Humans “very likely” changing the climate, says long-awaited IPCC report

A few weeks of leaks stole some thunder, but the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released the first installment of its long-awaited fourth report, and the news is — well, not news, thanks to those meddling leakers. But let’s pretend. The news is out! The world’s scientists say there’s a 90-plus percent chance that humans are causing global warming! They say by 2100, temperatures will likely rise 3.2 to 7.1 degrees Fahrenheit, and sea levels will rise 7 to 23 inches, plus another 4 to 8 inches if polar ice sheets keep melting. This is the real deal — and it’s a conservative deal, since it required a 154-country consensus. “Anyone who would continue to risk inaction on the basis of the evidence presented here will one day in the history books be considered irresponsible,” said Achim Steiner, who heads the U.N. Environment Program. Even the U.S. sorta admitted the report has legs, with a White House science and technology policy staffer saying it “will be valuable to policymakers.” As kindling, or what?