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June 8, 2005

Joint Statement on Climate Change by Science Academies WorldWide

-- by Thomas Leavitt

The Environment News Service reports that the ultimate "reality-based community" (the global scientific community) has made an emphatic and unified statement on global warming.

The quote below is an excerpt from a joint statement by the national academies of science of the G8 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States) and Brazil, China and India (the three largest developing nations).

"The scientific understanding of climate change is now sufficiently clear to justify nations taking prompt action. ... Failure to implement significant reductions in net greenhouse gas emissions now, will make the job much harder in the future."

The joint statement is particularly significant, because this is the first time the United States' National Academy of Science has signed on to a joint statement and made specific policy recommendations - this further undermines the Bush Administration's contention that "significant and fundamental" uncertainities (link points to NY Times article re: edits made to government reports on climate change by former oil industry lobbyist working for Bush Administration), along with a lack of consensus among the scientific community, still remain.

Opening text and link to full statement enclosed below.

INSIGHTS: Joint Science Academies’ Global Response to Climate Change
WASHINGTON, DC, June 7, 2005 (ENS) - The national academies of Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States issued this joint statement today. They include all the G8 countries plus Brazil, China and India, the three largest developing nations.
Climate change is real
There will always be uncertainty in understanding a system as complex as the world’s climate. However there is now strong evidence that significant global warming is occurring1. The evidence comes from direct measurements of rising surface air temperatures and subsurface ocean temperatures and from phenomena such as increases in average global sea levels, retreating glaciers, and changes to many physical and biological systems. It is likely that most of the warming in recent decades can be attributed to human activities (IPCC 2001)2. This warming has already led to changes in the Earth's climate.

[... continued at URL above ...]

... according to The Guardian (UK):

One source close to the negotiations called the support of the US National Academy of Sciences "unprecedented".
In 2001 the US academy declined to sign a similar joint statement because it was preparing its own report on the issue for the Bush administration.
In a separate 1992 report it concluded: "Despite the great uncertainties, greenhouse warming is a potential threat sufficient to justify action now," but until now it has stopped short of making specific policy recommendations.

... the inclusion of the National Academy of Science (U.S.) in this statement is significant, because it removes the last wisp of scientific credibility from the Bush Administration's claim that no consensus exists that climate change is real.

Of course, this only applies to those of us living in the "reality-based community", but still - this is a significant event. People are persuaded by the weight of evidence and opinion, and this statement is a powerful tool that can be used to batter down the last bastions of resistance and denial in the corporate world and the global political establishment (read "the Republican Party").

Posted by Thomas Leavitt at June 8, 2005 11:40 AM

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Comments

You know what really puzzles me Thomas? That those people who challenge the facts on climate change, i.e. lobbyists for the polluting industries, are still regularly heard on Australian radio and TV without having their ties to same industries exposed.

Posted by: Helga Fremlin at June 8, 2005 1:53 PM

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