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April 08, 2007

Why Politics Ain't Gonna Solve Climate Change

Here's a delightful example of why the bargaining of the political process means we're not going to solve climate change thatta way:

The review led by Sir Nicholas Stern estimated that tackling climate change would cost Britain 1 per cent of its gross domestic product by 2050, but the costs of doing nothing would be five to 20 times greater. Central to his work was stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at 450-550 parts per million. He concluded that any attempt to go lower than 450 ppm 'would require immediate, substantial and rapid cuts in emissions that are likely to be extremely costly' to the economy.

However, the Tory policy group has concluded that the government should aim for a stabilisation range of between 400 and 450ppm, and reached the 80 per cent figure after taking in evidence from leading scientists.

So we've got a piece of expert advice (leave aside any problems you or I may have with it for the moment) and what do the politicians do? Specifically and exactly recommend wht that report recommends not doing. Why do they do this? To gain an electoral advantage by seeming greener than green.

That's just the way politics works. Don't do what's right, don't do what makes sense, do what gives a short term electoral advantage so that the "right people" get the top jobs.

We're doomed I tell you, doomed.

April 8, 2007 in Climate Change | Permalink


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