photo: Derek Baird via flickr
Calling climate change a fundamental threat to mankind and urging world leaders to basically get their collective act together and reach a strong post-Kyoto agreement in Copenhagen this December, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon got into the spreading a little bit of doom-and-gloom spirit. Reuters reports than Ban went on to say that failure to act would bring mass social unrest:
If we fail to act, climate change will intensify droughts, floods and other natural disasters. Water shortages will affect hundreds of millions of people. Malnutrition will engulf large parts of the developing world. Tensions will worsen. Social unrest--even violence--could follow.
Are You Scared? You're Not Scared Enough
Lest you think Ban's scare tactics are unjustified, a growing number of reports indicate that climate change is a genuine threat to national security, throughout the globe, and will make poverty reduction all the more difficult. Ban didn't even go into the effect on food supplies.
And that's just the direct effect on humans, never mind the indirect effects from loss of biodiversity, loss of ecosystem services, etc.
Worst-Case Scenarios Are Happening Now
Polls show that while about 40% of Americans think the media exaggerate the effects of climate change, further research continually shows that things are in fact much worse than we had thought -- the worst-case scenarios of just a few years ago are in fact happening.
Global Climate Change
Worst-Case IPCC Climate Change Trajectories Are Being Realized
G8 Nations 'Clearly Ignored' Our Recommendations on Emissions Reductions: IPCC Chairman
UN Secretary General Rebukes G8 Nations for Weak Climate Change Commitments