In defending Al Gore and his apocalyptic vision of climate change Mark Lynas makes the following statement:
Hence the need to move the debate from science and towards precaution. It is now very likely that global warming this century will present major challenges to the survival of human civilisation – and to our children\’s and grandchildren\’s lives. If we listen to the deniers, we are taking a very dangerous gamble – a bit like playing Russian roulette with five bullets and only one empty chamber. That\’s not a game I want to play with my kids.
But this is exactly the point at issue: global warming in this current century will not present major challenges to the survival of human civilisation. Thus, actions based on this premise are unwarranted.
If we are to believe the most extreme of the serious analyses (The Stern Review) then climate change will cost 20% of GDP in 2100. And that\’s throwing everything including the kitchen sink in there. And that\’s 20% off an economy that will be 3 times larger than it is now.
This isn\’t the end of civilisation, this is civilisation being not quite as good as it could be. Reactions to this situation should therefore be proportionate, not the emergency crash program which the end of civilisation might require.