Monday, June 8, 2009 | 2:03 a.m.
An international consulting firm has come out with a report that urges developed countries to work much harder to avert the worst projected outcomes of climate change.
The report was written by New York-based Dalberg Global Development Advisers and commissioned by the Global Humanitarian Forum, an organization headed by former U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan.
Currently, the report says, 300,000 deaths a year worldwide are directly related to climate change, a number that will grow to 500,000 by 2030 if efforts to drastically cut back on greenhouse gases are not undertaken.
Greenhouse gases, which prevent heat from escaping into space, are created primarily by the burning of coal and oil.
The report also says that today, 325 million people around the world are seriously affected by climate change, a number now projected to double in 20 years. Effects include drought, rising temperatures, melting sea ice, soil-damaging downpours, oceans that are more acidic and increasing populations of disease-spreading insects.
Economic losses from climate change amount to $125 billion a year today and will be $340 billion a year by 2030 unless greenhouse gases are reduced, the report says.
The report is just one of dozens warning of climate change that have been published by reputable organizations. Yet there is hope.
One of the surest ways to encourage change is to make it profitable. A recent Reuters survey of “green collar” workers — those working in renewable energy fields — showed that their average worldwide salary is $76,000 a year. In the United States, the average is $100,000.
We hope word of the survey spreads. What better way to start the drastic move away from fossil fuels that report after report say is so necessary?