The Earth Observer
The Kyoto Earth Summit recently ended, amid substantial disagreement over current and future global change, and their significance to humankind. The core of the problem is that many global leaders are unconvinced that significant global change is now occurring. Further, there is insufficient confidence in the accuracy of global-scale computer models that project future changes to initiate the political and economic re-directions that would be required to alleviate the problem. As was first said years ago, we are conducting the first global-scale biogeochemistry experiment, the outcome of which is not known, and which could severely impact the habitability of the planet. Conversely, any meaningful reduction in fossil fuel consumption will require the redirection of trillions of dollars of the world economy. The decision to embark on a serious redirection of world energy consumption is, along with population control, possibly the most fundamental global policy of the next century.
© 1998 NASA
Running, S. W. (1998). A Blueprint for Improved Global Change Monitoring of the Terrestrial Biosphere. The Earth Observer, 10, 8-13.