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Breaking Earth News: Climate Change Analysis

Click Image to link to Friends of the Earth
Nov 12, 2006
If there was any remaining doubt about the urgent need to combat climate change, two reports issued last week should make the world sit up and take notice. First, according to the latest data submitted to the United Nations, the greenhouse-gas emissions of the major industrialized countries continue to increase. Second, a study by the former chief economist of the World Bank, Sir Nicholas Stern of the United Kingdom, called climate change “the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen”, with the potential to shrink the global economy by 20 percent and to cause economic and social disruption on a par with the two world wars and Great Depression.
The scientific consensus, already clear and incontrovertible, is today moving toward the more alarmed end of the spectrum. Many scientists long known for their caution are now saying that warming has reached dire levels, generating feedback loops that will take us perilously close to a point of no return. A similar shift may also be taking place among economists, with some formerly circumspect analysts now saying it will cost far less to cut emissions now than to adapt to the consequences later. Insurers, meanwhile, have been paying out more and more each year to compensate for extreme weather events. And growing numbers of corporate and industry leaders have been voicing concern about climate change as a business risk. The few skeptics who continue trying to sow doubt should be seen for what they are: Out of step, out of arguments and just about out of time.

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