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?