OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA & PRESIDENT HU JINTAO
January 19, 2011
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20003
Dear President Barack Obama & President Hu Jintao:
Governments are doing business as usual. Despite the science being incontrovertible, it is time for them to publicly acknowledge how fossil fuels threaten civilization.
The destruction of natural support systems has led to the demise of all civilizations, including ours. With an increasing sense of dread over the fate of future generations, we urge you to prioritize climate stabilization on your policy agendas in order to acknowledge the severity of the global climate emergency.
NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies have tallied 2010 with 2005 as the hottest year recorded. According to the Global Historical Climatology Network, 2010 was also the wettest year on record for global precipitation, with devastating consequences all over the world. Approximately 150,000 people die each year because of the warming climate, according to estimates from the World Health Organization. As well as these issues, we have the following:
- Heat waves that cause crops to wither
- Water levels are rising 23 feet due to the melting Greenland ice sheet
- Tropical rainforests are being converted into carbon emitters by fires
- The threat of ocean acidification to the seafood industry
- There are hundreds of millions of people who are at risk of food insecurity as a result of melting glaciers in the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau during the dry season
- An increase in the number of climate refugees caused by ever-deadlier storms
- It is predicted that by the middle of the century, 1/5 of all species will go extinct
As we blindly approach critical climate “tipping points,” things are set to get worse, much worse. Nature tells us time is running out, but we cannot see the clock. A wartime-like mobilization by the United States and China to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2020 is a key component of the solution. To reduce carbon emissions to 350 parts per million in the atmosphere, a level top climate scientists believe is safe for humanity, we must do this. In order to demonstrate presidential leadership, it is necessary to live up to our children’s expectations. Our respective governments fail to act every day, and their future becomes increasingly perilous. Your response is much needed.
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