Saturday, October 4, 2008

'Tenfold R&D rise needed for climate change'

Telegraph (UK): Climate change could cause global conflicts as large as the two World Wars which will last for centuries unless it is controlled, a leading defence think tank has warned. The Royal United Services Institute said a tenfold increase in research spending, comparable to the amount spent on the Apollo space programme, will be needed if the world is to avoid the worst effects of changing temperatures.

However the group said the world's response to the threats posed by climate change, such as rising sea levels and migration, had so far been "slow and inadequate," because nations had failed to prepare for the worst-case scenario. "We're preparing for a car bomb, not for 9/11," said Nick Mabey, author of the report which comes after Lord Stern, who compiled an economic assessment of climate change for the Government, said last week that he had underestimated the possible economic consequences.

Mr Mabey, a former senior member of the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit who is now chief executive of the environmental group E3G, said leading economies should be preparing for what would happen if climate change turned out to be running at the top of the temperature range scientists are predicting. He said the Apollo programme cost the United States £10bn a year (at 2002 prices), nearly 10 times more than the current spending on energy research.

The equivalent scaling-up of research and development needed to be undertaken by every major country to prepare for the eventuality that the climate would reach a "tipping point" where warming and sea level rise began to accelerate, he said….

Earth rise seen from Apollo 10, NASA

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