Posted by: bklunk | June 5, 2007

Happy World Environment Day

There are many ways to slice this news: who will gain and who will lose from environmental change? who will be best able to adapt to changing conditions? what kind of cooperation will be needed or possible to mitigate the impact of climate changes?

UN: Global Warming Will Change the Lives of Millions

TROMSO, Norway, June 5, 2007 (ENS) – As the Earth warms, hundreds of millions of people worldwide will be affected by melting snow covers, ice and glaciers, according to a new United Nations report issued to mark World Environment Day, observed on June 5 each year.

The availability of water supplies for both drinking and agriculture will also be impacted, while rising sea levels will affect low-lying coastal areas and islands, said the report, “Global Outlook for Ice and Snow,” compiled by the UN Environment Programme, UNEP, and a group of about 70 world experts.

The report and another UNEP report on the negative impacts of the rising tide of tourists to newly fashionable polar destinations were launched in Tromso, Norway, where the main observances for this year’s World Environment Day will be held.

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Responses

  1. Hi,

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    called Tree-Nation. Via our website you can plant trees for yourself or offer them to someone else. The trees are being planted in a virtual map on
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  2. If we just look at the map of Alaskan glaciers in last 20 years, we will notice that their size decreased drastically. Caused by global warming, melted ice runs back to oceans and changes temperatures of water and by that it affects ocean widelife and also us. It is also the case that glacier water was one of sources of drinking water and from that we see that our drinking supplies are also deacresing.
    Global warming is growing problem and some soulution has to be found, cutting emissions would be good start. That change should not only occur in one state, but in all.
    There are no winners in global warming, only losers…us.

  3. The issue of global warming needs to be directed by not only the United States, but all other nations across the globe. By not addressing this problem soon the melting ice will only increase, which in turn will affect ourselves and the wildlife, as Vladimir stated. The G8 has not come to an agreement with global warming, but Bush has stated that every country needs to make their own improvements, and I completely agree. If the G8 does not come to an agreement during this years meeting the problem of global warming will just continue greatly. In the end this is going to hurt our generation and the ones to come, which is the sad truth to come about.

  4. I agree with Devonie and Vladimir. Global warming is a problem that requires a lot of global attention, and quickly. I also think that progress has been made, as well. Even taking the simple step of recognizing that global warming is a huge problem is a step in the right direction, and there are signs in teh U.S. and around the world that people are finally starting to pay attention. Emissions standards are being revised, global warming is a big item on the G8 adgenda, and films like “An Inconvienient Truth” being showed all over the United States are good signs. While these steps alone will not solve the crisis, at least the population is being educated on a subject that needs attention.

  5. Global warming affects our sense of global security. By saving the world we are able to feel secure about our future. All in all, cooperating to save what we have left seems to be the obvious solution. However, there are many differences and self-interests to overcome. The fact that it took so long for global warming and climate change to become a major issue shows how slowly politics move. One cannot help but wonder how the world would be different if we had acted sooner. Hopefully a collaborated effort on the part of the different actors in the world system can prevent further damage from taking place.

  6. I sort of hate talking about global warming, mostly because the problem is complicated and I have a difficult time seeing the correct course of action. For example: by preventing green house gas emissions today we prolong the probable life span of my grandchildren, but completely obliterate the ability for third world countries to industrialize today. Who’s life is worth more?

    Besides, warmer climates historically help the crops in Britain.

    Surely this is a problem that threatens the world’s long term security, but it also damages people today. I think the true cost of global warming prevention has not been weighed completely. It will cost us something dearly, what do we want it to cost?

  7. Matt brings up a great point about the ability for developing countries to industrialize today and the effort to fight climate change. On Wednesday, June 6, 2007, India and China were put under increasing pressure to sign up to the mandatory limit on greenhouse gas emissions at the current G8 summit (according to the BBC). Even though India said that it was committed to fight climate change, India will not do this at the expense of its economic development. India says that it cannot do this because meeting the mandatory limits would put a huge strain on their economy and, thus, will be unable to deliver the vast majority of the Indian population out of poverty. Furthermore, the Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said that it is unfair that the industrialized world is targeting India when the problem was created by the industrialized countries. Menon went on to say that “once our per capita emission levels reach the same as those of the industrialized countries, we’ll be very happy to do our share too.”

    So even though India recognizes the fact that climate change is an important issue, India will not do anything to combat climate change at the expense of impeding its economic development.

    I think scholars that belong to the dependent development school of thought might argue that combating climate change is just another way of the core exercising their power to keep those states that are in the periphery or semi-periphery from ever catching up to the core states. These core states were allowed to pollute the environment and essentially create the problem of climate change, yet developing states are expected not to do this. Now developing states are put under increased pressure to meet greenhouse emissions limits, something that the core never had to do while it was developing.

    Basically this creates a conundrum like Matt said.

  8. Lots of interesting comments. First, let’s think about the G-8 decision: they agreed to take cutting emissions levels seriously. That’s progress, I guess. On the one hand, it is interesting to ask why this much agreement is possible now. On the other hand, why wasn’t it possible to get agreement on action? As to the unfairness: life sucks. We are all captives of the time in which we live. Here’s a cold fact: poor countries will have a harder time adapting to the results of climate change than poor countries.


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