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U.N. conference on global warming opens with apocalyptic vision

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War, hunger, poverty and sickness will stalk humanity if the world fails to tackle climate change, a 12-day U.N. conference on global warming heard on Monday.

A volley of grim warnings sounded out at the start of the marathon talks, a step to a new worldwide treaty to reduce greenhouse gases and help countries exposed to the wrath of an altered climate.

Polish Environment Minister Maciej Nowicki, elected to chair the Dec 1-12 meeting in the city of Poznan, opened the conference with an apocalyptic vision if mankind fails to change its ways.

There will be "huge droughts and floods, cyclones with increasingly more destructive power, pandemics of tropical disease, dramatic decline of biodiversity, increasing ocean levels," Nowicki said.

"All these can cause social and even armed conflict and migration of people at an unprecedented scale."

The forum of the 192-member U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) comes halfway in a two-year process, launched in Bali, Indonesia, that aims at crafting a new pact in Copenhagen in December 2009.

More gloom came from Rajendra Pachauri, head of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which provides neutral scientific opinion on global warming and its impacts.

The number of people living in severely stressed river basins is projected to rise to as many as 6.9 billion by 2050 from 1.4-1.6 billion in 1995, he said.

"That's almost the majority of humanity," he said.

Progress under the so-called Bali Roadmap has bogged down over the sheer complexity of the deal and positioning by rich countries and emerging giants.

Rich countries, historically to blame for most of today's warming, want countries like China and India -- the big polluters of tomorrow -- to do more to tackle their surging emissions.

Developing countries, though, want the West to help pay for them to expand their economies in a sustainable manner and to stump up cash to help vulnerable countries cope with climate change.

Brazil announced on Monday it was doing its bit, promising to slash deforestation of the Amazon by 70% over the next decade.

Forest loss accounts for roughly a fifth of all global carbon emissions, and if implemented Brazil would avert emissions of 4.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide by 2018 -- "more than the reduction efforts fixed by all the rich countries," Environment Minister Carlos Minc noted in Brasilia.

Hopes for a breakthrough at Poznan have also been darkened by the global economic crisis, but delegates said they were keen for this to become an opportunity not a threat and argued that green technology created jobs and growth.

Environmental pressure groups agreed, with Greenpeace saying that the global recession was "nothing compared to the trillions of dollars that climate change will cost us."

Delegates in Poland are poring over an 82-page document containing a vast range of proposals for action beyond 2012, when emissions-curbing pledges under the Kyoto Protocol run out.

The hope is to condense this labyrinthine document into a workable blueprint for negotiations culminating in a deal in Copenhagen.

One spur for optimism is the election of Barack Obama as U.S. president, who has vowed to sweep away George W Bush's climate policies which caused the United States to be isolated in the world environmental arena since 2001.

Obama, who takes office Jan 20, has set a goal of reducing U.S. emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80% by 2050, using a cap-and-trade system and a 10-year program worth $150 billion in renewable energy.

© Wire reports

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

16 Comments
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Global warming? What a joke these guys are making of themselves. We are currently experiencing global cooling. What a bunch of enviro-maniacs.

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Surprised this topic (Global warming) is still alive.

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I believe that there is global-warming effecting the earth. Not to the levels needed to cause these stark warnings, but if we're not prepared and don't start trying to change back or stop what we've started, then these warnings will be true.

I don't think it's a joke. < :-)

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Wow the apocalypse is coming. Not like we can maintain a climate throughout mankind's reign on Earth the same for thousands of years. Change happens. Just go with it.

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There are too many people like the three monkeys “Don’ see it, don’t hear it, don’t talk about it”

31 years ago, I saw the glacier in Chamonix, near Mont Blanc. We could see it from the cable-car station, now all we can see are the rocks in the valley. 12 years ago, I went to Kenya and saw the “Eternal” snow of Kilimanjaro. But now, it’s completely gone.

These are the things I personally witnessed, but I know that the same kind of things is happening everywhere in the world. I know that many Americans don’t believe this phenomenon as Bush administration controlled the scientist’s information and the Main Stream Media. The rest of he world is concerned more seriously.

But even if you don’t believe it, you should recognize that it’s a good thing to reduce the Co2 production.

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Lemme guess - only the UN, with US taxpayers help, can save us.

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The question is not whether there is now global warming. The question is whether this current global warming is man-made. I feel global warming will be abused to extract more money from people (eg, carbon tax). When people like Gore get involved, it ain't a good sign.

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The world is in a huge mess and it seems to continue that way despite all the cries for help and change. I see no change for the better and more talk and money will be put up that wont do much good. We cant even find fairness, peace and love in this world on a large scale so how do people expect any positive change in the environment which is an even bigger problem...

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Developing countries, though, want the West to help pay for them to expand their economies in a sustainable manner and to stump up cash to help vulnerable countries cope with climate change.

I certainly don't like the sound of this.

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The sky is falling! The sky is falling... Now gimme money (that's what I want)

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And will somebody tell me how to prevent the sun from burning hotter and the stars exploding in the universe giving off enormous energy towards earth. Man playing gods thinking that they can control temperature. Go live in a vacuum. The best computer in the world can not even predict the weather accurately in a day and here we have apocalypse in the next 1000 years based on the predictions built upon "parameterization" or in lay term guessing...

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3006: "The sky is falling! The sky is falling... Now gimme money (that's what I want)"

I think you meant to post this on threads related to the big banks and US economy, but it fits here, too.

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george bush pulled us out of the Kyoto Agreement. We were a part of something good and we were pulled out by someone bad.

george bush's enviromental concern was only surpassed by his want for the almight dollar from industry. Their dollars and votes told george bush to ignore the earth and to fill industry's pockets with bucks and forget the enviroment.

Global warming isn't a made up condition, it's an illness that the earth is suffering from.

We as the caretakers of the earth must do more to fix what we cause. < :-)

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The earth has been cooling for 10 years; we are currently experiencing global cooling, not warming. Climate, like the weather, is cyclical. The sun has much more to do with the change in temperature than anything man-made. This fact is just too simple for some people even to consider to be true. Al Gore and his friends on the left and in the MSM are using this made up crisis to scare people into giving government more authority over their lives. It's simply a scam to incrementally take peoples money and freedom to choose for themselves away from them. Global warming has nothig to do with 'science' and everything to do with 'political science' and the plans of those on the ideological left to gain power. Climate change is nothing to be afraid of; we just need to deal with it as those in our recent history did during times like the Little Ice Age. The problem now is that instead of worrying about warming, we should be worrying about cooling and preparing for that instead. Not by freaking out and saying that the end is near, but by taking rational steps that do not interfere with individual rights and choices.

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Wolfpack: and the world you suspect is really still flat and talk about global warming is just plain heresy.

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adaydream- The U.S. was never a part of the Kyoto agreement. It was not ratified by congress in 1998. Even Clinton rejected it. Learn a little about history before you speak of it.

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