At a global conference in Kobe, Japan on natural disasters, the U.S. wants to purge all references to climate change, so the Bush administration can keep pretending that global warming isn’t a problem.
So, not mentioning something, deleting all references to it, will make the problem cease to exist? OK, I want to be able to jump 300 feet high, so we will now delete all references to gravity.
Rising sea levels, more droughts and more hurricanes (with more ferocity) will be the result of global warming. For people who want to insist that greenhouse gases have nothing to do with global warming – that it’s strictly a natural/cyclical phenomenon – fine; believe what you want. But global warming is happening – whatever the cause – and it needs to be dealt with.
Much of the world lives in low-lying areas near a coastline. With rising sea levels, future flooding catastrophes – similar to last month’s tsunami – could be triggered by a much smaller earthquake than the December quake that triggered the tsunami.
Jan Egeland, U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said “I hope there will be a global recognition of climate change causing more natural disasters.” He also said “there is climate change. That is not really controversial. What is controversial is what causes climate change.”
The main document produced at the conference says climate change is one factor pointing toward “a future where disasters could increasingly threaten the world’s economy, and its population.” Other parts of the document call for strengthening research into global warming and for clear identification of “climate-related disaster risks.”
The U.S. (plus Australia and Canada) wants to delete all references to climate change. This deletion is opposed by the 25-member European Union and by poorer nations whose location and topography make them vulnerable to rising sea levels and intensified storms.