"I have heard three kinds of argument claiming that it is not necessary to combat climate change," Sir Nicholas told a conference in Paris on Friday."
Myth 1: The scientist are wrong about global warming
The assessment by the IPCC said global warming was almost certainly caused by humans, and carbon pollution disgorged this century would disrupt the climate system for a thousand years.
"After the report of the IPCC [UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] released today, this position is untenable," the former World Bank chief economist said."
Myth 2: We needn't change because Science (clean-coal, saviour technology) will save us
The familiar logic of the favourite rationalisation of the adolescent smoker, that advances in medicine will save them from cancer in time, is recruited to carry this argument by such esteemed notables as our own prime minister, John Winston Howard. It's ironic that such science-defying thinking can place such faith in future science.
"That is an irresponsible position, because it does not take into account the real risks linked to a very high rise in temperatures, for example in the case of a world where temperatures rise by five or six degrees.", said Sir Nicholas. Five or six degrees Celsius is nine to 10.8 Fahrenheit.
Myth 3: Global warming is not our problem - it's a long way away
This is similar to the related 'global warming as plant fertiliser' myth that increased carbon dioxide will fuel increased crop growth. It also feeds myth 2.
Myth Busted: Global warming is
Those who dismissed the consequences of global warming as a remote, long-term problem were "indefensible from an ethical point of view," he said.
In a report commissioned by the British government last year, Stern warned that without urgent action, the fallout of climate change could be on the scale of the two world wars and the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Singling out current and rising economic powerhouses the United States, China and India, he said the world must be prepared to pay now -- in the form of green taxes or emissions trading schemes -- to prevent economic disaster.
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