Moral obligation on climate?

It's time for our elected leaders to lead the way

Washington Post

'Who drew it,' Trump asks of dire climate report, appearing to mistrust 91 scientific experts

Who drew it, asks the president?

Ninety-one leading scientists from 40 countries who together examined more than 6,000 scientific studies. Specialists like Katharine Mach, who studies new approaches to climate assessment at Stanford University; Tor Arve Benjaminsen, a human geographer at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences; and Raman Sukumar, an ecologist at the Indian Institute of Science.

They are among the members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to make recommendations to world leaders.

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Do world leaders have a "moral obligation" to act on climate change?

By Joe Harker

The world has just about 12 years to act on climate change before irreversible damage occurs according to a panel of United Nations scientists. Over 6,000 scientific references from 91 authors in 40 different countries produced a report on the future of planet Earth if climate change continues. They believe "massive and unprecedented" changes need to occur immediately to avoid a climate catastrophe.

To avoid disaster in 12 years time the report says massive changes need to be made in transportation, energy, infrastructure and industry. The very way much of the world works needs to be changed quickly to avoid irreparable damage. They made it clear that the world either pays now to avoid the damage or it pays later when climate change costs more money down the line.

World leaders need to step up and enact real change before it is too late. The problem cannot be kicked further down the curb without making it an issue that cannot be solved. It's a basic rule of existence that killing the thing you live on is a terrible idea and that's what the human race is doing right now.

Not every world leader believes the planet is in such danger. US president Donald Trump questioned the validity of the information and suggested that he'd seen other reports that claimed the world's climate was "fabulous". Vaguely asking which group created the UN report, he suggested that he didn't believe the findings.

Trump has previously been a skeptic on climate change, claiming in 2012 that it was a scam invented by the Chinese to make US manufacturing less competitive. He also took the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement last year to global condemnation. He said: "We are going to be environmentally friendly, but we're not going to put our businesses out of work, and we're not going to lose our jobs. We're going to grow."

Big business also have their part to play. Last year a report was published that said 100 companies were responsible for 71 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Most of the big oil companies are near the top of the list while Saudi Arabia's state backed oil industry, China's coal mining industry and Russian state gas company Gazprom are the top three worst offenders.

They share responsibility in the future of the planet and the world's dependence on their fossil fuels is allowing them to profit of an impending catastrophe for everyone. It is ridiculously short sighted to be making money off industries that are causing the lion's share of climate change.

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