Tuesday, October 1, 2013

How 'bout this weather...

Last week was a big week to talk climate policy and to have heated debates on whether or not climate change is actually happening.

Released amid much pomp and circumstance, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, issued the first phase of their 2013-2014 reporting. The report makes the assertion that "it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause" of global warming since the early 50's, going on to state that rapid sea level rise and expedited glacial melt are the anticipated outcomes if current carbon emission trends are not abated.


A release that didn't get much coverage is the opposing camps viewpoint. At roughly the same time the NIPCC, or Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change issued their report, citing quite the opposite: “the human impact on climate is very small, and . . . any warming that may be due to human greenhouse gas emissions is likely to be so small as to be invisible.” While many attack the validity of the NIPCC's report and the groups credibility, there are many who hurl similar charges at the IPCC claiming a lack of transparency and exerted influence by sponsor governments.
Regardless of where you stand on the issue of causation as it relates to climate change, the fact remains that we are a global community divided. We are paying an astounding price for whatever is causing the increased frequency and intensity of recent weather-related events. Whether it's in lives lost, property damaged, increased food prices, mitigation projects to protect low-lying urban areas, or loss of environmental habitats...I hope we can agree that the price we're paying is too high to sit by and be a spectator on this. Read up, educate yourself, and do something. Nothing will change until we can agree on the cause of the problem, and not having an informed opinion will only protract the debate. 

Until we find a common ground we need to be doing a better job of adjusting to our "new normal" in getting communities prepared for whatever mother nature throws at them. As the graph below clearly indicates, that whatever the reason, it seems those of us in the business of preparing for and responding to natural catastrophes will be increasingly busy.

No comments :

Post a Comment