The phrase “climate change denier” has a nasty ring to it. It links those who dispute mainstream science on global warming with “Holocaust deniers”. They are not just wrong, it implies, they are evil.
But the climate change lobby is in the grip of its own form of dangerous fantasy. It is in denial not about science – but about international politics.
At the moment, efforts to deal with global warming are focused on a huge international summit in Copenhagen in December. But the chances of Copenhagen delivering a deal that meets the goals for carbon dioxide emissions set by the United Nations Panel on Climate Change is vanishingly small. In private, many climate change activists will admit this. But Copenhagen is the only game in town – so they keep playing.
The first UN agreement on climate change was struck in Rio back in 1992. But in the intervening years, the rate of CO2 emissions has risen steadily – seemingly undeterred by huge emissions of hot air at UN conferences.
It was convenient to blame the lack of international progress on George W. Bush. But it is becoming increasingly apparent that the arrival of Barack Obama in the White House will not be the game-changer that many climate change activists hoped for. The House of Representatives in Washington has passed a bill to limit carbon emissions. But its provisions are so mild that they seem unlikely to make much impact. The climate change lobby hoped that if the US took the lead with new laws, the rest of the world would respond. There is little sign of this.
*I found this article to be on the money, and terribly depressing. I think there is more than a glimmer of truth to this. Doing the right thing - for future generations - will be terribly expensive and politically risky, requiring a level of international agreement that may just be wishful thinking at this point. In an age of massive deficits, economic malaise, special interests lobbying - in most cases, successfully - to retain the current status quo, and a rather alarming level of scientific ignorance, the odds are stacked firmly against the upcoming Copenhagen meeting resulting in any true global breakthroughs. Scientific ignorance? A recent study highlighted 88% of America's professional scientists who believe climate change is real and the planet is warming. By comparison 49% of Americans believe global warming is real. That disparity fills me with confidence. Tomorrow maybe I'll regain some sense of (naive) optimism, but today I'm bummed. The scope of this problem is so big, so reliant on America's best minds coming together (the energy equivalent of America's 1969 moon shot), so dependent on a level of international cooperation - it would be almost impossible to achieve, even if the global economy was rocketing along at breakneck speed!
As it is, I'm increasingly convinced that we will have to adapt. There, I said it. There is probably only so much we can do to mitigate the warming, in spite of good intentions and promising (renewable) technologies. We will have to figure out how to survive, and hopefully thrive in a warmer, stormier world. The thing is, America will be able to do just that. We have the wealth, we have the entrepreneurs to adapt, to build levees and dikes along America's coastline, to develop new, drought-resistant crops, enhanced infrastructure able to withstand more flash flooding....we'll eventually figure it out and adjust.
Unfortunately (and here is where this becomes a moral issue) the nations likely to experience the most horrific symptoms of warming are also the poorest. There will be mass migrations on a scale that have never been seen before - endless searches for clean water and reliable food supplies that may spark riots, civil wars, regional conflict.
The rest of this (thoroughly depressing, but dead-on) article is right here.