The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is meeting this week in Valencia, Spain, to distill the panel’s three massive scientific climate-change reports released earlier this year into a concise 25-page summary for the world’s governments. Expect environmentalists and others concerned about climate-change’s effects to lobby for strong language clearly spelling out the expected perils of doing little or nothing. Some governments, meanwhile — likely including the United States, China, and others — will negotiate to play down many of the threats posed by climate change, emphasize uncertainties, and extol the efficacy of voluntary actions. Ahead of the meeting, the head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Yvo de Boer, stressed the need for strong action. “Climate change will hit hardest the poorest and most vulnerable countries. Its overall effect, however, will be felt by everyone and will in some cases threaten people’s very survival,” he said. “Failing to recognize the urgency of this message and acting on it would be nothing less than criminally irresponsible.” Get ready for some good ol’ criminal activity!

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