As leaders in Copenhagen fumble toward an agreement in the final days of the conference, a leaked U.N. report concluded today that global emissions could exceed a terrifying 550 p.p.m. and temperatures could rise a dangerous 3 degrees Celsius, or more than 5 degrees Fahrenheit. But hey, no pressure, guys...
Hubculture interviewed our Pacific science director, Jeffrey Short, a few days ago. The answers he gives in the interview below are also pretty sobering. Let's hope our persistent messaging on ocean acidification has made an impact as the final hours of the summit approach.
Our team of campaigners arrived in Copenhagen several days ago. Senior campaign director Jackie Savitz sent this first dispatch. Read the rest of the dispatches here. - Emily
On our arrival at "O-dark-thirty" in the morning, we were greeted in the airport by a series of advertisements, but not the kind you may be imagining. These ads featured a lobster, an oyster and a scuba diver, each bearing a similar message. "The price of a lobster in 2050: 350 part per million." The price of the oyster and diving vacation is the same. The meaning may not be entirely obvious, but that's the point. These are ads that Oceana posted in the airport to greet incoming conference attendees.
We took out these ads to let people know that if we don't manage to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million soon, we may not have lobsters, oysters or dive vacations in 2050. Hence, the price of making sure we have those things later this century is the price of achieving that target - leveling off our carbon emissions and then reducing the atmospheric level to 350 parts per million.
How on earth are we going to do that? Well, it's true it won't be easy, and it won't happen by accident. It will take a concerted effort by all of us, individuals and governments, to shift away from the use of fossil, or carbon-based, fuels. We can only do this by developing and putting to use alternative fuels, like wind and solar energy. This is what we mean by "shifting to a clean energy economy."
Tens of thousands of people are expected to travel here to Copenhagen for this United Nations Conference and many of them will come in, just as we did, through the airport. They too will be greeted by the signs. Train riders and some drivers will see the same ads on the Copenhagen metro system and on a large "jumbo board." This is another way Oceana is bringing ocean acidification to Copenhagen in an effort to save the oceans.
Hirshfield says, “The scientific consensus is unless we change how we manage our fish, we’re looking at potential collapses around the world later this century... It might only be a slight exaggeration to say that in 2100, unless we change how we manage our oceans, all we’ll have left is jellyfish.”
Stay tuned for more Copenhagen updates as the conference progresses.