Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What Are We Waiting For?

The science on climate change is clear. Climate change is a fact. The new report from the IPCC comes out in 2013-2014, and unfortunately it will probably only reinforce the knowledge that already exists. The goal of limiting global temperature rise to a maximum of 2 ° C must be taken seriously.

As a Norwegian, I am proud that Norway is a leader in the fields of environment and development, but now we must take the lead on behalf of our children and grandchildren when it comes to climate. Otherwise what is the inheritance we leave behind? A pile of oil money that has little value when the weather is at its worst, with the consequent damage to nature, and people being displaced by floods, forest fires, droughts, and other disasters.

I live in Colorado and have particularly noticed the changes this summer, with over 10 forest fires. This is not crying wolf - this is ‘the wolf’ in the form of natural disasters on an unknown scale, all as a result of our failure to change course in time.

We have a small window of time to act now, but the fear of losing votes paralyzes politicians worldwide. Only cowardly politicians act against better knowledge. Now we need courage and fearlessness from politicians who are not just thinking of their own careers.

People must demand that politicians change course and immediately focus on renewable energy and other measures to reduce emissions of CO2. Living in denial is a disservice to ourselves that our children and grandchildren will not appreciate.

We must show the world that it is possible to manage an economy that is not dependent on oil, in spite of a higher cost in the initial phase. Germany has an energy consumption that is 70 percent renewable – Brazil as well. They are not perfect, but they demonstrate that the technology is there. We must demand that oil companies begin the process of replacing oil and gas with renewable energy.

We are committed to this if we are to take seriously the climate agreement that was "taken note of" in Copenhagen and then adopted at Cancun, Mexico in 2010, with the goal of limiting global temperature rise to a maximum of two degrees.

Adjunct Professor at DU Law

J.S.D., Columbia University, School of Law, New York (1999)
LL.M., Columbia University, School of Law (1988)
Law Degree, University of Oslo, Norway (1985)
Agronomist Degree, Agricultural Academy, Oslo, Norway (1978)

Dr. Halvorssen will be teaching a weekend course,