Early Warning Systems

Mickey Glantz of NCAR asks what good it does to have an improved hurricane prediction system if there is no social system to use it. The same question can be asked of climate change: we have an early warning system (scientists) and almost no way to use it. The New York Times covers James Hansen’s important comments to the American Geophysical Union this week:

The two-week United Nations conference that ended here on Saturday was no exception. And as the delegates return to their own countries, with modest, last-minute agreements to keep talking about how to move beyond existing environmental treaties, many scientists and others who keep track of climate change say much more urgent action is needed.

Summing up that view, James Hansen, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, told a conference in San Francisco this week that a continuation of “business as usual” would result in so much warming as to “constitute a different planet.”

There are lots of reasons to do nothing. I would like to hear from readers what they are doing, what your Meeting or church or synagogue or other religious body is doing.

Comments that go beyond praise and nays Two messages at For the Coal Miners. Rick points out that coal mining does great damage to the land as well. Even if we go the route of carbon capture and storage, coal is still a damaging energy source. But it is overwhelmingly less damaging with carbon storage than without. And James Aach has a book he wants you to know about.

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