Friday, January 04, 2013

Climate Change: is disaster inevitable?

Over on there is a discussion about climate sensitivity. One member points out the general seriousness of the climate change situation (linked with the increase in human population) that we face in coming decades. My response:

Yes. It is a gloomy prospect. In a way, we are all in denial, because if we really accepted the full truth of what you have written (and more) we would all be out on the streets demanding immediate change. But of course most of us have some reason or other not to take radical action - the main reason being that we expect very few others to join us.

Which leaves us with doing our bit to help press the politicians to show some leadership. Which is why we are offering our computers to

The other bit that we can do is to debate with the climate contrarians. And since the argument with serious contrarians, the lukewarmers, now boils down to a  variation in expected Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity, and since there is a substantial overlap which includes the dangerous figure of 2C, the argument is pretty much over. Our task now is to communicate to the media that climatologists and lukewarmers are agreed that serious 2C increase is very much in the offing, and that it is clear therefore that we need to decarbonise the world economy as a matter of urgency.

This represents a tipping point in the mass human consciousness. Once that point is reached, it is possible that change will come sufficiently fast to avert total disaster. Remember the "phoney war" the early months of WWII when nobody really believed it was happening. Once those months had passed, production of Spitfires kicked in at a rate that would have seemed impossible a few months earlier.

I choose to believe that this "flip" from unreality to reality is yet to come in the matter of climate change.

Happy New Year!


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