Irreversible Climate Change Within Five Years If We Don’t Act Now

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A recent story in Reuters concerning our need to stop global temperature rises by 2017 should have you worried about the future of life on this planet. According to the report from the International Energy Agency, if we are not able to limit our emissions and slow down the rising temperatures around the globe, we may not be able to ever at all. As in, never — it’ll be too late. That’s just 5 short years from now, everyone. Already, 80% of all energy-related emissions permissible by current agreements by 2035 are accounted for, leaving a very small window to get our act together to reduce emissions and slow the increasingly speedy forward march of global warming.

The world may not be able to limit global temperature rise to safe levels if new international climate action is not taken by 2017, as so many fossil fuel power plants and factories are being built, the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday.

If the world is to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius — thought to be the minimum safety level before devastating effects of climate change set in — emission volumes must not have more than 450 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide. With emissions already at 390 ppm of CO2, time is running out for action.

Coming up in a few weeks is the latest climate conference COP 17, held this year in South Africa. As with every other year, representatives from around the globe gather together to try to come up with a binding agreement to combat climate change, and expectations for success this year are low. Seems most countries are much more concerned with how a deal will affect their economic policies rather than how the entire planet is heating up and is on the verge of destruction. Guess what, guys – you won’t have an economy without a healthy environment.

We need to act immediately on the issue of climate change or we won’t have a livable planet to call home. Forget ideology, forget politics, forget economics; we are talking about life as we know it on earth being drastically altered by our neglect of our environment. Let’s hope the people attending COP 17 in South Africa get it right this time and move forward on a binding agreement that will help us all. We are quickly running out of time, as 2017 is only a few years down the road. We aren’t talking generations anymore; we talking less than a decade.


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