350

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biffvernon
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350

Post: #165484 biffvernon
Tue Aug 25, 2009 6:54 pm

From 350.org

Dear friends,

For once, this email isn't asking you to do anything at all. It's merely sharing the news--the amazing news--that arrived about 45 minutes ago at 350 headquarters.

Rajendra Pachauri is the U.N.'s top climate scientist. He leads the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which every five years produces the authoritative assessment of climate science. Their last report, in 2007, helped set the target of 450 ppm (parts per million of CO2) that many environmental groups and national governments have adopted as their goal for Copenhagen.

As you all know, that number is out of date. When Jim Hansen and other scientists looked at phenomenon like the Arctic ice melt of the last two summers, they produced new data demonstrating that 350 is the bottom line for the planet.

But it's been hard to get that news out to the powers that be.

So today it comes as enormous and welcome news that Dr. Pachauri, from his New Delhi office, said that 350 was the number.

"As chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) I cannot take a position because we do not make recommendations," said Rajendra Pachauri when asked if he supported calls to keep atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations below 350 parts per million (ppm).

"But as a human being I am fully supportive of that goal. What is happening, and what is likely to happen, convinces me that the world must be really ambitious and very determined at moving toward a 350 target," he told Agence France Presse in an interview.

It's your work that has made this breakthrough possible. In fact, Pachauri specifically cited the last big piece of news for 350: the decision of 80+ small island nations and less developed countries to endorse the 350 target.

"I think this is a good development," said Pachauri. "Now people -- including some scientists -- see the seriousness of the impacts of climate change, and the fact that things are going to get substantially worse than what we had anticipated."

This news makes it much easier for all of us to push hard leading up to the International Day of Climate Action on the 24th of October (signup to start or attend an event at www.350.org) , and the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen this December.

It's clear now that science is powerfully on the side of the 350 target. Now we need the political world to follow suit. You will make that happen in the next two months. Oct. 24 is officially 60 days away, and we're building just the momentum we need to make it count.

Thanks for all you do,

Bill McKibben

P.S. Once you've spread this news around your networks (click here to share it on twitter or here to share it on facebook), please go celebrate. And speaking of celebrations, our friends at The Age of Stupid report that the Global Premier of their new epic climate change film takes place on September 21--you can find details on local screenings here: www.ageofstupid.net
You could join us on Facebook by becoming a fan of our page at facebook.com/350org and follow us on twitter by visiting twitter.com/350



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MKG
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Re: 350

Post: #168225 MKG
Wed Sep 16, 2009 2:04 am

Things like this worry me - even though it's taken me so long to spot it.

Rajendra Pachauri is not in any way "the U.N.'s top climate scientist" - at least, not according to any UN press release I've read. He has held the chair of the IPCC which is, I'm sure, a position of honour and responsibility. Certainly more honour than a blatant attempt at tabloid journalism such as this. Apart from that he has, to the best of my knowledge, no official UN standing. I have no wish to do down Mr. Pachauri or his opinions - but, equally, I have no wish to allow anyone else to ram their opinions of Pachauri's work, rather than Pachauri's own opinions, down my throat.

In the end, reportage such as this does more harm to the cause of saving the planet than any amount of speculative fiction.

"It's clear now that science is powerfully on the side of the 350 target". Emotive rubbish. Clear to whom? Which scientists? I am on the side of a 350 target - much less, actually. I'm sure (i.e. it is my opinion) that so is everyone belonging to this forum. But I'm also sure that I can find quotes from responsible scientists who claim otherwise. I "think" those scientists are wrong, but evidence is a bit more difficult to establish than merely thinking up a gory story.

When we can quote, with no worries about contradictory argument, that evidence - rather than nebulous claims of topness - then we will be in a position to shout out the message. Until then, it's all pie in the sky - fertile ground for the would-be messiahs of this world. PLEASE let's keep our feet firmly grounded. The world is in an increasing mess, and you and I want to do something about it. Creating bandwagons on which to jump is not the way to go.

Let us not manufacture pseudo-scientific clap-trap. We need facts rather than opinions, otherwise the "couldn't care less as long as I'm making money" faction wins hands down - one shakey statement and the argument is lost. It is established that we have a CO2 problem - it is not yet established that we are to blame, nor whether we can effectively tackle the problem. There lie the areas to be attacked, rather than preaching to the converted. And please - let's not create eco-heroes by selectively quoting the words of people who are just doing their jobs to the best of their abilities.
The secret of life is to aim below the head (With thanks to MMM)


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