No, still not getting it on climate change

To dismiss the implications of climate change based on an error about the rate at which Himalayan glaciers are melting is an act of astonishing intellectual legerdemain. Yet this is what some doubters of climate change are claiming. But the reality is that our understanding of climate change is based on a vast and remarkably sound body of science – and is something we distort and trivialise at our peril.

No, Pachauri is still not getting the point.

The point about climate change is not \”is it happening?\”. It is \”how bad is it going to be?\”.

It is the answer to that second question which determines how much effort we put into stopping/reversing it.

If the entire ecosystem is going to fall over and billions die then quite a lot of effort is justified. If it\’s just going to get a bit warmer and the latitiudes of various temperature bands move a couple of hundred miles north then not much effort is justified.

And the errors found so far in the IPCC reports are all about how bad it\’s going to get. And all those errors are pointing one way: the effects are being over egged. Genuine errors would be pointing both ways, some to worse effects, some to more minor. Thus the suspicion that there\’s a deliberate attempt to make the effects appear worse than they actually are.

That is what the problem is. The IPCC at least gives a damn good appearance of not answering properly the only question we\’re really interested in. How bad is it going to be?

8 comments on “No, still not getting it on climate change

  1. Nearly. The point is, “they lied about this; what else are they lying about?”.

  2. The point at issue is not merely “how bad is it going to be” but more importantly what, if anything, do we need to do about it.
    It is by no means proven that human emissions of CO2 are significantly driving climate change- and if this assumption is in fact in error, then even a carbon free economy would make little or no difference to the climate- but such a thing would on present knowledge, reduce us to hunter gathering, and in the process bring about the deaths of the majority of humans.
    I think we need to be very sure that the effects of human CO2 emissions are significant before we condemn so many to poverty and death.

  3. The very important questions are still what is actually happening and how much of this are humans causing. The third question is what if anything do we need to do about it.

  4. I think that the most annoying thing is that the “sceptics” are being called climate change denyers, I know of no one who denies that the climate changes, it always has done and always will. What I would deny is that man can do anything about it, it is a natural cycle end of! Incidently I am old enough to remember real pollution and the fogs that accompanied it, that was pollution, in spades. But the “Clean Air” act cleaned that up.

  5. “Incidently I am old enough to remember real pollution and the fogs that accompanied it, that was pollution, in spades. But the “Clean Air” act cleaned that up.” Maybe, maybe not. Lomborg says that if you plot pollution versus time, there is no kink in the line when the Clean Air Act came in – it just continues merrily downward at the same rate.

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