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Global Warming and Climate Change
The Global Warming and Energy Working Group is committed to educating the public about climate change and supporting local and national policies that decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
There is a great battle raging over the science of global warming. On one side are the scientists who have, for the most part, come to the conclusion that the earth is warming due to human activities but continue to debate the nuances and the predicted consequences of future global warming. On the other side are those who benefit from the status quo or are ideologically opposed to the government interventions required to confront the issue. Corporations and politicians that reject the scientific evidence are powerful and have used their far-reaching influence to obfuscate the facts and confuse the public.
For more information, visit these websites:
It is important for everyone to know the basic scientific facts as currently understood in order to make an informed judgment about an appropriate course of action, facts such as the following:
The evidence is now irrefutable that the earth is warming.
The overwhelming majority of scientists agree that the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas) is, with greater than 90% certainty, the major cause of global warming. This majority includes 97‒98% of all climate scientists, the U.S. National Academy of Science and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
(www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.full.pdf+html?sid=08da7bc9-32a7-41c1-9dda-1a57a013da60; www.nationalacademies.org/onpi/06072005.pdf; www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/contents.html)
Continued use of fossil fuels at current rates may increase mean global temperatures by 2-6 degrees C, and possibly by as much as 7 degrees C (approximately 13 degrees F) by the end of this century.
Increasing temperature by as little as one additional degree C more than present day (2 degrees higher than pre-industrial time) may lead to irreversible “tipping points.” Such tipping points include multi-meter increases in ocean levels, severe droughts, storms, decreased crop yields, the spread of tropical and heat-related diseases and massive species extinction. The greater the warming the more likely the possibility of surpassing a tipping point(s), and the more devastating the consequences. (www.pnas.org/content/105/38/14245.full.pdf+html)
- Ocean acidification, which is dependent on atmospheric CO2 concentrations and independent of CO2 greenhouse gas activity, may lead to the collapse of ocean life. (www.ocean-acidification.net/Symposium2008/MonacoDeclaration.pdf)
- Personal actions to lower greenhouse gas emissions are laudable, but the required magnitude of reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide emissions (an 80% decrease from the year 1990 levels) within the required timeframe (by the year 2050) needed to prevent potential future catastrophes necessitates national leadership.
National and local actions we support include:
Investing in energy efficiency and energy conservation initiatives and massively expanding alternative (renewable) energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal and wave energy.
Phasing out coal use over the next 20 years (http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2009/02/16/203701/james-hansen-coal-greatest-threat-civilization-all-life-on-our-planet/) and immediately end the destructive practice of mountain top removal (http://ilovemountains.org/)
Blocking the exploitation of Canadian tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline
Expanding, on a limited basis, newer generation nuclear power plants, because the situation is so serious (http://bigthink.com/ideas/17891)
Creating fair and transparent carbon taxes
We oppose fracking for natural gas in the Delaware River basin
We will work to reverse Governor Christie’s decision to withdraw from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (www.environmentnewjersey.org/issues/save-rggi) and weaken the renewable energy goals for the state energy master plan (www.environmentnewjersey.org/energy/new-jersey-energy-master-plan)
For more information related to climate change and energy issues, please visit the working group’s website (www.greenmonclair.org) as well as the following websites: