Saturday, March 31, 2007

Why the car you drive is a moral issue.

Global warming is not just a future concept. The gasoline you burn is causing people in Africa and Asia to die right now, as precipitation moves from the equator toward the poles and drought sets in in equatorial areas. We are the biggest creators of greenhouse gas; they are the biggest victims of it. Knowing that, how can it not be immoral to drive an SUV if you don't absolutely need to for business purposes?

Poor Left in Lurch If World Overheats

The article, originally in the New York Times and linked here to the Sydney Morning Herald, is based on the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:

Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis

Some quotes from the study:
More intense and longer droughts have been observed over wider areas since the 1970s, particularly in the tropics and subtropics. Increased drying linked with higher temperatures and decreased precipitation have contributed to changes in drought. Changes in sea surface temperatures (SST), wind patterns, and decreased snowpack and snow cover have also been linked to droughts.


Since the TAR (Third Assessment Report) there is an improving understanding of projected patterns of precipitation. Increases in the amount of precipitation are very likely in high-latitudes, while decreases are likely in most subtropical land regions (by as much as about 20% in the A1B scenario in 2100, see Figure SPM-7), continuing observed patterns in recent trends.

FIGURE SPM-7. Relative changes in precipitation (in percent) for the period 2090–2099, relative to 1980–1999. Values are multi-model averages based on the SRES A1B scenario for December to February (left) and June to August (right). White areas are where less than 66% of the models agree in the sign of the change and stippled areas are where more than 90% of the models agree in the sign of the change.
So what are you waiting for? Ditch the SUV and feel good about yourself again.

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At 3/31/07, 6:35 PM, Blogger Gail Jonas said...

Bonnie, I have understood for some time now that the shortage of potable water is becoming a very serious global problem.

I saved the first article you mentioned, for a future post and am glad that you wrote about this and added more informatioon so I can send people to your blog.


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