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Climate Change: Time running out!

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By Dr. Abdul Ruff

The annual United Nations climate summit has convened this year in Doha, the capital of the oil-rich emirate of Qatar, on the Arabian Peninsula. The UN sponsored climate change conference opened on 26th November, as the delegates from over 190 countries gathered for discussions on major issues relating to global anti-warming efforts, including details of the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period. Known as the 18th Conference of Parties (COP 18) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), they would press ahead with what has been achieved in the past and accomplish substantive results.

A shivering humanity, terrorized by the NATO terror wars operating like global furnaces, is clueless about the fast changing climatic disorders. Latest findings suggest that the goal of limiting global temperature rise to 2ºC may now be beyond reach, and that we may now be locked into a 4-6ºC temperature increase. The World Meteorological Organization released preliminary findings for 2012, highlighting extremes of drought, heat waves, floods, and snow and extreme cold, as well as above-average hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin for the third consecutive year. By 2020, between 75 and 250 million people in Africa are projected to be exposed to increased water stress due to climate change. Island nations like Maldives are under serious climatic threat.

The agenda of the climate talks was to ensure the seamless continuation of the Kyoto Protocol from January 01, 2013 and to plan the work under the Durban Platform as a new negotiating mechanism. Visibly an army of bureaucrats, business people and environmentalists gathered ostensibly to limit global greenhouse-gas emissions to a level that scientists say will contain the global temperature rise to 2ºC (3.8ºF), and perhaps stave off global climate catastrophe. The United States, which remains the greatest polluter in world history, stands as one of the biggest impediments to a rational global program to stem global warming.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, welcoming the participants, rightly said: "Time is running out...The door is closing fast on us because the pace and the scale of action is simply not yet where it must be." Earlier in Bonn, Germany, Figueres had said that the Doha conference must deliver its objectives to speed up global action towards a low-emission future where everyone has the chance of a sustainable life. The problem is, action is needed now to avert the very scenario that President Obama has said he wants to avoid.

As climate change speakers enjoy comfortable conditions at summits, including sumptuous intercontinental food and liquor, outside the air-conditioned conference halls and corridors of the UN climate summit in Doha, in the emirate of Qatar – which, ironically, is the nation with the highest per capita carbon emissions of any nation on the planet – there are protests. The newly-formed Arab Youth Climate Movement, hundreds of grassroots activists from across the region, including many involved in the Arab Spring, are marching, calling for their nations to take the lead in reducing emissions. If past meetings are any indication, national self-interest on the part of the world's largest polluters, paramount among them the big brother USA, will trump global consensus.

"We want our children to live in an America … that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet", President Barack Obama the shroud politician proclaimed in his victory speech on 6 November this year, just over a week after super storm Sandy devastated New York City and much of New Jersey, killing more than 100 people. These are fine aspirations. But Obama is supporting skyrocketing export subsidies for dirty fossil fuels through the United States Export-Import Bank, with at least $10.2bn in public financing for fossil-fuel projects in 2012 alone.

Obviously, the only way to avoid the climatically pessimistic scenarios will be radical transformations in the way the global economy currently functions: rapid uptake of renewable energy, sharp falls in fossil fuel use or massive deployment of CCS (carbon capture and storage), removal of industrial emissions and halting deforestation. As the fossil fuels, nuclear generators, terror wars accelerate; the atmosphere temperature will climb, creating a chain reaction of climate-related natural disasters.

Urgency of arresting fast progressing climatic change and global disorder threatening the existence of humanity and living beings must be sensibly realised by world powers, especially by chief polluters cum destroyers, USA, China and India. And appropriate corrective measures initiated before it is too late!

In order to save the humanity from eventual consequential destruction, the US led NATO terror wars, now also known as WW-III, cruel nuclear furnaces, and growing fossil menaces.

[Dr. Abdul Ruff is Specialist on State Terrorism; Chancellor-Founder of Center for International Affairs (CIA); Independent Analyst; Chronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.). He is also former university Teacher. He can be contacted at abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com]
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