Azara Blog: Another end-of-the-world meeting on climate change

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Date published: 2009/03/12

The BBC says:

The worst-case scenarios on climate change envisaged by the UN are already being realised, say scientists at an international meeting in Copenhagen.

In a statement outlining their six key messages to political leaders, they say there is an increasing risk of abrupt or irreversible climate shifts.

Even modest temperature rises will affect millions of people, particularly in the developing world, they warn.

But most tools needed to cut global carbon dioxide emissions already exist.

Nothing new here. But it is interesting that the mention of "irreversible climate shifts" is becoming more and more prominent at these kinds of meetings. Of course "irreversible" does not mean irreversible, it means irreversible on a human time scale. (The planet has been plenty hotter in the past and quite evidently managed to get through that perfectly ok.) And they want to peddle the phrase "risk of irreversible climate shifts" rather than "definite irreversible climate shifts" because if it's the latter, there's nothing anyone can do about it.

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