Albany Fiddles Over Congestion Pricing…

… as NASA Scientist James Hansen and six other scientists publish a new global climate change study that concludes, "The Earth today stands in imminent peril and nothing short of a planetary rescue will save it from the environmental cataclysm of dangerous climate change."

Steve Connor writes in The Independent (via Gristmill):

"Civilisation developed, and constructed extensive infrastructure, during a period of unusual climate stability, the Holocene, now almost 12,000 years in duration. That period is about to end," the scientists warn. Humanity cannot afford to burn the Earth’s remaining underground reserves of fossil fuel. "To do so would guarantee dramatic climate change, yielding a different planet from the one on which civilisation developed and for which extensive physical infrastructure has been built," they say.

Yes, but what about Manhattan parking garage owners and car commuters from Eastern Queens? Are we willing to sacrifice their interests just to save the world?

  • If humanity survives, one wonders if history will regard today’s oil barons, parking garage owners, legislators, op-ed writers, etc who oppose action on global climate change as we today view active or passive collaborators with the past’s most reviled and murderous regimes.

  • JF

    More like the Easter Islanders who cut down the last trees, or the decadent Roman elite who failed to prevent their cities from being sacked.

    Let’s keep this in perspective. This is short-sighted selfishness, not murderous or genocidal scapegoating. It’s true that there are lives at stake, but the motivation is different.

  • gecko

    Two articles in the 16 June 2007 NewScientist describe the drought and devastation in Australia resulting from climate change.

    Ironically, as one of the “two renegade nations,” — the US and Australia — did not sign on to the Kyoto Protocol, Australia is “the world’s worst per capita emitter of CO2, some may say that Australia deserves its fate.”

    Legislators in Albany should take the hint as New York is not immune from the disastrous effects of global warming.

    http://www.newscientist.com/channel/opinion/mg19426084.400-editorial-australia–not-such-a-lucky-country.html

    http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/mg19426085.300-australia–the-continent-that-ran-dry.html;jsessionid=DOFDKLDKDIOG

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Will “Crazy Technology” Thwart Climate Change?

|
Between automobile advertisements, ABC news reports on some far-out ideas to mitigate global climate change: Crazy-sounding ideas for saving the planet are getting a serious look from top scientists, a sign of their fears about global warming and the desire for an insurance policy in case things get worse. How crazy? There’s the man-made "volcano" […]

The Effect of Climate Change on Transpo Infrastructure

|
A sobering post today from the Streetsblog Network on the importance of preparing our transportation system for the effects of climate change. Megan McConville at The City Fix reports on a panel titled "Perspectives on Adaptation to Climate Change," hosted by the Engineers Forum on Sustainability. The message? "We can no longer focus exclusively on […]