Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA)

A&WMA addresses global climate change

To avoid the most catastrophic consequences of global climate change, industrialized nations need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80% by 2050, according to the author of the Air &, Waste Management Association’s (A&,WMA) 38th Annual Critical Review, “Prospects for Future Climate and the Reasons for Early Action”.

Michael MacCracken, chief scientist for climate change programs at the Climate Institute, will present his review and findings on June 25, 2008 at A&,WMA’s 101st Annual Conference &, Exhibition in Portland, OR. “To save the Earth we share, action must be taken urgently,” MacCracken stated. “If we fail to act, we will leave a rapidly changing climate to our children and grandchildren, requiring them to devote substantial resources to adapting to the ever-changing environment.”

MacCracken outlines a broad reaching path that includes developing countries. He suggests that a well designed combination of actions such as increases in energy efficiency, switching to renewables, fission and fusion, and the development of new technologies may well lead to a stabilization of our climate. To achieve stability, MacCracken urges government negotiators to agree on a specific combination of national and international regulations, taxes, permits, and incentives.

He added, “Strong leadership and a firm commitment to move away from carbon emitting technologies are needed to convince businesses and the public to take action.”

The Critical Review will present a historical perspective on the science of climate change, followed by how (1) emissions from human activities, particularly combustion of fossil fuels, are changing atmospheric composition, (2) enhancing the natural greenhouse effect will lead to long-term global warming, (3) climate changes resulting from past activities are already evident and are consistent with human influence, (4) future warming projections are substantial, (5) the environment and society will both be impacted in significant ways, and (6) slowing ongoing change will require substantial reductions in emissions over coming decades to limit anthropogenic interference with the climate system. During the subsequent Critical Review symposium, a panel of experts will debate MacCracken’s findings and provide different perspectives on climate change.

The full Critical Review paper will be published in the June issue of the Journal of the Air &, Waste Management Association, A&,WMA’s flagship publication of peer-reviewed research. The October issue will summarize invited and audience comments presented during the June symposium.

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