A big part of controlling climate change, rising sea levels, worsening storms, is controlling the emissions that cause the greenhouse effect and warm our planet.
As the US begins discussions with China the target is an agreement to reduce emissions. How much emissions can be reduced is at issue because some scientists think they might have to be reduced about 40% in order to hold the average global warming to 2 degrees C as has been generally agreed internationally in other discussions.
Reductions of that order are difficult because in essence they require bringing our worlds economy to a halt by stopping the burning of fossil fuels by 2015. That isn't going to happen and when it doesn't that puts us on the path for warming of as much as 4 degrees C by 2060 and 6 degrees C before the end of the century
Because this is an average in some places it would be less, over the oceans for example, and in some places higher. In New York with global warming of 2 degrees C it would warm an extra 20 degrees F.
A good part of that warming is already in process and unstoppable due to the actions we have already taken. Both sides are agreed there is a growing urgency to cooperate to find solutions.
In light of previous joint statements, existing arrangements, and ongoing work, both sides agree that it is essential to enhance the scale and impact of cooperation on climate change, commensurate with the growing urgency to deal with our shared climate challenges.Its possible that we are already triggering tipping points such as methane releases, but much more is projected to be caused by the unchecked development of every last bit of coal, oil and gas that can be found.
While we waste time arguing over issues that seem important in the short term such as politics, the economy, terrorism, social security, medicare, or our role as the worlds number one arms dealer, the deadline to take action is coming closer. Our track record of never agreeing to do anything until the last minute will be the death of us.
I propose that to make it clear that the time to take action has run out to as many of our friends, family and colleagues as possible we commit to mentioning climate change and making those points in everything we write or blog including business communications and personal emails from here on out.