Skip to comments.The Economist has a climate change of heart
Posted on 03/31/2013 11:02:37 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
The Economist has been pretty reliable about beating the climate-alarmist drum for years on end now, often peddling the urgent need for an overarching global climate treaty to combat the threat. In a piece this week, however, the British publication took a much more moderate approach and hashed out some of the different studies suggesting that the planet actually might not be quite as sensitive to changes in carbon dioxide levels as the global-warming scaremongers have long been insisting.
OVER the past 15 years air temperatures at the Earths surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar. The world added roughly 100 billion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere between 2000 and 2010. That is about a quarter of all the CO₂ put there by humanity since 1750. And yet, as James Hansen, the head of NASAs Goddard Institute for Space Studies, observes, the five-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade.
Temperatures fluctuate over short periods, but this lack of new warming is a surprise. Ed Hawkins, of the University of Reading, in Britain, points out that surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range of projections derived from 20 climate models (see chart 1). If they remain flat, they will fall outside the models range within a few years.
If, however, temperatures are likely to rise by only 2°C in response to a doubling of carbon emissions (and if the likelihood of a 6°C increase is trivial), the calculation might change. Perhaps the world should seek to adjust to (rather than stop) the greenhouse-gas splurge. There is no point buying earthquake insurance if you do not live in an earthquake zone. In this case more adaptation rather than more mitigation might be the right policy at the margin.
None of this is to say that climate change is a fantasy the planet is not and never has been a stable place and that we dont have real environmental problems that we need to consider and address. But are we hurtling toward imminent, irreversible catastrophe directly because of humanitys prosperous machinations, and we need to voluntarily undertake measures to cut back on our economic growth post-haste? It definitely sounds like theyre cooling their jets on that one.
Which, really, is a much smarter approach. Eco-radicals seem to think that hysterical doomsaying is the only way to rouse people to action, yet somehow, we have miraculously managed to roll right by past every one of their apocalyptic benchmarks (global cooling, peak oil, famine and drought, rising oceans, etcetera), and it isnt really helping their case. Being a little more honest and a little less emotional about the science, the range of possibilities, and how much we still dont know rather than excommunicating any dissenters as heretics is probably a much better way to recruit people to your cause in the long run.
The Graphs....I have no text to explain beyond what is in the Graphs:
Further proof of global cooling. We don’t need to fear this as long as the government pays me a few billion to do some research.
Yup; looks as if the only thing keeping us from the next ice age is good ol’ CO2! That’ll make heads spin!
Solar activity and the North Atlantic tectonics suggests that the North Hemisphere is heading for colder climate in the approaching decades
The Economist’s softening on this issue is welcome. Hell will have completely frozen over when Scientific American stops beating the AGW drum at full volume.
I’ll just keep going back to China.
Even if we had a Cambodia-type government (of late 1970s fame) that concluded that the country was overpopulated and thus went on to EXTERMINATE almost half of their population (a long-term liberal dream here, although they don’t say it that way - rather they complain about “overpopulation”, to this day), CHINA will still make up our 50% reduction, in about 5 years, at their current growth rate. And then, for good measure, other countries, like India, Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, etc. will AGAIN make up for our reduction.
Whether we like it or not, this time we CANNOT SAVE THE WORLD, like we did in World War 2. This issue is now BEYOND OUR BORDERS.
So, even if the leftists are right, which they aren’t, WE CANNOT STOP GREENHOUSE GASSES, short of glassifying the entire Third World.
I thought it was Brawndo...it's got Electrolytes, it's what plants crave.
Your plants eat better than I do. :^(
The UK has had several sub normal winters now. So much that they have to start hedging their bets.
Would be really nice if they went by science instead of politics! Maybe too much to ask?
The Economist is fine for “CIA World Factbook” type stuff - annual GDP of Kyrgyzstan etc. but can be relied on to be 100% wrong on all big-picture issues.
The Economist editorial board have been among the “guilty men” on The Common Market (EEC), The Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), European Monetary Union (EMU), Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) and many others.
They just can’t get their heads around TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms).
They are NOT interested in negotiating anything....they just continue to push the PROPAGANDA!