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My Friends,

Why do you think all of a sudden everyone is talking about climate change? Have all the damages been done and we are trying to control the last few remaining rainforests in the world?

Has America deeveloped enough ad is now trying to tell China that China should control the level of development it had achieved?

I just want to know your views. Many Pacific Islands have been badly affected by rising sea levels. What would be the cause of sea levels rising. Is it because of melting ice or is it because of countries like UAE (Emirates) trying to reclaim the sea and that sea is causing havoc elsewhere because it can not escape into outer space?

My friends, I would love to read your responses.

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Hi Eric and everyone,
Thought-energizing topic you're raising...I'm only 7 years into this climate change-business, but I'd like to share my view and hear what others have to say. I agree that climate change now is a common conversation topic. And it is now referred to in meadia as "the present or ongoing" climate change, not "the coming" climate change, as in 2002.

I think it is a snowball effect. In the 1960s most people talked about nuclear winter and the next ice age. But some scientists measured CO2 and linked it to temperature. At that time there were still few long-term meteorological observations and satellite data to check that global temperature was changing, and it took time to link all indicies. Scientists were gradually becoming convinced about global warming and its causes. Between 1985 and 1988 (mainly atmospheric) scientists handed climate change over to UN and WMO, and formed IPCC, and it suddenly became politics. As well. Computers and the internet gradually came into most western people's workplace and homes from around time (that's what helps creating the snowball).

After the IPCC-reports, increasingly more reports in media and popular science books, people have started to pay attention to weather -and weather isn't climate, so people watch weather and decide whether they should believe it or not. In fact, many cultures talk about weather as an invitation to conversation, and many cultures still make a living of climate (and weather), so of course it is easy to have an opinion about it. And the older we get, we can relate to how it was when we were young, or how places we went to as kids have changed (we believe this a climatic perspective). Recently there have been temperature and rain records all over Europe, flooodings in Asia, meanwhile slowly increasing water levels and changing glacier fronts... Then it's just to determine whether it is natural variations (I'm not guilty so I don't have to change whatever I do) or human induced (I am contributing to this and have to change whatever I do).

The good thing is that this also shows that the voices of small island states and indigeous people have increased considerably, as well as global awareness. It shows the power of getting organised around a common problem. At the same time it illustrates how small and desperate those fragile environments are compared to the cement pillars who say it's natural.

The sad things, in my opinion, are 1) that there is too much political negotiation. It's the same with cigarettes: - Yes we know you get cancer, but we can't prohibit you to smoke.. or allow portions of x cigarettes/person.. 2) the holistic links between climate and environment are still missing. So now everybody is doing something "for climate" but forget about the environmental hazards we are creating - and the social and environmental benefits that would follow with reduced poisonous compounds and pollution.

I think it is unproductive to suggest conspiracy theories if they are not substantiated. On a national level China appears to me more climate concerned than the US, on local and regional (implementation) level it may be the contrary. The important thing is that the message gets across and that people who are prepared to something environmentalfriendly feel free to do so without additional costs.

The post-Kyoto negotiators are problably influenced by lobbyists from all imaginable stake holders, and hardly the ones to suffer first of any climate change impact. Wouldn't it be interesting to see what convetions and regulations would be negotiated if Conference of Parties-negotiators had been just grassroot women and men..?!

All the best,
Elisabeth
Facts around climate change are now indisputable .The real challenge for all is to find ways to achieve major GHG reductions in a relatively short time. Very little has been done so far -- most countries are increasing emissions dramatically such as China and India. There is a tough road ahead.
"Rich nations should be absolved from the need to cut emissions if they pay developing countries to do it on their behalf, a senior UN official has said."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6957328.stm

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