WORLD leaders are meeting in Italy and high on the agenda is climate change, in particular the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Today’s declaration to reduce emissions by 50 percent globally by 2050 is aspiration. I say this because if it were imperative the timeframe would be a bit more meaningful.
Indeed few of today’s leaders will still be alive in 2050 and none of them will be in power.
So what will the world be like in 2050 and will this target have been achieved?
I am going to be my usual optimistic self and suggest that the target will be achieved and that earth won’t have experienced a climate crisis in the meantime. But I hesitate to predict whether the average global temperature will be slightly warmer or cooler in 2050 than it is now in 2009.
Global warming will still be an issue, but not the key issue that it is now. Indeed I suspect it might still be on the agenda at meetings of world leaders, but their declarations on this issue won’t make the evening news.
Sometime in between now and 2050 there will be praise for President Barrack Obama for supporting a nuclear future for the world. Following the US President’s leadership, Julia Gillard, one of the longest reigning Australia Prime Ministers, will support a nuclear future for Australia.
The history books will claim that carbon trading was a useful first step towards avoiding the climate crisis, but that it was new nuclear technologies that eventually solved the problem and averted the crisis.
Al Gore will have had a huge statue built to his memory in London. But Beijing will, by 2050, be the financial capital of the world.
In Australia most people will be vegan and taking iron supplements. There will be no whaling, no zoos and the right to ride a horse will be under threat because of concerns about cruelty. Indeed there will be a need for permits for horse riding and rules about horse to rider weight ratios. There will be tough regulations for cat owners and following a severe bird flu pandemic backyard chickens banned.
The big environmental issue will be population. China, now the super power, will have imposed a one child policy on the rest of the world. But the most contentious issue won’t be the one child policy, but whether we have a right to live beyond say 100 years old and the extent to which ‘life extensions’, possible because of medical break throughs, should be subsidized by government.
We will still use oil, especially to make plastics, but the world will be primarily powered by uranium.
I will be 87 years old – fit, happy and still blogging.
Notes and Links
World leaders, including US President Barrack Obama, are meeting in L’Aquila, Italy, and climate change is a priority agenda item:
“The struggle against climate changes is one of the Italian Presidency’s priorities on the G8 Agenda. It is necessary to define a global response in which the leadership and commitment of the industrially advanced countries is paralleled by an active contribution from the emerging and developing countries on the basis of a balanced sharing of responsibilities. In that sense, the L’Aquila G8 Summit, which will also be hosting the first ever meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) at leadership level, is going to be a vital step in paving the way for the success of the United Nations Conference in Copenhagen next December.”
And today the leaders declared:
“We reaffirm the importance of the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and notably of its Fourth Assessment Report, which constitutes the most comprehensive assessment of the science. We recognise the broad scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels ought not to exceed 2°C. Because this global challenge can only be met by a global response, we reiterate our willingness to share with all countries the goal of achieving at least a 50% reduction of global emissions by 2050…
Around the world carbon trading is emerging as an integral part of capitalism:
The photograph was taken by Neil Hewett, from Cooper Creek Wilderness, earlier this year at Matilda Way, Queensland, Australia.