Posted by: r.m. | June 2, 2011

Suicidal (and homicidal) sleepwalking

Two powerful pieces of information, neither which is uplifting

(1) Climate  likely to increase by 4 degrees C and not 2 degrees C by 2100.

“Greenhouse gas emissions increased by a record amount last year, to the highest carbon output in history, putting hopes of holding global warming to safe levels all but out of reach, according to unpublished estimates from the International Energy Agency.

The shock rise means the goal of preventing a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius – which scientists say is the threshold for potentially “dangerous climate change” – is likely to be just “a nice Utopia”, according to Fatih Birol, chief economist of the IEA. It also shows the most serious global recession for 80 years has had only a minimal effect on emissions, contrary to some predictions.

Professor Lord Stern of the London School of Economics, the author of the influential Stern Report into the economics of climate change for the Treasury in 2006, warned that if the pattern continued, the results would be dire. “These figures indicate that [emissions] are now close to being back on a ‘business as usual’ path. According to the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s] projections, such a path … would mean around a 50% chance of a rise in global average temperature of more than 4C by 2100,” he said.

[Source: here – Guardian, May 29, 2011]

(2) Dramatic increase in prices of staple foods by 2030

“The average price of staple foods will more than double in the next 20 years, leading to an unprecedented reversal in human development, Oxfam has warned.

The world’s poorest people, who spend up to 80% of their income offood, will be hit hardest according to the charity. It said the world is entering an era of permanent food crisis, which is likely to be accompanied by political unrest and will require radical reform of the international food system.

A devastating combination of factors – climate change, depleting natural resources, a global scramble for land and water, the rush to turn food into biofuels, a growing global population, and changing diets – have created the conditions for an increase in deep poverty.

“We are sleepwalking towards an age of avoidable crisis,” Oxfam’s chief executive, Barbara Stocking, said. “One in seven people on the planet go hungry every day despite the fact that the world is capable of feeding everyone. The food system must be overhauled.”

Source: here, Guardian, May 31, 2011]


  1. The newly discovered information of a 4 C rise is extremely alarming in the first section of the article. In the second section however, this sentence caught my attention:” It said the world is entering an era of permanent food crisis, which is likely to be accompanied by political unrest “. It makes you think about how all this will affect Lebanon as it is already suffering from political unrest with 28% of its people considered poor and 8% unable to meet their basic food requirments. These percentages will definitely rise along with the percentages of illetracy and unemployment. ‘“We are sleepwalking towards an age of avoidable crisis” ‘, we should all wake up to avoid the avoidable…

  2. I think the title don’t fit the text ,we are not sleepwalkers we are definitely aware of all the consequences but we are just covering our eyes.Such consequences don’t need only awareness, we should take actions! we can’t help digging our own grave. It seems we are helpless and it’s getting worse especially for those poor people. If we can’t decrease our CO2 emissions then at least provide food for the hungry people.

  3. It’s really sadful to read such articles, but this is reality and we can not escape it.
    As for my opnion towards these issues, i would like to stress on the following statement in the second article: ” One in seven people on the planet go hungry every day despite the fact that the world is capable of feeding everyone .” Now this is absolutely scary! Do you know why ? Because it is soooo true. Starting with myself, if i just gather the amount of food i throw everyday, i would be able to feed a family daily 😦
    Unfortunately, humans are selfish by nature, they only bother to feed their needs on the account of others and the environment.
    In brief humans must start thinking beyong thier needs!

  4. Climate change is not of surprise to anyone for every one has noticed the drastic increase in temperature and the change in the weather. Not to mention that new studies show that the climate in Lebanon has taken a huge twist for we have two seasons now instead of four . This serious change requires a rapid interference from the governments, NGOs…to decrease carbon emissions and decrease consequently global warming.

    Concerning the second part of the article, I think that the problem is not only by the increasing prices of food, but also by the inadequate distribution of food. This is proved by the presence of obese people in certain countries and hungry ones in other countries. If only equal distribution occurs then no one would die from obesity neither from poverty and hunger. Many lives would be saved by focusing on this issue!!!

  5. i think Dangerous climate change depends on how fast the planet is warming up, not just how hot it gets. The speed as well as the size of the temperature rise is crucial too, as faster rates of global warming could outpace the ability of human civilisation and the natural world to adapt.
    as for the second part of the article i think that as long as powerful countries are controling the worlds economy and resources, their will be no fair distribution of goods and food among the world’s population. these countries control the prices of food and tend to raise them continuously seeking more gain, this will affect severely populations of third wolrd countries which will consequently suffer from hunger and poverty.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: