Sunday, April 08, 2007

Schwarzenegger To Address UK Tories On Climate Change

The global warming denialists of the American Right are becoming ever more vocal - and idiotic - in their rhetoric, which is based purely upon the short-term thinking of asset-strippers. But they are becoming increasingly isolated on the political stage, both abroad and at home, as it becomes obvious that any short-term harm to economies will be far outweighed by the massive devastation - both economic and humanitarian - runaway climate change would cause.

The BBC reports:
California governor and former movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger will deliver a keynote address on climate change at the Tory Party conference this year.
The Republican politician made California the first state in the US to impose a mandatory cap on damaging "greenhouse gas" emissions.

Conservative leader David Cameron praised Mr Schwarzenegger for reviving the Republicans in California.

Mr Cameron said: "Governor Schwarzenegger led a dramatic revival of his party's fortunes in California and as governor he has shown tremendous leadership - above all in pioneering measures to protect the environment, reaching out to political opponents in doing so.

"It's great he's coming to our party conference, and I very much look forward to welcoming him there."

The US politician also enjoys good relations with UK Prime Minister Tony Blair with the pair having signed a joint accord promoting research into cleaner-burning fuels and technologies.
On the same day as this announcement Cameron also announced that his party will push for setting "a target of reducing carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, a substantial advance on Labour's commitment to 60 per cent."

The magic figure of 80% is also the reduction asked for in a new bill by US Senate Democrats. There's a reason for that.
Many scientists believe the 80 per cent figure must be achieved in developed countries if the average temperature around the world is to rise by no more than 2C over the next 40 years. Any rise greater than that represents what scientists believe to be the 'tipping point', when climate change would start to have a devastating impact, with floods, hurricanes and the loss of eco-systems.

The Quality of Life climate change group, established last year by Cameron, has concluded that the 80 per cent figure has to be achieved if temperature rises are to be contained.

Nick Hurd, MP for Ruislip-Northwood and chairman of the group, said: 'We are under no illusions about the political challenge, not least in securing an international agreement on a global emissions framework. However, the politics must fit the science and not the other way round.'

...[A recent] review led by Sir Nicholas Stern estimated that tackling climate change would cost Britain 1 per cent of its gross domestic product by 2050, but the costs of doing nothing would be five to 20 times greater. Central to his work was stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at 450-550 parts per million. He concluded that any attempt to go lower than 450 ppm 'would require immediate, substantial and rapid cuts in emissions that are likely to be extremely costly' to the economy.

However, the Tory policy group has concluded that the government should aim for a stabilisation range of between 400 and 450ppm, and reached the 80 per cent figure after taking in evidence from leading scientists.
The extreme Right are being left out in the cold by global warming. If the US Republican Party doesn't learn from Schwarzenegger and at the same time isolate its climate change denialists in the run-up to '08, then they will have destroyed any hope of a Republican president for decades to come, for by 2012 the evidence will have become obvious even to voters in traditional Republican heartlands.

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