The world’s leading politicians will meet between the 7th and 18th of December for the next UN climate summit. All indications are that the talks will result in insufficient measures to tackle global climate change, including more legislation along the lines of the "cap-and-trade" schemes now being implemented around the world. Meanwhile, activists are organizing to fight back on an unprecedented scale.
Brian Tokar, director of the Vermont-based Institute for Social Ecology, claims that "reductions in greenhouse gas emissions on the order of 20-40% are needed in the next decade or so to prevent a slide toward uncontrollable global climate chaos" 1. In the book "Heat" 2, George Monbiot sets the target of a 90% cut in countries like the UK by 2030, if global temperature increases of 2 °C are to be avoided. The consequences of failing to meet this target are, without doubt, far beyond any human costs of making the cuts. A 2.1 °C rise in temperature will expose between 2.3 and 3 billion people to risk of water shortage 3. A 2.3 degree increase will expose a further 180-230 million people to the danger of malaria 2. The number of people at risk from hunger is expected to increase by around 50 million by 2050 as a result of climate change 4. A sea level rise of 1 metre or more, a likely outcome this century at present emission levels, will wipe out one third of the world’s croplands 5,in particular submerging 21% of Bangladesh and forcing 15 million people from their homes there 2. A 2 degree warming would also expose a further 125 million to risk of salt-water flooding, and would mean the destruction of the water supplies of cites like Shanghai, Jarkarta, Mumbai and Buenos Aires by sea water, probably leading to evacuation in some cases 2. Most worryingly, over 2 degrees of warming brings with it the prospect of runaway climate change due to positive feedback affects 6. All rises in temperature increase the chances of the submersion of London, New York and Tokyo by the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet 2. The governments of the world powers are literally gambling with the future of civilisation.
Science, Vol 306 (3 December 204), p.1686
 See e.g. Helen Merl, memo to William I. Campbell, 17 Febuary 1993, Bates no. 2021183916-2021183925,
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