El clima cambiante sobre el cambio climático

Parece ser que el mensaje finalmente prendió: el calentamiento global representa una amenaza seria para nuestro planeta. En el reciente Foro Económico Mundial de Davos, los líderes mundiales vieron cómo el cambio climático, por primera vez, encabezaba la lista de las preocupaciones globales.

Europa y Japón mostraron su compromiso para reducir el calentamiento global al imponerse costos a sí mismos y a sus productores, inclusive si esto los coloca en una posición de desventaja competitiva. El mayor obstáculo hasta ahora ha sido Estados Unidos. La administración Clinton había instado a una acción audaz allá por 1993, al proponer lo que en efecto era un impuesto a las emisiones de carbono. Pero una alianza de contaminadores, liderados por las industrias del carbón, del petróleo y automotriz, repelieron esta iniciativa.

Para la comunidad científica, la evidencia del cambio climático, obviamente, ha sido abrumadora desde hace más de una década y media. Yo participé en la segunda evaluación de la evidencia científica realizada por el Panel Intergubernamental sobre Cambio Climático, que tal vez cometió un error crítico: subestimar el ritmo con que se producía el calentamiento global. La Cuarta Evaluación, que acaba de darse a conocer, confirma la creciente evidencia y convicción de que el calentamiento global es el resultado del incremento de los gases de efecto invernadero en la atmósfera.

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