Voices From The Brink – Copenhagen Day 6

Day 6 of the UN Climate Change talks in Copenhagen. Here are some voices that are trying to be heard as humanity stands on the precipice of global disaster:

Antonio Lima, of Cape Verde, the vice chair of Alliance of Small Island Nations (AOSIS), said climate change was a looming disaster for the poor — like the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius 2,000 years ago that buried the Roman city of Pompeii. He said

They did not know what they were facing. Now we know what is going to happen. It will be the planet Pompeii.”

Former Canadian Olympic skiier Thomas Grandi delivered a letter from 20 Olympic athletes to Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s constituency office in Calgary this week. Grandi stated:

Clearly we have seen changes and there’s been a few seasons in the last decade where the whole schedule has been up in the air because there hasn’t been snow where traditionally there has been snow.”

In their letter to the Prime Minister, the athletes warned that outdoor sports such as skiing and snowboarding, which are part of Canada’s winter heritage, are being threatened.

Author, activist, and co-founder of 350.org Bill McKibben wrote in “The Physics of Copenhagen: Why Politics-As-Usual May Mean the End of Civilization”:

When it comes to global warming, however, this is precisely why we’re headed off a cliff, why the Copenhagen talks that open this week, almost no matter what happens, will be a disaster. Because climate change is not like any other issue we’ve ever dealt with. Because the adversary here is not Republicans, or socialists, or deficits, or taxes, or misogyny, or racism, or any of the problems we normally face—adversaries that can change over time, or be worn down, or disproved, or cast off. The adversary here is physics.

McKibbon goes on to say:

And here’s the thing: physics doesn’t just impose a bottom line, it imposes a time limit. This is like no other challenge we face because every year we don’t deal with it, it gets much, much worse, and then, at a certain point, it becomes insoluble—because, for instance, thawing permafrost in the Arctic releases so much methane into the atmosphere that we’re never able to get back into the safe zone.

Click here to read the whole column at Grist.org.

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