Well, here comes Oxford University on the subject:
This figure is twice the level that previous studies have suggested.
More after the flip, plus a framing suggestion from
"However, with our current state of knowledge, we can't yet define a safe level in the atmosphere."
So, twice in the same week, two different groups have determined that he have a bona fide crisis on our hands (in the true sense of the word, not the WMD/Social Security sense).
I hope the Senate Dems start pounding on the table soon regarding this and other environmental issues. As I noted in the comments of that previous diary,
- the glaring lack of environmental issues in the Dem Senate war plan (a great plan, but missing a few things).
- the growing CW that Western voters are trending to Dem candidates over the environment (see Montana)
So, given that environmental protection would fit perfectly in the "responsibility" theme that the Dems appear to be pushing and that these issues could lead to our Western resurgence and the obvious attention these issues (like climate change) are getting abroad, the Dems should fill the leadership vacuum left by the GOP (as always).
Here is a great framing suggestion from Yertle:
Second, it must be framed in these terms: It is catastrophic to human societies and cultures- it has huge economic and social consequences. Not only is it incorrect to say that climate change endangers the planet, it doesn't, or life on earth, it doesn't, but most people you are trying to convince with that argument are going to blow you off as a hippie tree-hugger save the spotted owl (insert cliché here) do-gooder. What is certainly true, and IMO, more likely to impact people, is that it will most certainly effect them - the long term costs of climate change are significantly more severe than the short term costs of preparing to deal with it. Flooded cities, weather pattern shifts, farmland destruction, etc. all have big price tags and big death counts associated with them. If two severe El Nino events in a row (not, btw, related to climate change) can decimate countries agriculture, fishing, and ranching industries (Australia, Chile) people can be made to see that climate change can do the same. Potentially, it is possible that triggering the onset of the next ice age could destroy human civilization, but IMO you really don't need to go there. Its abstract and unreal to people - its much easier and much more effective to discuss how, based on cost benefit analysis, ignoring the problem is not a good idea.
Third, while I agree with Wally Broecker, in that dumping CO2 into the atmosphere is probably a stupid thing to do when we don't really know the consequences and wont for another decade or two at least, I don't see much of a way out of it, save for a rapid switch to nuclear power for most of our energy needs (something I am most definitely in favor of). While I do think we need to do what we can to curb CO2, I think, for the same reasons, that we need to start spending money now to prepare to deal with the coming changes which may not even be man made, and thus inevitable. Population centers need to prepare for rising sea levels, and agriculture planning needs to be done for possible shifts in rainfall and growing seasons. Spending money now on preparing to deal with these changes will prevent huge economic and humanitarian catastrophes in the not-so distant future.
I'll end on one more gratuitous "burning planet" picture: