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International Consensus-Based IPCC Summary For Policymakers (2014)
Downplays Acute Seriousness Of Climate Crisis

By Dr Gideon Polya

12 November, 2014

The international consensus basis of the latest IPCC Summary for Policymakers (2014) has resulted in a report that softens the present acute seriousness of unaddressed man-made climate change. Thus the IPCC Summary argues for a limitation of temperature rise to 2 o C through limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution of the atmosphere to 450 ppm CO2 -equivalent but hard evidence  says that we have already reached 478 ppm CO2 -equivalent, that 2 o C is dangerous and essentially  inevitable, and that the world will use up its Carbon Budget for avoiding 2 o C within about  4 years.  

On 1 November 2014  the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a Synthesis Report Approved Summary for Policymakers for its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The AR5 is a consensus report on the findings of thousands of climate scientists from around the world.  In essence it found that climate change is  man-made and requires urgent action to limit temperature rise to 2 o C, specifically  phasing out fossil fuel burning and its replacement with renewable energy by 2100 [1]. UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon at the  report launch stated:  “Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in the message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side…Please reduce your investments in the coal- and fossil fuel-based economy and [move] to renewable energy” [2].

 The main findings  of the IPCC AR5 are given below as a “Summary of the Summary” via key quotes from the Summary for Policymakers [1] (my emphasis in bold and clarifications in square brackets):

1 . Observed changes and their causes. Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history . Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems. 1.1 Observed changes in the Climate System. Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s , many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and oceans have warmed , the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, and sea level has risen … 1.2 Causes of climate change. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased from the pre-industrial  era, driven largely by economic and population growth., and are now higher than ever. Thus has led to atmosphere concentrations of carbon dioxide [CO 2 ] methane [CH 4 ] and nitrous oxide [N 2 O] that are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Their effects , together with those of other anthropogenic drivers, have been detected throughout the climate system and are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century …  1.3 Impacts of climate change. In recent decades, changes in climate have caused impacts on natural and human systems on all continents and across the oceans. Impacts are due to observed climate change, irrespective  of its cause, indicating the sensitivity  of natural and human systems to changing climate …  1.4. Extreme events.  Changes in many extreme weather  and climate events [heat waves, drought, hurricanes, floods] have been observed since the 1950s. Some of these changes have been linked to human influences, including a decrease in cold temperature extremes, an increase in warm temperature extremes, an increase in extreme high sea levels and an increase in the number of heavy precipitation events in a number of regions …

2.1. Key drivers of future climate. Cumulative emissions of CO 2 largely determine global mean surface warming by the late 21st century and beyond. Projections of greenhouse gas emissions vary over a wide range, depending upon both social-economic development and  climate policy… The “Representative Concentration Pathways” (RCPs) which are used for making projections based on these factors describe  four different 21st century pathways of greenhouse gas emissions and atmospheric concentrations, air pollutant emissions and land use. The RCPs include a stringent mitigation scenario (RCP2.6), two intermediate scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP6.0), and one scenario with very high greenhouse gas emissions (RCP8.5). Scenarios without additional efforts to constrain emissions  (“baseline scenarios”) lead to pathways ranging between RCP6.0 and RCP8.5. RCP2.6 is representative of a scenario that aims to keep global warming likely below 2 o C above pre-industrial temperatures… Multi-model results show that limiting  total human –induced warming to less than 2 o C relative to the period 1861-1880 with a probability  of >66% would require cumulative CO 2 emissions from all anthropogenic sources since 1870 to remain below about 2900 Gt CO 2 (with a range of 2550-3150 Gt CO 2 depending on non- CO 2 drivers). About 1900 Gt CO 2 had already been emitted by 2011 [ leaving a post-2011 1000 Gt CO 2 Carbon Budget ]…

2.2 Projected changes in the climate system. Surface temperature is projected to rise over the 21st century under all assessed emission scenarios. It is very likely that heat waves will occur more often and last longer, and that extreme precipitation events will become more intense and frequent in many regions. The ocean will continue to warm and acidify [already a 0.1 pH unit drop or a 26% increase in acidity], and global mean sea level to rise [plus 20 cm since 1900]…    2.3 Future risks and impacts caused by a changing climate. Climate change will amplify existing  risk and create new risks for natural and humans systems. Risks are unevenly distributed and are generally greater for disadvantaged people and communities in countries at all levels of development… 2.4 Climate change beyond 2100, irreversibility and abrupt changes. Many aspects of climate change and associated impacts will continue for centuries, even if anthropogenic  emissions of greenhouse gases are stopped. The risks of abrupt irreversible  changes increase as the magnitude of the warming increases. Warming will continue beyond 2100 under all RCP scenarios except for RCP2.6. Surface temperatures will remain approximately  constant at elevated levels for many centuries  after complete cessation of net anthropogenic CO 2 emissions  A large fraction of anthropogenic climate change resulting from CO 2 emissions is irreversible on a multi-century to millennial time scale, except in the case of a large net removal of CO 2 from the atmosphere over a sustained period …

3.4 Characteristics of mitigation pathways. There are multiple mitigation pathways that are likely to limit warming to below 2 o C relative to pre-industrial levels. These pathways would require substantial emissions reductions over the next few decades and near zero emissions of CO 2 and other long-lived GHGs by the end of the century. Implementing such reductions poses substantial technological, economic, social, ands institutional challenges, which increase with delays in  additional mitigation and if key technologies are not available. Limiting warming to lower or higher levels involves similar challenges, but on different time scales. Without additional efforts to reduce GHG emissions beyond those in place today, global emissions growth is likely to persist, driven by growth in global population and economic activities. Global mean surface temperature increases in 2100 in baseline scenarios – those without additional mitigation – range from 3.7 o C   to 4.8 o C above the average for 1860-1900 for a median climate response. They range from 2.5 o C to 7.7 o C when including climate uncertainty (5th to 9th percentile range)”…

4.4 Emissions ranges for baseline scenarios and mitigation scenarios that limit greenhouse gas concentrations to low levels (about 450 ppm CO 2 -eq, likely to limit warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels) are shown for different sectors and gases in Figure SPM.14. Key measures to achieve such mitigation goals include decarbonizing (i.e., reducing the carbon intensity of) electricity generation (medium evidence, high agreement) as well as efficiency enhancements and behavioral changes, in order to reduce energy demand compared to baseline scenarios without compromising development (robust evidence, high agreement). In scenarios [RP2.6] reaching 450 ppm CO 2 -eq concentrations by 2100, global CO 2 emissions from the energy supply sector are projected to decline over the next decade and are characterized by reductions of 90% or more  below 2010 levels between 2040 and 2070. In the majority of low - concentration stabilization scenarios (about 450 to about 500 ppm CO2-eq, at least  as likely as not to limit warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels), the share of low - carbon electricity supply (comprising renewable energy (RE), nuclear and CCS [as yet notional carbon capture and storage] , including BECCS) increases from the current share of approximately 30% to more than 80% by 2050, and fossil fuel power generation without CCS is phased out almost entirely by 2100.”

Below is a critique of the consensus-based IPCC AR5 Summary for Policymakers -  it may be too late to avoid a disastrous 2 o C temperature rise.

The IPCC Summary for  Policymakers proposes some concrete targets to avoid a disastrous 2 o C temperature rise, specifically  (a) a post-2011 1000 Gt CO 2 Carbon Budget that must not be exceeded if we are to have a >66% chance of avoiding a 2 o C temperature rise (this depending on non- CO 2 drivers such as methane, CH4). This is consonant  with the German WBGU which estimated a post-2010 Carbon Budget  of 600 Gt CO2 for a 75% chance of avoiding a 2 o C temperature rise [3] (it is vitally important to ask how many years have we left before the Carbon Budget is exceeded given current rates of GHG pollution); and (b) we must “ limit greenhouse gas concentrations to low levels (about 450 ppm CO 2 -eq, likely to limit warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels)” [1].

1. The World has only 3.5 years at present rates before it exceeds the terminal CO 2 -e Carbon Budget. of 600 Gt CO 2 -e.  

In 2009 World Bank analysts used an estimate of a Global Warming Potential (GWP) of 72 for CH4 relative to CO 2 (1) on a 20 year time frame to re-assess the contribution of livestock to man-made GHG pollution as over 32.564 Gt CO 2 -e/year of which 5.047 Gt CO 2 -e/year is due to undercounted methane. This re-assessment lifts the annual GHG pollution from 41.744 Gt CO 2 -e to 63.803 Gt CO 2 -e. Assuming that live-stock-related GHG pollution increases in direct proportion to energy-related CO 2 emissions, one can estimate that the world will reach 551.738 Gt CO 2 -e in 2017 and 624.363 Gt CO 2 -e in 2018 i.e. the World has 5.8 years at present rates before it exceeds the terminal CO 2 -e budget. However one can re-assess the World Bank re-assessment by consider that CH 4 has a GWP relative to CO 2 of 105. This re-assessment indicates that the World will reach 573.167 Gt CO 2 -e in 2017 and 648.547 Gt CO 2 -e in 2018 i.e. the World has only 3.5 years at present rates before it exceeds the terminal CO 2 -e Carbon Budget of 600 Gt CO 2 -e  [4].

2. Projected Arctic albedo flip and methane release from the East Siberian Arctic sea bed in coming decades will exceed the terminal  Carbon Budget 9-fold.

These dire predictions  ignore the realities of (a) the loss of 75% of Arctic summer sea ice that Professor Peter Wadhams (90-Nobel –Laureate University Cambridge) says may be all gone by as soon as 2015 [5],  with a consequent greatly decreased albedo (light reflectivity) increase global warming (the so-called “albedo flip') , and (b) estimates that 50 Gt CH 4 will be released from the East Siberian Arctic Sea bed in coming decades (this is equivalent to 50 billion tonnes CH 4 x 105 tonnes  CO 2 -equivalent/tonne CH 4 = 5,250 tonnes CO 2 -e or about nine (9) times more than the world's terminal greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution budget of 600 Gt CO 2 [6, 7].

3. The world is already committed to a warming of 2.4°C.

V. Ramanathan  and Y. Feng ( Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego ) conclude that the world is already committed to a warming of 2.4°C: “The observed increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) since the preindustrial era has most likely committed the world to a warming of 2.4°C (1.4°C to 4.3°C) above the preindustrial surface temperatures. The committed warming is inferred from the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates of the greenhouse forcing and climate sensitivity. The estimated warming of 2.4°C is the equilibrium warming above preindustrial temperatures that the world will observe even if GHG concentrations are held fixed at their 2005 concentration levels but without any other anthropogenic forcing such as the cooling effect of aerosols. The range of 1.4°C to 4.3°C in the committed warming overlaps and surpasses the currently perceived threshold range of 1°C to 3°C for dangerous anthropogenic interference with many of the climate-tipping elements such as the summer arctic sea ice, Himalayan–Tibetan glaciers, and the Greenland Ice Sheet. IPCC models suggest that ˜25% (0.6°C) of the committed warming has been realized as of now. About 90% or more of the rest of the committed warming of 1.6°C will unfold during the 21st century, determined by the rate of the unmasking of the aerosol cooling effect by air pollution abatement laws and by the rate of release of the GHGs-forcing stored in the oceans. The accompanying sea-level rise can continue for more than several centuries. Lastly, even the most aggressive CO 2 mitigation steps as envisioned now can only limit further additions to the committed warming, but not reduce the already committed GHGs warming of 2.4°C” [8].  

4. Massive decarbonization in excess of 6% per year is required for  stabilization at or below 650 ppmv CO 2 (i.e. approx. 4°C).

Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows ( Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Mechanical, Civil and Aerospace Engineering, 25-Nobel-Laureate University of Manchester ) give this bleak assessment: “ Given any meaningful global emission caps, the implications of this for the industrialized nations are bleak. Even atmospheric stabilization at 650 ppmv CO 2 e demands the majority of OECD nations begin to make draconian emission reductions within a decade. Such a situation is unprecedented for economically prosperous nations. Unless economic growth can be reconciled with unprecedented rates of decarbonization (in excess of 6% per year), it is difficult to envisage anything other than a planned economic recession being compatible with stabilization at or below 650 ppmv CO 2 [(i.e. approx. 4°C]” [9].

5. Little chance to keep under 2 ° C which “ represents the threshold between “dangerous” and “extremely dangerous” climate ”.

Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows state that 2 ° C “ represents the threshold between ‘dangerous' and ‘extremely dangerous' climate ” : “ The Copenhagen Accord reiterates the international community's commitment to ‘hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius'. Yet its preferred focus on global emission peak dates and longer-term reduction targets, without recourse to cumulative emission budgets, belies seriously the scale and scope of mitigation necessary to meet such a commitment… analysis suggests that despite high-level statements to the contrary, there is now little to no chance of maintaining the global mean surface temperature at or below 2 ° C. Moreover, the impacts associated with 2 ° C have been revised upwards, sufficiently so that 2 ° C now more appropriately represents the threshold between ‘dangerous' and ‘extremely dangerous' climate ” [10]. 

6. 2°C would be disastrous – at 2 °C Earth would be headed back toward equilibrium Pliocene-like conditions (sea level about 25 m higher than today).

James Hansen and Makiko Sato (NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and 101-Nobel-Laureate Columbia University's Earth Institute, New York) state that 2°C would be disastrous: “Global temperature in the early Pliocene [5.3-2.6 Myr ago] , when sea level was about 25 m higher than today (Dowsett et al., 1994), was only about 1°C warmer than peak Holocene temperature, thus 1-2°C warmer than recent (pre-industrial) Holocene [12,000 years ago to the present]…

 The most substantial political effort to place a limit on global warming has been the European Union's target to keep global temperature from exceeding the preindustrial level by more than 2°C (European Union, 2008). This goal was later reaffirmed (European Union, 2010) and it was endorsed by a group of Nobel Laureates in the Stockholm Memo (2011). However, based on evidence presented in this paper a target of 2°C is not safe or appropriate. Global warming of 2°C would  make Earth much warmer than in the Eemian, when sea level was 4-6 meters higher than today. Indeed, with global warming of 2 °C Earth would be headed back toward Pliocene-like conditions. Conceivably a 2°C target is based partly on a perception of what is politically realistic,  rather than a statement of pure science. In any event, our science analysis suggests that such a target is not only unwise, but likely a disaster scenario. Detailed consideration of targets is beyond the scope of this paper, but we note that our present study is consistent with the "target CO 2 " analysis of Hansen et al. (2008). Those authors argued that atmospheric CO 2 should be rolled back from its present ~390 ppm at least to the level of approximately 350 ppm. With other climate forcings held fixed, CO 2 at 350 ppm would  restore the planet's energy balance and keep human-made global warming less than 1°C” [11].  

7. “A large fraction of anthropogenic climate change resulting from CO 2 emissions is irreversible on a multi-century to millennial time scale, except in the case of a large net removal of CO 2 from the atmosphere” (IPCC) but to less than 350 ppm CO 2 or circa 300 ppm CO 2 .

 The IPCC states that “Surface temperatures will remain approximately  constant at elevated levels for many centuries  after complete cessation of net anthropogenic CO 2 emissions  A large fraction of anthropogenic climate change resulting from CO 2 emissions is irreversible on a multi-century to millennial time scale, except in the case of a large net removal of CO 2 from the atmosphere over a sustained period” [1].     Numerous climate scientists, biologists and climate activists say that for a safe planet for all peoples and all species we must return atmospheric CO 2 to the 300 ppm CO 2 that had not been exceeded in the last 1 million years until after the Industrial  Revolution (it is currently 400 ppm CO 2 and increasing at 2.5 ppm CO 2 every year) [12]. Net removal of CO 2 from the atmosphere can be achieved by (1) anaerobic pyrolytic generation of  biochar from photosynthetically-derived agricultural and forestry cellulosic  waste and (2) generation of bicarbonate from passing CO 2 through a sea water slurry of limestone (calcium carbonate). However the maximum annual biochar  generation from existing  waste is about 12 Gt C per year. To get  back to a pre-industrial atmospheric CO 2 concentration of about 300 ppm CO2 via biochar generation would require removing the half of the 700- 750 GtC in atmosphere due to historical carbon burning, a process that would take 60 years [12-14].

8. “ About 450 ppm CO 2 -eq, likely to limit warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels” (IPCC) but 478 ppm CO 2 -eq was already attained by 2013.

Dr Ron Prinn ( Professor of Atmospheric Science in 83-Nobel-Laureate MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences,  Director of MIT's Center for Global Change Science (CGCS),  Co-Director of MIT's Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change (JPSPGC), and who studies the chemical evolution of atmospheres):  “What's not appreciated is that there are a whole lot of other greenhouse gases (GHGs) that have fundamentally changed the composition of our atmosphere since pre-industrial times: methane, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons. The screen of your laptop is probably manufactured in Taiwan , Japan , and Eastern China by a process that releases nitrogen trifluoride—release of 1 ton of nitrogen trifluoride is equivalent to 16,800 tons of CO 2 . But there is a fix to that—the contaminated air in the factory could be incinerated to destroy the nitrogen trifluoride before it's released into the environment. Many of these other gases are increasing percentage-wise faster than CO 2 . In the Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE), we continuously measure  over 40 of these other GHGs in real time over the globe. If you convert these other GHGs into their equivalent amounts of CO 2 that will have the same effect on climate, and add them to the NOAA measurements of CO 2 , you find that we are actually at 478 ppm of CO 2 equivalents right now. In fact, we passed the 400 ppm back in about 1985. So, 478 not 400 is the real number to watch. That's the number people should be talking about when it comes to climate change” [15].

9. Historical Carbon Debt.

Scrupulously avoided by the consensus-based IPCC AR5 Summary for Policymakers is the politically charged matter of the historical and steadily increasing Carbon Debt of individual countries. The Historical  Carbon Debt for all countries  in the world can be roughly determined through estimation of  percentage of the  global responsibility for 346 Gt C (1,270 Gt CO2) of fossil fuel-derived CO 2 pollution between 1751 and 2006 and thence expressed in US dollars at $100 per tonne CO 2 sequestered as biochar:  $127 trillion (the World),  $40.480 trillion (EU),  $36.377 trillion (US),  $10.845 trillion (China), $5.156 trillion (Japan), $8.731 trillion (Germany); $3.369 trillion (France), $7.938 trillion (UK),  $1.041 trillion (Brazil), $9.788 trillion (Russia),  $3.196 trillion  (Italy), $3.307 trillion (India), $2.052 trillion (Canada), $2.052 trillion (Australia), $1.241 trillion (Indonesia),   $0.943 trillion  (Pakistan), $0.896 trillion (Nigeria),  $0.813 (Bangladesh) and $0.272 trillion  (South Africa) [16] .

10. Mounting Carbon Debt.

Dr Chris Hope of 90-Nobel-Laureate Cambridge University has estimated  a damage-related Carbon Price of $150 per tonne CO 2 -equivalent  [17]. The Carbon Debt cost for future generations to restore a safe planet for  all peoples and all species - by reducing atmospheric CO 2 concentration from the current dangerous and deadly 400 ppm CO 2 to the previous safe 300 ppm CO 2 maximum for the pre-Industrial Revolution last 1 million years  - is now estimated to be 350 Gt C x (3.67 Gt CO 2 /Gt C) x $150 per tonne CO 2 = $192 trillion and increasing by about $10 trillion each year [18]. This Carbon Debt is real – it represents the cost of reversing the damage done to the planet through GHG pollution since the start of the Industrial  Revolution.

11. Years left to zero emissions by country.

The 2010-2050  Carbon Budget of  600 Gt CO 2 in emissions must not be exceeded for a 75% chance of avoiding 2 degree C temperature rise ( would you board a plane if it had a 25% chance of crashing?) The average world population in the period 2010 and 2050 will be 8.321 billion. Accordingly the per capita share of this terminal CO2 pollution budget is less than 600 billion tonnes CO 2 /8.321 billion people = less than 72.1 tonnes CO 2 per person. Using data for the annual per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) (including land use change) for every country in the world in 2000 one can determine how many years left at current rates of GHG pollution (in units of CO 2 -e or CO 2 -equivalent i.e. taking other GHGs into account) before a given country uses up its “share”. Thus for Australia 72.1 tonnes CO 2 -e per person / 25.9 tonnes CO 2 - per person per year in 2000 = 2.8 years left relative to 2010, based on the 2000 data (note that this analysis does not take into account historical pollution of the atmosphere).

The following  countries have already by 2014 used up their “fair share” of the Carbon Budget  and are now stealing the entitlement of other countries (years left to zero emissions in parentheses):  Belize (-3.2 years i.e. minus 3.2 years to zero emissions), Qatar (-3.7), Guyana (-3.6), Malaysia (-3.1), United Arab Emirates (-2.0), Kuwait (-1.6), Papua New Guinea (-1.5), Brunei (-1.2), Australia (-1.2 ; -2.9 if including its huge GHG Exports), Antigua & Barbuda (-2.2), Zambia (-1.1), Canada (-1.0), Bahrain (-1.0), United States (-0.9), Trinidad & Tobago (-0.7), Luxembourg (-0.6), Panama (3-0.3), New Zealand (-0.3), Estonia (0.0). In contrast, countries with over 50 years left at current rates before they use up their “fair share” of the world's Carbon Budget include Solomon Islands (61.5 years), Vietnam (61.5), Cape Verde (61.5), Niger (61.5), Ethiopia (61.5), São Tomé and Príncipe (68.1), Afghanistan (76.1), The Gambia (76.1), Bangladesh (76.1), Comoros (99.0), and Kiribati (116.2) [19]. One notes that the world leading annual  per capita GHG pollution countries of Australia, the US and Canada, having all  used up their “fair shares” of the world's Carbon Budget,  are running up a huge additional Carbon Debt each year (e.g. climate criminal and climate debtor Australia's Carbon Debt that it owes to the international community is about A$1.7 trillion and is increasing by about A$300 billion annually) [20].

12. Presently 7 million  air pollution deaths annually and 10 billion will  die in a 21st century climate genocide from unaddressed man-made climate change.

Although the IPCC referred to dire consequences of man-made climate change it did not provide estimates of  avoidable mortality associated with unaddressed man-made climate change. About 7 million people already die annually from air pollution (mostly due to carbon burning). DARA estimated  that 5 million people die each year from carbon burning (4.5 million) and climate change (0.5 million) with a total of 100 million dying thus by 2030 [21, 22].  Leading climate scientists Dr James Lovelock (Fellow of the 281-Nobel-Laureate Royal Society) and Professor  Kevin Anderson (25-Nobel-Laureate University of Manchester )  have estimated that only 0.5 billion people will survive unaddressed climate change this century. Noting that the world population is expected to reach 9.5 billion by 2050 (UN Population Division) , these estimates translate to a climate genocide involving deaths of 10 billion people this century, this including roughly twice the present population of particular mainly non-European groups, specifically 6 billion under-5 year old infants, 3 billion Muslims in a terminal Muslim Holocaust, 2 billion Indians, 1.3 billion non-Arab Africans, 0.5 billion Bengalis, 0.3 billion Pakistanis and 0.3 billion Bangladeshis. [23] i.e. an average of 100 million people dying thus each year this century as compared to the current 17 million annual avoidable deaths from deprivation in the Developing World [24].


In November 2014 the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  released an Approved Summary for Policymakers that summarized  the major findings of the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report (AR5).  The  IPCC reports are based on the work of thousands of scientists but are ultimately edited through national scientific input to yield consensus documents. Thus, for example, it has been  reported that   China unsuccessfully sought to have reference to a Carbon Budget removed from the IPCC Summary for Policymakers [25]. The Carbon Budget item remained in the final document but the IPCC's final consensus statement on the Carbon Budget has been trenchantly criticized [26].

The IPCC Summary for Policymakers is a very important document but, as summarized above, the international consensus approach has resulted in a report that softens the acute seriousness of the situation. Thus the IPCC Summary argues for a limitation of temperature rise to 2 ° C through limiting greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution of the atmosphere to 450 ppm CO 2 -equivalent but hard evidence  says that we have already reached 478 ppm CO 2 -equivalent, that 2 ° C is dangerous and essentially  inevitable, and that the World will use up its Carbon Budget for avoiding 2 ° C within about  4 years.  

The bottom line is that the world  is badly  running out of time to deal with man-made climate change. Sensible people around the world must (a) make themselves informed about the science and science-informed actions [1, 7, 12, 13, 18, 23, 27-34], (b) inform everyone they can , and (c) adopt a hard, non-consensualist, no-compromise, zero tolerance approach towards the terracidal,  neoliberal,  corporatist climate criminals by urging  and applying  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against all the people,  politicians, parties, countries, companies and corporations waging this terminal War on Terra.


[1]. The IPCC, “Climate Change 2014 Synthesis Report, Approved Summary for Policy Makers”, 1 November 2014: http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/SYR_AR5_SPM.pdf .

[2]. Damian Carrington, “IPCC: rapid carbon emissions cuts vital to stop severe impact of climate change”, The Guardian, 3 November 2014: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/nov/02/rapid-carbon-emission-cuts-severe-impact-climate-change-ipcc-report .

[3]. WBGU, “Solving the climate dilemma: the budget approach”: http://www.ecoequity.org/2009/10/solving-the-climate-dilemma-the-budget-approach/ .

[4].  Gideon Polya,  " Doha climate change inaction. Only 5 years left to act", MWC News, 9 December 2012: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/23373-gideonpolya-climate-change.html .

[5]. Professor Peter Wadhams quoted in Julia Horton, “Arctic sea ice will vanish within three years, says expert ”, Scotsman, 29 August 2012: http://www.scotsman.com/news/environment/arctic-sea-ice-will-vanish-within-three-years-says-expert-1-2493681

[6].  Gail Whiteman, Chris Hope and Peter Wadhams, “Vast costs of Arctic change”, Nature, 499, 25 July 2013: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v499/n7459/pdf/499401a.pdf  and http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v499/n7459/full/499401a.html .  

[7].  “Are we doomed?”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/are-we-doomed .

[8]. V. Ramanathan  and Y. Feng, “On avoiding dangerous interference with the climate system: formidable challenges ahead”, PNAS, 17 September 2008: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2008/09/16/0803838105.abstract .  

[9]. Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows “ Reframing the climate change challenge in light of post-2000 emission trends”, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A (2008) 366, 3863–3882: http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/366/1882/3863.full.pdf  .

[10]. see Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows, “ Beyond ‘dangerous' climate change: emission scenarios for a new world”, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 13 January 2011 vol. 369 no. 1934 20-44: http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1934/20.full%E2%80%8E  .

[11].  James E. Hansen and Makiko Sato, “Paleoclimate implications for human-made climate change”: http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1105/1105.0968.pdf  .

[12]. “300.org – return atmosphere CO2 to 300 ppm”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/300-org---return-atmosphere-co2-to-300-ppm .

[13].  “2011 climate change course”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/2011-climate-change-course .

[14]. Gideon Polya, “Forest biomass-derived Biochar can profitably reduce global warming and bushfire risk”, Yarra Valley Climate Action Group: http://sites.google.com/site/yarravalleyclimateactiongroup/forest-biomass-derived-biochar-can-profitably-reduce-global-warming-and-bushfire-risk .

[15]. Ron Prinn, “400 ppm CO2? Add other GHGs and its equivalent to 478 ppm”, Oceans at MIT, 6 June 2013: http://oceans.mit.edu/featured-stories/5-questions-mits-ron-prinn-400-ppm-threshold .

[16]. Gideon Polya, “Analysis by Country of Fossil Fuel Burning-based Carbon Debt and Carbon Credit”, Carbon Debt Carbon Credit: https://sites.google.com/site/carbondebtcarboncredit/analysis-by-country .

[17]. Dr Chris Hope, “How high should climate change taxes be?”, Working Paper Series, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, 9.2011: http://www.jbs.cam.ac.uk/media/assets/wp1109.pdf .

[18]. “Climate Justice & Intergenerational Equity”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/climate-justice .

[19]. Gideon Polya, “Years left for zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for all countries relative to 2010”, Carbon Debt Carbon Credit: https://sites.google.com/site/carbondebtcarboncredit/years-left .

[20]. Gideon Polya, “Current Carbon Debt or Carbon Credit for all countries:  Australia , Canada and US default on Carbon Debt”, Countercurrents, 4 October, 2013: http://www.countercurrents.org/polya041013.htm .

[21]. DARA, “Climate Vulnerability Monitor. A guide to the cold calculus of a hot planet”, 2012, Executive Summary pp2-3: http://daraint.org/climate-vulnerability-monitor/climate-vulnerability-monitor-2012/ .

[22]. DARA report quoted by Reuters, ”100 mln to die by 2030 if world fails to act on climate”, 28 September 2012: http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/09/26/climate-inaction-idINDEE88P05P20120926 .

[23]. “Climate Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/climategenocide/ .

[24]. Gideon Polya, “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” that includes  an avoidable mortality-related history of every country since Neolithic times and is now available for free perusal on the web: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com.au/ .

[25]. Sophie Yeo, “ China unhappy about “carbon budget” reference in IPCC review”, Global Climate Change News & Analysis, 31 January 2014: http://www.rtcc.org/2014/01/31/china-unhappy-with-carbon-budget-reference-in-ipcc-review/ .

[26]. David Spratt, “Confused about the new IPCC's carbon budget? So am I”, Climate Code Red, 17 October 2013: http://www.climatecodered.org/2013/10/confused-about-new-ipccs-carbon-budget.html .

[27].  “Carbon Debt Carbon Credit”: https://sites.google.com/site/carbondebtcarboncredit / .

[28]. “Cut carbon emissions 80% by 2020”: https://sites.google.com/site/cutcarbonemissions80by2020/ .

[29]. “100% renewable energy by 2020”: https://sites.google.com/site/100renewableenergyby2020/ .

[30]. “Gas is not clean energy”: https://sites.google.com/site/gasisnotcleanenergy/ .

[31].   “Biofuel Genocide”: https://sites.google.com/site/biofuelgenocide/ .

[32]. “Divest from fossil fuels”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/divest-from-fossil-fuels .

[33].  “Stop climate crime”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/stop-climate-crime .

[34].  “Nuclear weapons ban , end poverty & reverse climate change”: https://sites.google.com/site/300orgsite/nuclear-weapons-ban

Dr Gideon Polya has been teaching science students at a major Australian university for 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text "Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds" (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/rn/science/ockham/stories/s1445960.htm ) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: http://mwcnews.net/focus/analysis/4047-the-plight-of-the-palestinians.html ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/ ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine ). When words fail one can say it in pictures - for images of Gideon Polya's huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/ .




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