Surprise! The poor will suffer most!

Read the entire article on the WTOP news web site, HERE.

“Climate Report: Poor Will Suffer Most
Apr 6th – 10:18am

By ARTHUR MAX Associated Press Writer
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) – The world faces increased hunger and water shortages in the poorest countries, massive floods and avalanches in Asia, and species extinction unless nations adapt to climate change and halt its progress, according to a report approved Friday by an international conference on global warming.

Agreement came after an all-night session during which key sections were deleted from the draft and scientists angrily confronted government negotiators who they feared were watering down their findings.

“It has been a complex exercise,” said Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Several scientists objected to the editing of the final draft by government negotiators but, in the end, agreed to compromises. However, some scientists vowed never to take part in the process again.

Five days of negotiations reached a climax when the delegates removed parts of a key chart highlighting devastating effects of climate change that kick in with every rise of 1.8 degrees, and in a tussle over the level of scientific reliability attached to key statements.

There was little doubt about the science, which was based on 29,000 sets of data, much of it collected in the last five years. “For the first time we are not just arm-waving with models,” Martin Perry, who conducted the grueling negotiations, told reporters.

The United States, China and Saudi Arabia raised many of the objections to the phrasing, often seeking to tone down the certainty of some of the more dire projections.

The final IPCC report is the clearest and most comprehensive scientific statement to date on the impact of global warming mainly caused by man-induced carbon dioxide pollution.

“The poorest of the poor in the world _ and this includes poor people in prosperous societies _ are going to be the worst hit,” Pachauri said. “People who are poor are least able to adapt to climate change.”

The report said up to 30 percent of species face an increased risk of vanishing if global temperatures rise 3.6 degrees above the average in the 1980s and 1990s.

Areas in drought will become even more dry, adding to the risks of hunger and disease, it said. The world will face heightened threats of flooding, severe storms and the erosion of coastlines.
“This is a glimpse into an apocalyptic future,” the Greenpeace environmental group said of the final report.

Without action to curb carbon emissions, man’s livable habitat will shrink starkly, said Stephen Schneider, a Stanford scientist who was one of the authors. “Don’t be poor in a hot country, don’t live in hurricane alley, watch out about being on the coasts or in the Arctic, and it’s a bad idea to be on high mountains with glaciers melting.”

“We can fix this,” by investing a small part of the world’s economic growth rate, said Schneider. “It’s trillions of dollars, but it’s a very trivial thing.””

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