Thursday, June 25, 2009

Climate change --- get on it or go with it?

Electric car, $21,000. Bamboo bicycle, $10,000. Saving the planet, hopeless.

Speaking to a Canadian audience of politicians, activists, corporate types and media in Toronto, British scientist James Lovelock advised us to enjoy it while it lasts, because it's too late to mitigate climate change, and our only option now is to adapt.

"Climate change is inevitable, proceeding and even accelerating," says Lovelock, the originator of the Gaia hypothesis that the Earth is a single, self-regulating, organism.

He believes that even if we stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow, it would have little effect because we're already past the point of no return.

Green Party leader Frank DeJong disagreed, believing there are still things we can do to turn things in another direction, while other speakers, such as Encana Corp.'s Subodh Gupta, were less pessimistic than Lovelock, recommending large-scale carbon-sequestration measures.

Update: June 10, 2009 --- International climate talks held in Italy this week ended with little progress. The rich industrial nations wouldn't promise to cut back their emissions in the near term. And China, India and the rest of the developing world wouldn't commit to cutting their emissions, ever.

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