The New York Times: Invites My Opinion on IPCC Fifth Assessment


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It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change, it has been said of the theory of natural selection. We should mimic  color chugging reptiles

The New York Times

The Developing World Must Act Too

Rajendra Shende is chairman of the Terre Policy Centrer in Pune, India, and was formerly the head of the United Nations stratospheric ozone protection program.

It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change, it hasbeen said of the theory of natural selection.

Responding to the frightening level of climate change will require choices about the nature of risks from rising sea levels and temperature. The area most vulnerable to climate change, the U.N. report makes clear, is the tropics. That’s where most of the developing countries and poor people are located, though these poor people have done nothing to cause the problems they face.

Crops and practices must be adapted for less water and higher temperatures. Pollutants like black carbon and methane can be cut.

Developing countries have to undertake climate-resilient agriculture — adapting to seeds, crops and practices for the higher temperatures and less water. As yields decrease, crops must be found that provide the same or better nutrients even with lower production.

Building climate-resilient societies while deploying low-carbon technologies would mitigate the effects while adapting to change.

Even before we see long-term reductions in carbon dioxide, developing countries can begin immediately reducing what are called short-lived climate pollutants, such as the black carbon from the open burning of biomass for cooking, methane from waste and hydroflurocarbons from energy inefficient air conditioners. Short lived climate pollutants provide fast relief, something that could partly compensate for the delayed action.

A number of recent studies have concluded that cutting these pollutants can prevent a significant amount of additional warming in this century. It has the potential to avoid up to 0.6 degrees Celsius in global average warming by 2050. By the end of the century, it could avoid as much as 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, comparable to an aggressive mitigation effort for carbon dioxide.

These reductions should be undertaken, not in isolation, but in conjunction with cutting carbon dioxide emissions.
Developing countries will need substantial financial and technology assistance from developed countries, to the extent of $100 billion per year.

Even beyond the effect on warming, reducing short-lived climate pollutants has other health benefits. Air pollution from sources like black carbon causes 7 million deaths every year, according to the World Health Organization.

We can’t act like sitting ducks, or birds migrating to a better place. We need to mimic the reptile that changes color to camouflage against threats, as surroundings change.

But time is a precious commodity in this exercise. See Original article :



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