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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 17:07, February 06, 2007
From 66 percent to 90 percent
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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued an abstract report on its fourth assessment of climate change in Paris. The 21-page abstract shows that scientists agree that the surface temperature of the earth has increased by 0.74 degrees Celsius over the last 100 years. By 2100, the temperature will be 1.1 to 6.4 degrees higher on average than it was between 1980 and 1999. Over the last 50 years, 90 percent of climate change can be attributed to human use of fossil fuels while in its third report, issued in 2001, the IPCC estimated that only 60 percent of climate change was due to human activities.

From 66 percent to 90 percent - the number is worrying people, but even more people are worried about the Bush Administration's attitude. Less than four hours after the Paris abstract on Climate Change was released by the IPCC, the White House issued a statement saying that the US is not ready to take compulsory measures restricting the emission of green house gases.

This is not the first time that the Bush Administration has taken such a stance. In March 2001, the Bush administration refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol using the excuse that a reduction in emissions would affect American economic development and that developing countries should also shoulder the responsibility of reducing and restricting green house gas. In July 2005, Bush said again that America would not sign any treaties relating to emission reductions because that would directly cause the loss of 5 million jobs in the US. He even claimed that there wasn't enough scientific evidence to prove global warming is related to emissions.

Global warming cannot be reversed and will become a more and more serious. Scientists say that although people feel that global warming is not too big a problem because oil prices are down and the cold weather is increasingly less severe (for example, people could pick mushrooms in Moscow suburbs in December and the grass was still green) but there will be disastrous consequences in the future that people will not be able to bear. For example, 10 million people will lack water, the glaciers at the north and south poles will melt, sea levels will rise, thunder storms, drought and heat waves will increase, biological links will be broken, and disease epidemics will spread. During the recent World Economic Forum in Geneva, the 2007 Global Risks report says one of the most severe challenges the world faces in the 21st century is climate change. The natural disasters caused by global warming will cause a large number of people to migrate, an energy shortage and political unrest.

To ensure human survival and sustainable development, people and nations should take measures to reduce green house gas emission. This is the rational and positive choice. In 1997, signatories to the UN Climate Change Framework Convention passed the famous Kyoto Protocol. Over the past 10 years, various countries have taken active measures to restrict emissions. However, the largest green house gas emission country, the US, still emits 25 percent of the world total. The US should shoulder its own obligations.

Climate change has no boundaries. Every country has its responsibilities. The US government's words and actions will only convince people that America only cares for wealth - it is rich but cruel.

By People's Daily Online


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