Thursday, January 19, 2012


CLIMATE CHANGE THREAT - Global warming threatens China’s march to prosperity by cutting crops, shrinking rivers and unleashing more droughts and floods, says the government’s latest assessment of climate change, projecting big shifts in how the nation feeds itself.  The warnings are carried in the government’s “Second National Assessment Report on Climate Change,” which sums up advancing scientific knowledge about the consequences and costs of global warming for China - the world’s second biggest economy and the biggest emitter of greenhouse gas pollution.  Global warming fed by greenhouse gases from industry, transport and shifting land-use poses a long-term threat to China’s prosperity, health and food output, says the report.  Water, either too much or too little, lies at the heart of how that warming could trip up China’s budding prosperity.

 With China’s economy likely to rival the United States’ in size in coming decades, that will trigger wider consequences. “China faces extremely grim ecological and environmental conditions under the impact of continued global warming and changes to China’s regional environment,” says the 710-page report, officially published late last year but released for public sale only recently.  Even so, China’s rising emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from burning fossil fuels, will begin to fall off only after about 2030, with big falls only after mid-century, says the report.  Assuming no measures to counter global warming, grain output in the world’s most populous nation could fall from 5 to 20 percent by 2050, depending on whether a “fertilisation effect” from more carbon dioxide in the air offsets losses, says the report.

China, with 1.34 billion people, already emits a quarter of the world’s CO2, with the United States the world’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter.  As the temperatures continue to rise, the negative consequences of climate change on agriculture will be increasingly serious. Without effective measures in response, by the latter part of the 21st century, climate change could still constitute a threat to the world’s food security. We are living in one of the most precarious situations of humanity.

Today we see the condition of the world. Never before in history has the world been in a more dangerous situation. We have made progress through technology and science. We have cured diseases such as small pox. We made vaccinations for polio and breakthrough in open heart surgeries to keep people living after major heart attacks. These are good things. But at the same time, what are we doing on the other side. We are creating other diseases due to pollution and other unnatural styles. … And with all the toxic chemicals in the soil, in the ocean, in the rivers and in the air, if you look at it realistically the world is in a hopeless state. Politicians don’t want to tell you and we don’t want to hear about it, because we are just caught up in our petty pursuance of fulfilling our greed. It is a big problem.

Śrīla Radhanath Swami Mahārāja :
“The Real Significance of Bhumi Puja”
Lecture at Govardhan Farm, Wada - 2nd October 2009  -

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