Has Human Society Passed a Tipping Point for Effective Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions?
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Recent publications have indicated that a 2 C increase of global average temperature, once thought acceptable, may involve serious risks (Greg, 2004). A global mean tempurature increase of 4 C would be hotter than any time in the last 30 million years, and this increase could be realized as early as 2060-2070 (Leahy, 2009). The prospects of plans for major, immediate reduction of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions at the climate onference at Copenhagen in December 2009 do not seem likely. A climate bill in the US Congress probably will be weakened by numerous amendments, and China and India are not eager to implement major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Even if the Copenhagen Conference recommends major reductions, they are likely to be fiercely resisted because of present economic conditions. Neither politicians nor citizens seem prepared to make the "sacrifices" needed for rapid reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.