8 th February, 2007 .
Operation Noah campaigners call on British leaders to lead and on the government to govern – to defend Britain and the whole of God's creation from human-induced climate change.
The leaders of Operation Noah – the climate change campaign of the Churches of Britain and Ireland – have considered the IPCC report: “Climate Change 2007: the physical science basis. Summary for policy-makers” They note the consensus of thousands of scientists that climate warming is unequivocally human-induced.
Operation Noah notes in particular the positive approach in the report: the IPCC's analysis of a range of ‘scenarios' or options that governments and their leaders could pursue. (Pages 13 and 18 of the IPCC report) highlighting the fact that there are policy choices on offer that could limit global warming.
The leader of Operation Noah, David Pickering said:
“The IPCC have warned us – yet again - of the grave threat facing not just our country, but the earth as a whole; not just present generations; but also future generations. But they have also given us hope: they have offered a range of options – and one, that would limit warming to 1.8C - could even now save God's creation from the otherwise inevitable desecration of human-induced climate change.
“But for these policies to be adopted requires leaders to exercise leadership, particularly in the rich world. As Kofi Annan noted recently world leaders display a ‘the frightening lack of leadership' on climate change.
“The IPCC have shown that we have choices, choices that could yet save the planet. Our leaders and government must act to adopt those choices and avoid the grave threat facing the British people, and the world. Politicians must lead as they did when Britain was faced by the threat of war in 1939; and by Hitler's ability to obtain a nuclear weapon.
“In short: we call on our leaders to lead, and our government to govern. In particular we call for the leadership, just governance and right policies that would limit warming to 1.8C.
“As one of the world's richest countries, responsible for exploiting and consuming, over time, a large proportion of the resources of Africa, Asia, the Americas as well as our own, Britain's leaders must now show world leadership in reversing climate change. This will require our nation to lead by example, by localising our economy, cutting back on consumption, cutting airline and car travel; and by making more efficient use of energy from renewable sources.
“Second, Britain 's leaders should launch an intergovernmental initiative and international economic collaboration based on a war economy and rooted in national and international organisations, regulation and justice.
“ That will take courage and leadership. But such leadership is vital if as the IPCC suggests, the right policy choices will reverse the steeply rising curve of carbon emissions. These policy choices will require sacrifices from the British people. The political will, we believe, exists for radical changes in lifestyles, but only within the context of clear leadership and a framework of fairness and justice. Government exists to provide that leadership and framework.”
Notes to editors :
Operation Noah is the Churches' climate-change campaign based at Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI).
CTBI helps the Churches to think, work and pray together and is the official ecumenical body which brings together Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and Pentecostal traditions in England , Ireland , Scotland and Wales .
The IPCC: The Emissions Scenarios
In estimating the likely impact of warming on global surface temperatures up to the year 2100, the Panel has taken 6 possible socio-economic scenarios. These were derived in 2000 from a detailed examination of scenarios in the literature and those adopted reflect alternative images of how the future might unfold in terms of demographics, technological and environmental change, and social and economic development.
All of the scenarios modelled describe futures that are generally more affluent than today, and none of them include policies that explicitly address climate change.
Using these modelling approaches the best estimate for global warming is for an average temperature rise of 1.8C, and the worst is for an average rise of 4C within a range up as high as 6.4C.
The best case scenario takes a world where the population peaks mid-century at 8.7bn and then declines by the end of the century to 7bn; and economic system that changes to become a service and information economy, with reduced material consumption and clean technologies. In this scenario global solutions to achieve sustainability are adopted. The outcome of this scenario shows that even with convergence of per capita incomes around the world at higher levels than today, and hence improved equity, low emissions can be achieved.
The worst case scenario takes a world where the population peaks mid-century and then declines as above; very rapid economic growth that substantially reduces regional differences in per capita income and, despite rapid introduction of new and more efficient technologies, a heavy reliance on fossil fuel intensive technologies.
International responses to Hitler's nuclear threat :
In the face of the threat that Hitler might build a nuclear weapon and use it the allies worked together to assemble 50,000 of the leading scientific, logistical, technical, philosophic and other relevant experts at Los Alamos on the Manhattan project in order to face down this challenge and find a solution before Hitler got there.
The first experiment took place on the morning that first news was received of the 2 million Jews who had perished in Europe with millions more in danger. Two British scientists, Oliphant and Cockcroft travelled to the USA to persuade their colleagues to convey the urgency felt to Roosevelt and a reluctant USA war cabinet. Roosevelt finally reversed direction and agreed to set up the project – once persuaded of the scale of the threat and the steps needed in intergovernmental co-operation to overcome it.