Ban Ki-Moon
Ban Ki-Moon channels Glenn Frey: “The heat is on.”
Shutterstock / ChameleonsEye

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Friday unveiled its first major climate findings in six years. (Here’s our roundup of the findings; here’s background on the IPCC and its fifth assessment report.)

How did the world react to scientists’ latest assertions that climate change is real, threatening, and human-caused? Here are some notable quotes:

What officials said

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon: “The heat is on. We must act.”

European Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard: “If your doctor was 95 percent sure you had a serious disease, you would immediately start looking for the cure.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: “This is yet another wakeup call: those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire.”

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.): “This landmark report underscores the importance of the Obama Administration’s efforts to curb carbon pollution, and I will do everything in my power to support the Administration in their efforts to address the dangerous impacts of climate disruption.”

What scientists said

Stanford University climate researcher Chris Field, a contributor to the IPCC report: “Continuing rapid emissions now is kicking the climate can down the road, leaving climate change for our children and grandchildren. But it is kicking a can that gets to be bigger, heavier and harder to move with each kick.”

Qin Dahe, co-chair of the IPCC working group that produced the report [PDF]: “Observations of changes in the climate system are based on multiple lines of independent evidence.”

David MacKay, scientific adviser to the U.K. government: “The far-reaching consequences of this warming are becoming understood, although some uncertainties remain. The most significant uncertainty, however, is how much carbon humanity will choose to put into the atmosphere in the future.”

What one business leader said

HSBC climate change center head Nick Robins: “The key thing now is taking this very high quality science and then translating it into a risk management strategy for business which is [a] question both of size of impact and the probability of impact. We actually need to avoid not just the most likely scenarios but those long-tail high-impact scenarios as well.”

What nonprofit leaders said

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune: “The findings in this report confirm that we need the safeguards to curb climate-disrupting carbon pollution from new power plants that the Obama Administration proposed last week. And we cannot stop there. To cement his legacy and protect future generations, President Obama must reject the expansion of dirty fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas — as well as dangerous nuclear power — and move full-speed ahead to grow the job-creating clean energy economy.”

Oxfam Executive Director Winnie Byanyima: “Scientists have confirmed what farmers in poor countries around the world have been telling us for years, that changes to their climate are destroying their livelihoods, ruining crops, hitting incomes, food quality and often their family’s health.”

What climate deniers driveled

The Washington Examiner: “Why does the U.N. love consensus anyway? Because it sounds authoritative against critics who remember to follow the money: The 130 developing countries are a solid majority of the 195 governments that fund the IPCC. They want a big payday funded by wealthier developed nations via climate treaties with hefty wealth transfer clauses to support ‘sustainable development’ — that is, a solar panel on a hut for 40 watts of light, except at night.”

The Daily Mail: “UN scientists said today they are ’95 per cent’ certain that climate change is man made, but still could not explain why the world has barely got any hotter in the last 15 years.”

The Telegraph: “The IPCC stands or falls on its computer models. There is no other evidence out there that global warming is any kind of problem. That it exists only in the imagination of the people who programme those computer models and the scientists who contribute to the theory that anthropogenic CO2 is a problem.”

Too bad that last sentence is not actually a sentence. Apparently climate deniers are no better at articulating their thoughts than they are at forming them.