Energy

Kofi Annan On Global Warming: ‘The Living Would Envy The Dead’

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Michael Bastasch Contributor
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Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan had a dire warning for future generations if nothing is done to stop global warming. Channeling former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, Annan warned that “the living would envy the dead.”

“I know that if action is not taken immediately to stop and reverse current climate trends, my grandson will live in a world where the average global temperature could be several degrees higher than when I was a child,” Annan told an audience gathered in Paris for the World Summit of Conscience event.

“The result would be suffocating heat waves, severe droughts, disastrous floods, and devastating wildfires. Entire regions would experience catastrophic decline in food production,” Annan said. “Glaciers and ice sheets would disappear leading to rising sea levels, drowning cities such as New York and Venice and small island states.”

“This brings to mind what Nikita Khrushchev once said when reflecting the impact of potential nuclear war, ‘the living would envy the dead,’” he concluded.

Annan’s remarks come during a week of dire warnings about global warming, just months ahead of when U.N. delegates will meet to hash out a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Earlier this week, California Gov. Jerry Brown warned that unchecked global warming could lead to “extinction” if nothing is done to stop it.

“We don’t even know how far we’ve gone, or if we’ve gone over the edge,” Brown said at the Vatican’s climate summit, according to The Sacramento Bee. “There are tipping points, feedback loops, this is not some linear set of problems that we can predict.”

“We have to take measures against an uncertain future which may well be something no one ever wants,” Brown said. “We are talking about extinction. We are talking about climate regimes that have not been seen for tens of millions of years. We’re not there yet, but we’re on our way.”

Summits in Vatican City and Paris come as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released findings that the first half of 2015 was the warmest such period on record, only emboldening environmental activists to clamor for more regulations on fossil fuel use.

NOAA data showing January to June 2015 as the hottest on record, however, does not mention it’s still not as warm as predicted by climate models. The January to June temperature anomaly is still below the average trend predicted by 108 climate models.

Satellite data also shows the world is entering its 22nd year with no statistically significant warming.

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