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COP15 updates

December 11, 2009

Today I want to share a few updates and thoughts on COP15. The first is the film that was shown during the opening ceremony, an interesting call to action:

The second, is the news from Japan that their goals of a 25% cut in CO2 emissions by 2020 versus 1990 levels is dependent on what the U.S. and China decide to do. The Japanese Prime Minister has said that an extension of Kyoto without China and the U.S. would be in essence, meaningless, and that Japan would back out of their target emissions reductions.

So, again, Mr. Obama, a lot rests on you. As Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize, he has been called on by many to “earn it” particularly in the COP15 arena. With so many past U.S. leaders bowing out of any climate change responsibility, it really truly is time to step up. And with that, great leadership will follow, as will many other nations.

The last thing I wanted to discuss is the emphasis that so many delegates, scientists, politicians, nay-sayers and individuals are placing on the specific consequences of climate change. Whether looking at the IPCC report on the effects of climate change or listening to global leaders discuss the changes their countries are facing (rising sea levels, melting ice, etc.), one thing is certain: there will be change.

Yes, it is pretty much a guarantee that we will face more droughts, floods, melting ice, rising seas and more extreme weather all across the globe. So let’s focus on that. Let’s focus on all the possibilities. Politicians need not focus on preventing any one aspect of climate change, because if one thing changes, it affects the entire ecosystem. All the delegates at COP15 need to remember is elementary science: a drastic change in a closed environment (the earth) WILL affect every other system. The how, when, how much, where questions aren’t necessary because we won’t know for certain until they happen. Predictions are only predictions, but what’s for certain is that there will be change and we need to focus on preventative measures — reducing CO2 emissions, coming to a global agreement, living more sustainably.

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