Two Degrees of Separation
Report warns of major climate catastrophe in as few as 10 years
A task force of leading politicians, academics, and business leaders from around the world has quantified global warming’s so-called “point of no return.” And it’s bloody soon! In as little as 10 years, says a report by the task force, the global average temperature could rise 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit from its pre-industrial level. At that point, the authors contend, the tipping point will have been reached and major droughts, sea-level rise, and widespread crop failures are all but certain. So far, global average temperature has risen about 1.4 degrees since 1750, meaning we’ve still got a couple of degrees before the threshold is reached. To help beat the clock, the report calls on all G8 nations to produce a quarter of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025 and double their expenditures on low-carbon energy technologies by 2010. “There is an ecological time bomb ticking away,” said British Member of Parliament Stephen Byers, who co-chaired the task force with U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine).