Global Humanitarian Forum Report: Global Warming Crisis Reaching "Catastrophic" Level
A few days ago, we posted an article about the significant number of Americans who continue to deny the validity of global warming. The article generated a number of comments from individuals on both sides of the issue. A key element of the debate centered on whether or not there is "overwhelming evidence" supporting global warming.
A new report from the Global Humanitarian Forum can now be added to the overwhelming evidence (and yes, it's overwhelming, despite what the conspiracy theorists say) in support of the notion that global warming is very real and very worrisome. In fact, the report includes calculations that highlight just how serious the climate change crisis currently is and how bad it may get. The figures are staggering, to say the least
Over 45 million people are currently being negatively affected by global warming and as many as 300 million are vulnerable. These figures could double by the year 2030, according to the report. Currently, 300,000 people die every year as the result of climate change.
The vast majority (99 percent) of these deaths occur in developing nations, where the agricultural systems are unable to adjust to a warmer, dryer climate. Even a change of only a few degrees can mean that far less food can be grown, which drives up prices and leaves many unable to feed their families. The sad irony of this situation is that the developing nations who are most affected in such a scenario are currently contributing less than 1 percent of all global carbon emissions – it's the affluent, energy-consuming nations who have thrust them into this predicament.
"Climate change is the greatest emerging humanitarian challenge of our time, causing suffering to hundreds of millions of people worldwide," said Kofi Annan (former U.N. Secretary-General and the current president of the Global Humanitarian Forum).
Annan warned that the world would fall deeper into crisis if the United Nations' member states cannot reach a "global, effective, fair and binding" plan to stop climate change at the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference (scheduled to take place in Copenhagen, Denmark in December).
The Global Humanitarian Forum estimates that it will take a large injection of money (perhaps 100 times more than is currently being allocated) from established nations (in other words, the nations that are causing global warming) to assist developing nations in adapting to climate change.