred scientists worldwide.

It is due to release the first volume of its long-awaited Fifth Assessment Report on September 27.

The first tome will look at the scientific evidence for climate change; two more follow next year, focussing on the impacts and the options for tackling the problem.

A leaked draft two weeks ago said that human activity is almost certainly the cause of climate change.

The draft also forecast that sea levels could rise by 90 centimetres (three feet) by the end of the century, and all but dismissed recent claims of a slowdown in the pace of warming which sceptics have seized upon.

In its previous reports, the IPCC has warned that unbraked warming will drive many species to extinction and hike the frequency or intensity of , and floods, affecting food security and water supplies for many millions.

The waters of the Indian Ocean lap the shores of the low lying island of Denis in the outer banks of the Seychelles on November 24, 2009. A leaked draft of an IPCC report said that human activity is almost certainly the cause of climate change and forecast that sea levels could rise by 90 centimetres (three feet) by the end of the century,

"We cannot isolate ourselves from anything that happens in any part of this planet. It will affect all of us in some way or the other," Pachauri said.

Reining in greenhouse-gas emissions was still possible if countries, including in the developing world, rethought their approach to economic growth, he said.

That would boost energy security, cut pollution and improve health, and also offer new job opportunities, he added.

Explore further: Human activity is 'almost certainly' driving climate change, IPCC leaked report says

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User comments : 25

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Steven_Hales
1.8 / 5 (24) Sep 02, 2013
"We may utilise the gifts of nature just as we choose, but in our books the debits are always equal to the credits," Pachauri told a conference marking the 20th anniversary of the environmental organisation Green Cross International, quoting fellow Indian Mahatma Gandhi.

Resources are never are they only become. The notion of sustainability is the most non-economic theory in the history of mankind and no appeal to authority or to Gandhi will dress it up as a truth not to be questioned. The truth is that resources are created by innovation and do not exist in a set quantity of availability to man in nature. This fact should bring calm and reason to those so concerned about doomsday climate clocks set at 5 minutes to midnight.
VendicarE
2.9 / 5 (17) Sep 02, 2013
That which is not sustainable can not be sustained, by definition.

Hence the economy which Stephen Hales points out is not sustainable, will not be sustained.

It is trivial logic that only the truly brain dead can attempt to deny.

The world will be better off once their ignorance is exterminated.
ubavontuba
1.9 / 5 (30) Sep 02, 2013
Climate at five minutes to midnight: IPCC head
Blatant scare mongering, trying to emulate the Nuclear Doomsday Clock.

This is so-o-o idiotic. So what happens if we pass midnight? Does Noah's flood come? Should we build an ark?

Give me a break.

Steven_Hales
2.5 / 5 (24) Sep 02, 2013
VendicarE, Scott Nudds is that you? OMG ghosts from Usnet sci.econ and sci.environment. Next up Jay Hanson and the terrible die.off troll posts cut and paste ad infinitum. Scott that was 20 years ago aren't you tired of this?
gregor1
1.7 / 5 (27) Sep 02, 2013
Pauchari, like many a Green zealot, speaks like a true Malthusian. Many of these guys actually believe that the sustainable population of the Earth is around 3-4 billion people. The problem is we already have 7 billion so an appropriate question for these guys is "How many people do you wish to kill?" Of course this will not be mentioned but will be achieved by spending the worlds wealth on useless climate mitigation programs. It is estimated that, using the IPCCs own figures, reducing the temperature of the planet by 1 degree Celsius by the end of the century will cost 80% of the World's GDP. I'm thinking that represents a massive number of people not getting enough to eat.
http://www.youtub...K0#t=548
Grallen
3 / 5 (12) Sep 03, 2013
I'm pretty sure that without mass die-off of the human species that the political inertia to not act, will not be overcome.

This die-off now seems guaranteed.

It is disturbing how the most vulnerable people are the ones who turn a blind(or ignorant) eye. Even a small natural shift in climate would wipe out most farming in the USA.

Imagine a world where each day you leave your house looking for food, food that almost no amount of money can buy. Not knowing if you will be able to feed your family, let alone yourself.

This is the approaching future.
gregor1
1.9 / 5 (27) Sep 03, 2013


"Imagine a world where each day you leave your house looking for food, food that almost no amount of money can buy. Not knowing if you will be able to feed your family, let alone yourself.

This is the approaching future. "

This is the scenario we are likely to encounter if we use 80% of the world's total GDP to mitigate an imaginary problem.
You're forgetting that CO2 fertilization is likely to increase the World's food production. It's been clearly demonstrated it protects crops from the effects of drought as the stomata don't open as much and there is less water loss.
As to small climate small climate shifts, these go with the turf on planet Earth and no amount of mortgaging your children's future will change this.
Grallen
3.1 / 5 (13) Sep 03, 2013
CO2 fertilization increases yield on hydrated land.

Your hypothesis would be correct if the total amount of hydrated land wasn't going to drastically decrease.

To simplify for people like gregor1: The USA will not have fresh water for farming.
gregor1
1.8 / 5 (25) Sep 03, 2013
"To simplify for people like gregor1: The USA will not have fresh water for farming."

You have evidence for this? Post it if you do. From what I can find it sure doesn't look like there's any trend yet despite the warming.
http://hockeyscht...ere.html
http://hockeyscht...-to.html]http://hockeyscht...-to.html[/url]
http://hockeyscht...-to.html]http://hockeyscht...-to.html[/url]
http://hockeyscht...ted.html
Grallen
3.3 / 5 (11) Sep 03, 2013
You're right, I should have linked something: http://www.southw...node/790

You looked into droughts but droughts are not the problem, droughts are uncharacteristic weather events.

Decreasing average rain fall is the problem. It's not a drought if it wouldn't have anyways.

drought
/drout/
Noun
A prolonged period of =>abnormally<= low precipitation; a shortage of water resulting from this.
Grallen
3.5 / 5 (17) Sep 03, 2013
I'd like to sooth the worries of people who think that combating climate will hurt the economy.

The truth is it will strengthen it.

Combating climate change only really requires high level policy change in two areas:

Funnel money into bringing technology to market that reduce power needed to do the same work. This creates jobs in researching these techs, jobs building factories to produce the tech, and then jobs operating these factories.

The other step is massive green energy projects. Anything that will reap more energy than it took to create it. Solar plants like these: http://www.bright...-project are probably the best option at the moment. We just need to be building 20 times as many.

This will create more jobs and a higher domestic energy surplus.

More energy available = cheaper everything and better profit margins.
More jobs = Less people needing social assistance.

A strong green revolution would mean a higher quality of life for everyone.
ubavontuba
1.9 / 5 (24) Sep 03, 2013
You're right, I should have linked something: http://www.southw...node/790

You looked into droughts but droughts are not the problem, droughts are uncharacteristic weather events.

Decreasing average rain fall is the problem. It's not a drought if it wouldn't have anyways.
Long term precipitation trends in the Southwest appear normal (although the area is currently in drought):

http://www.ncdc.n...ter=true
antigoracle
1.8 / 5 (26) Sep 03, 2013
Preaching their conjecture and lies as science has only found the ears of the ignorant in the cult, so they must now demoralize the words of the Mahatma. Definitely a new low for the AGW Alarmist Cult, but certainly not the lowest we should prepare to see them go.
gregor1
1.2 / 5 (21) Sep 03, 2013
You're right, I should have linked something: http://www.southw...node/790

Your link doesn't provide any real evidence. It's merely the results of computer modeling that relies on fudge factors for such influences as the effect clouds. These models have never been right yet. Garbage in garbage out I'm afraid.
Howhot
3 / 5 (14) Sep 07, 2013
I'm pretty sure that without mass die-off of the human species that the political inertia to not act, will not be overcome.

This die-off now seems guaranteed.
Neanderthal died off too. Eventually deniers will fade into the babble of crap they try to pass to us as truth, when the rest of the world is fighting desperately to reverse CO2 levels via planetary teraforming and geo-engineering. We can certainly avoid that future by simply switching from Oil/Gas/Coal to PV and electric cars.
Feldagast
1.9 / 5 (17) Sep 07, 2013
Use your own money first if you think there really is a problem. Put your own money where your mouth is before you demand I give up mine.
Lurker2358
1.2 / 5 (12) Sep 07, 2013
Maybe we'll return to subsistence farming, and people growing onions and potatoes in 2-liter coke bottles hanging in their windows. Ok, 2 liters might be too small for potatoes, so we could try racks of he 3-liter bottles.

Hey, at least this way we'd be reusing the bottles a lot more than we do presently.

I've never tried this, but it might be interesting to see how much (if any) usable produce you could grow in racks of plastic bottles at each window, and I'm assuming no artificial grow lamps, because we don't want to be using light bulbs or electricity.

Perhaps we could use those solar light traps to re-direct red and blue light from the Sun back onto the plant's leaves to increase growth potential, without using electricity?!

Onions aren't high in food value, but potatoes and sweet potatoes are, and sweet potatoes are considered a super food.
beleg
1.6 / 5 (7) Sep 07, 2013
Ever increasing spending and earning is like always eating more and too much too fast.
No one ever complains about the figures of a fat banking account.
Egleton
3 / 5 (10) Sep 08, 2013
Ignore the deniers.
They are either idealogues, bought Scum or useful idiots.
Money? You are worried about Money? Go and see you friend Ben Bernanke. He has a printing press.
Money is not the problem.
beleg
1 / 5 (5) Sep 08, 2013
Feldagast is the problem.
PoppaJ
1 / 5 (7) Sep 08, 2013
Soon It will be clear to everyone.
christophe_galland1
2.9 / 5 (8) Sep 09, 2013
Clearly, we should change our way of life and reduce our fossil energy consumption, but this has (almost) nothing to do with climate change actually. Such doomsday bullshit only gives deniers opportunities to spread their nonsense.

What about a nicer environment with fewer cars, less traffic, less noise, less killed pedestrians, more physical activities and less obese, cleaner air, less deforestation, etc. etc. I personally don't even to ponder about climate change to find strong incentives to stop burning the energy that the earth accumulated during 100+ million years in the blink of eye. It is irresponsible and does not improve our life anymore (it certainly does in the early stage, but now we have the means to transition to something even better).
DirtySquirties
1 / 5 (11) Sep 09, 2013
@christophe_galland1

Please refrain from being reasonable and intelligent. This site is teeming with an infestation of trolls and imbeciles who will not hesitate to take a furious sloppy dump on reasonable, intelligent people. Do it again and I will have to report you to the FBI.
Howhot
5 / 5 (1) Sep 10, 2013
Climate at five minutes to midnight
Yeap, I agree. Who is with me?
Howhot
5 / 5 (1) Sep 10, 2013
Clearly, we should change our way of life and reduce our fossil energy consumption, but this has (almost) nothing to do with climate change actually. Such doomsday bullshit only gives deniers opportunities to spread their nonsense.

What about a nicer environment with fewer cars, less traffic, less noise, less killed pedestrians, more physical activities and less obese, cleaner air, less deforestation, etc. etc. I personally don't even to ponder about climate change to find strong incentives to stop burning the energy that the earth accumulated during 100+ million years in the blink of eye. It is irresponsible and does not improve our life anymore (it certainly does in the early stage, but now we have the means to transition to something even better).

You have my support.
Irresponsible, dim, and selfish are a few other adjectives I would add for deniers.