On top of that, China and India have every right to the same level of prosperity we in the West have. The problem with that is that the world does not have the resources for all those demands. Plus the pollution that goes with those demands will be intolerable. Sooner or later, something or someone has to give. My guess is that peak cheap oil which is now occurring will have an enormous impact on all of this. We have all to be prepared to change our way of life in many areas. This may happen sooner than many of us think. Could be within five years already when oil and food prices rise higher and higher.
Although Roy is no longer a member here, I'd still like to address what he said:
The global warming/climate change scare is a gigantic political and economic scam designed to centralise power for evil ends.
I disagree--not with the idea that it is, in fact, being taken advantage of in order to centralize power, but with the idea that it is all just a scam. Unfortunately I think there's plenty of evidence that it's real and that it's related to human activity, but this does not mean that it can't be exploited by elites to consolidate power. Anything sufficiently scary or threatening to the general public can be used that way, and the fact that it's real just makes it that much better for those who would do so. Half the work is done for them already because there is a real threat lurking over our heads, and they didn't need to make up the story.
So it's not that conspiracy theorists are off-base (at least not all of them and not by virtue of their basic ideas about the way things are conducted by the powerful) but a lot of them are rather fanatical about it and seem to neglect to look at things logically. It's understandable--huge change is coming, and they are scared just like the rest of us. The status quo is doomed, one way or another.
Some are coping by consolidating power and control over resources in a mad rush to get what's theirs (or so they think) and ensure security for themselves.
Some are probably coping by convincing themselves that those mentioned above are making the whole thing up for the sake of enriching themselves. Holding this view relieves one of the tremendous burden of having to face these changes, by generating the hope that if only those tyrants can be defeated, we can all relax and be comfortable again. Unfortunately, the picture is not so simple.
The tyrants do need to be neutralized as they are certainly exasperating the problems, but if by some miracle this were to occur overnight, we would still need to dramatically change the way we live on planet Earth.
"we present results from a multi-thousand-member perturbed-physics ensemble of transient coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model simulations."
"By 2050, global average temperature could be between 1.4°C and 3°C warmer than it was just a couple of decades ago, according to a new study that seeks to address the largest sources of uncertainty in current climate models. That's substantially higher than estimates produced by other climate analyses, suggesting that Earth's climate could warm much more quickly than previously thought. "
the above was the result of the collaboration including the following from:
The research mentioned by John should be the talk of the town. It looks like we may get close to a tipping point for rapid climate change. A change of one or two degrees will be enough to wipe out many species that can't adapt that fast to change of environment. It is also a precursor to further warming up, as permafrost will melt so fast that methane concentrations in the air will rise fast with corresponding temperature rise (maybe up to six degrees Celsius or more). This means the end of most life on earth. We should be scared to death by now! Where are the politicians and companies that act on these data? Is current civilization like the Titanic, continuing to play music while the ship is sinking? Do we have a death wish as a civilization?
What needs to be done is clear:
1. retrofit our houses to become energy producing (investment is earned back within eight years according to what I've heard). Also build new houses that are cutting edge in this respect. This would create millions of jobs which would pay for itself.
2. engage in permaculture. This is a vastly more efficient way of producing food, storing and using water and producing energy.
3. Go local as per Transition Initiative. Familiarize yourself with this approach.
4. Eat less meat and particularly beef. Cows produce a lot of methane, a greenhouse gas. Plus, incredible amounts of water are being used to produce meat. Water that is becoming scarce. Land for livestock feed is a waste.
Who has the courage to implement such an agenda?