Sunday, August 06, 2006

International consensus on global warming needed.

I have noticed that big business is starting to take a more vocal position on global warming. And why shouldn't they - climate change will cost them trillions over the next hundred years? This isn't just my opinion, it is also that of Bill Robinson, director of economics at PriceWaterhouse-Coopers: :::[The Independent]

Even if the probability of any one of these things happening [global warming catastrophes] is no more than 5 per cent, and even if future damage is discounted in today's money, the present value of the expected cost to the human race is still measured in trillions of dollars. That is the case for taking action.

In his estimation the best we can hope for is to slow down the rate we put co2 into the air, to buy time so can adapt better. He believes people should pay permits to pollute and that airtravel should endure a fuel tax. I believe he has nailed the way forward:

There is no shortage of viable policies to address the global warming problem. The challenge is to secure an international consensus for implementing them.

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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Pat Robertson sees the light on global warming.

While it is simplistic to suggest that a single weather event like the current heatwave in the United States is the direct result of global warming, this does not seem to have stopped US evangalist and Bush backer, Pat Robertson, becoming a global warming believer: :::[Yahoo! News]

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson said on Thursday the wave of scorching temperatures across the United States had converted him into a believer in global warming.


"We really need to address the burning of fossil fuels," Robertson said on his "700 Club" broadcast. "It is getting hotter, and the icecaps are melting and there is a buildup of carbon dioxide in the air."

With a reach of one million evangelical Christians extending right into Bush's core political base, Robertson's conversion is bad news for him, and good news for the cause. One season of hot weather does not global warming make, but the last 10 certainly do.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

The 4 Stages of Global Warming Denial.

Proving denial isn't a river in Africa, Michael G. Richard at Treehugger steps us through the evolution of a global warming skeptic. The four stages he fingers are:

  1. Global Warming doesn't exist. It's just not happening.
  2. Okay, it's happening, but humans are not causing it.
  3. Okay, humans are causing it, but there's nothing we can do about it, we can't go back to the stone age, it would ruin our economy, it's worse to act than not to act, etc.
  4. Okay, it is possible with technology, efficiency/conservation and smart planning to do something about it, but it's going to hurt the bottom line of "dirty" corporations.

It's wry, smart, well-written and worth a read, if only for the way he avoids taking a disparaging tone with the global warming skeptics without diluting his message. Me? I'm not so kind as I believe there is no skeptical argument I've come across capable of holding up to a reasoned analysis of the case for AGW. But it isn't about being right; to avoid experiencing extreme climate change of the 30% or so of the population who are skeptics have to be won over to the emissions reductions proposition. Disparaging them, even if they are stupid, is not going to achieve that so I dips me lid to Michael G. Richard.

Other posts on global warming denial:
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