Journalist Gwynne Dyer explains that climate change is not only a reality, but that today's governments need to act now before it is too late.
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Rebecca: The climate change is the single most important problem that we’re going to deal with in our lifetime. And this isn’t particularly surprising to anyone who pays attention, but you are kind of dealing in the book with more of the politics involved. Can you just explain this to us a little bit? Gwynne Dyer: We kind of know what happens physically at various—you know one degree hotter or two degrees hotter, but what hasn’t got a lot of attention is what happens politically, what happens strategically. For example Australia is the driest continent, so if it’s going to be the effect of this sort that’s where you’d expect to show up first. And they are showing up or at least that’s what Australians are coming to think there in the seventh year of what they call the big dry. They’re beginning to suspect and they're pretty well convinced that this is not an ordinary drought because drought ends, right? Maybe this is climate change. That huge export industry that was inland Australia is gone, where they grew the wheat and the other grain that they exported. Indonesia and the Philippines which is right north of Australia they're going to be drying out too. And so the Australians just actually bought a whole new fleet of ocean guarding patrol vessels because they can see waves of people fleeing south from farms that no longer produce to Australia where there might be work. Take two or three more regions out and you’ve got an overall world food shortage. Mr. Obama is promising to get the US back to 1990 levels of emissions by 2020, and he’s promising 80% cuts in American emissions by 2050—the game is over by 2030 that’s way too late. Guys, what you're promising that it won’t be worse than you were 20 years ago if you give us another 10 years that’s not good enough. Rebecca: Are people sufficiently scared? Gwynne Dyer: If you go somewhere above 2 degrees it probably will before 3, you start melting the Permafrost an enormous amounts of carbon dioxide and methane which is even worse gas for warming come out. I mean there’s enough carbon dioxide left at the Permafrost to double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Now these are feedbacks you can’t control. You can’t cool Permafrost back down. You can’t cool the ocean’s surface back down. You can get your own emissions down to zero sometime later and it wouldn’t stop the warming because it has taken over the nature’s natural process. So for those two reasons you mustn’t go pass 2 degrees. So there is a deadline. We need people to be scared because fear moves people. We do need to move pretty fast on these stuffs.
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