September 04, 2006
Now Here’s a Surprise
Anyone shocked by this?
The Kyoto agreement to cut greenhouse emissions is "ineffectual" and
the world should prepare for the effects of climate change, the
nation's biggest general science meeting will be told tonight.
"Adaptation policies have had far less attention than mitigation, and that is a mistake," says Miss Cairncross. "We need to think now about policies that prepare for a hotter, drier world."
As no one is meeting their Kyoto targets, of course it’s not having much effect. As even if they did it would delay the warming by 6 years after a century, no Kyoto is not the answer.
Mitigation, adaptation are.
Despite the arguments about the mix between renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels, the bottom line is that, "with present technologies, no combination of existing energy sources can conceivably bring about the reductions in energy use that we need, or at least, not without a disruption that is politically unimaginable".
Quite, despite the protestations of the various eco-fascists who would see us return to a (never existent) nirvana of Morrisite localism, people simply will not put up with the decline in living standards that would entail.
Looks like Lomborg was right then. Climate change is happening, Kyoto is not the answer. Develop new technologies, yes, adapt and prepare, yes, and note that the world which will actually have to deal with it, a century and more into the future, will be much richer than the one we have now and thus more resilient (please note that the warming models are in fact predicated on the idea that the world in a century will be much richer. If economic growth stops so that it is not then the warming will be less than currently predicted).
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Where's the incentive to develop new technologies if emitting CO2 has no cost? If you believe CO2 contributes to climate change and climate change will have costs, then you must believe it is mispriced.
Posted by: Matthew | Sep 4, 2006 8:37:02 AM
Looks like Lomborg was right then. Climate change is happening, Kyoto is not the answer.
Don't expect concerned lefties to stop bashing him though. Being right makes him even worse in their eyes.
Posted by: EU Serf | Sep 4, 2006 9:47:25 AM
Of course, by the time these new technologies have been developed and adopted all over the world (given the lack of incentives Matthew points to due to, er, that whole market failure thing), the effects of global warming will be that much worse.
I'd feel a lot better about this if Tim and other fans of the "hey, let's do nothing" approach were in favour of those of us who did the most to cause global warming but will probably suffer least from it compensating those who did least but who will suffer most. But for some reason that doesn't seem to be a priority ...
Tim adds: As I’ve had occassion to state here before, I have in fact done something. I (personally, it came out of my pay) supported research into a certain form of fuel cell. Good and useful research too, which solved a specific problem. Come back when you’ve spent $1,500 of your money on doing something similar.
No, advocating spending $1,500 of someone else’s doesn’t count.
Posted by: Jim | Sep 4, 2006 12:58:57 PM
That's great, but not really relevant to what I was talking about, which was direct monetary compensation from those who have benefitted from contributing to global warming to those who have lost and will lose from it - for example, people in Tuvalu, Bangladesh, African pastoral farmers, etc.
Posted by: Jim | Sep 4, 2006 1:26:07 PM
I guess that would be other peoples money then.
Posted by: chris | Sep 4, 2006 3:04:17 PM
Mitigation has the beauty that it mitigates whether the world is getting warmer by natural causes or by virtue of mankind's original sin.
Posted by: dearieme | Sep 4, 2006 3:29:14 PM
… adapt and prepare …
By the end of this century the population of the earth will be less than one-tenth what it is today, and the process of getting there from here will not be nice. It hardly matters if people are unwilling to accept reduced living standards in the name of environmentalism - what we're actually facing is worldwide mass starvation as the oil economy judders to a halt. You adapt, I'll prepare, but we're both doomed.
Posted by: eco-worrier | Sep 4, 2006 6:32:09 PM
"I guess that would be other people's money then"
You catch on fast.
Posted by: Jim | Sep 4, 2006 7:26:58 PM
Well, you are always welcome to join -
Posted by: Chris harper | Sep 5, 2006 12:59:32 AM