The Threat of Climate Change

UN chief Ban Ki-moon spoke yesterday on Climate Change.

“As we move toward Copenhagen in December, we must seal a climate change deal that secures our common future,” Ban told an environmental forum in Incheon city west of Seoul.

The UN secretary general, who began a visit to his homeland Sunday, warned of catastrophes if the world fails to work out a deal.

Ban said unchecked climate change would intensify drought, floods and other natural disasters and bring water shortages and malnutrition — aggravating tensions and social unrest and even sparking violence.

“The human suffering will be incalculable,” Ban said.

He said he was confident the world could avert catastrophe but time was running out. “We have the power to change course but we must do it now.”

There are three big things that are continually left out of the climate debate, which these comments address. While all sides we agree that Climate Change is a global issue many, even very supportive, voices fail to acknowledge that the issue is about our responsibility to the world. America is far and away the worst contributor to the problem, we owe it to the world to lead in creating solutions.

The phrase ‘incalculable’ is also a vital contribution Ban Ki-moon, which can’t be repeated enough. We’re talking about potentially massive and unpredictable damage to the ecosystem which supports all human life. While this is understood by virtually everybody in the activist community, many groups prefer focus on more positive messages and avoid the scare quotes. The reality of Climate Changes is scary and the language we use should reflect that.

Finally we need to remember that much of the damage caused by Climate Change is likely irreversible. All future generations of humanity could be negatively impacted by Climate Change. Irreversible or the related concept of irreparable harm must be brought into the mainstream consciousness on Climate Change. Sometimes no after the fact solution, repair, or compensation can put things right. We can’t let Climate Change cause that type of damage.

-Chris

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