Ross Gelbspan, a 30-year veteran journalist, is author of The Heat Is On (1998) and Boiling Point (2004), which contains more detail on his ideas for an energy transition. He maintains the Web site www.heatisonline.org.
Less developed countries are spewing dangerous emissions that will lead to global warming. But it will take money to change that--money that the wealthier, more developed nations are reluctant to spend.
Global warming is now accepted by reputable scientists as a genuine
and severe threat. The ten hottest years on record have all occurred
since 1980, and the five hottest consecutive years began in 1991.
In late 1995, the world's leading 2,500 climate scientists, reporting
to the United Nations, declared that the recent heating of the
atmosphere is caused by carbon emissions from oil and coal combustion,
not by the natural variability of the climate.
This summer's melting of the nine-foot-deep ice cap at the North Pole into a mile-wide lake shocked the public out of its long-standing denial about the reality of global warming. According to new findings released in September by researchers at the National Climatic Data Center, the pace of climate change is accelerating. The world can expect to experience more intense droughts, floods, heat waves, and hurricanes. And in October the World Meteorological Organization said the massive flooding in southern Asia and simultaneous record drought in northern Asia may signal increasingly profound climate change.