Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Is the emergency really over ? and are we all going to die ?

...well yes and yes. The dire warnings of famine, floods and inundations, species extinction and civil wars seemed to have lessened somewhat since the alarmists had a cold bath at Copenhagen, and the oranges froze on the trees in Florida. As the rhetoric cools so public attention and concern about devastation and climate change quietly fades away. It just remains now for the alarmists to readjust their rhetoric and their tactics. The first thing that's very clear is that democratic checks and balances have worked (so far) to help prevent draconian and useless carbon regulatory policies. And, with the help of another Republican vote in the Senate (Scott Brown, Massachusetts) the US rush to commit economic suicide may be finally thwarted. However, the interview below shows that although the words have changed, the tune is just the same. Former chief science advisor to the UK government David King once said that last month’s talks in Copenhagen would be the “last chance saloon” for tackling climate change. What does he think now ? and where does he see the negotiations going ?

A sympathetic warmist Olive Heffernan reports.... in your book The Hot Topic, you said that Copenhagen was the “last chance saloon” for avoiding dangerous climate change. Is that still your view? I don’t think the protocol that I would like to see replace Kyoto could possibly have emerged at Copenhagen. The point when I understood that Copenhagen couldn’t deliver on this was when the US cap-and-trade bill got watered down and took a long time going through Congress. And it has yet to be considered by the Senate. Everything, in my view, hinged around the ability of President Obama to deliver at Copenhagen. He couldn’t because he is hostage to his Senate. So I wasn’t expecting any other decision precisely because of [that] position.

What should we be hoping for from the UN conference in Mexico? I’m all for a simplification and a re-examination of the Kyoto Protocol. Global trade is the ultimate objective. We need a single scheme with a single price on carbon dioxide. Gordon Brown’s idea of creating a flow of money of US$100 billion a year by 2020 to poor nations is micromanaging a process that would be much better managed through a trading scheme. I think it’s unrealistic to expect to have cap and trade [among] all developed nations by 2012, but I think this will be more feasible by 2020.
In the meantime I’m fairly certain that we will have a set of parallel processes, with the US, the EU and [others] having their own cap-and-trade systems. I’m very keen to see the EU Emissions Trading Scheme invite some African countries into it, if their emissions are below two tonnes of carbon dioxide per person per annum and they can stay below two tonnes.

How important is US domestic legislation for an international treaty? The US president is creating two approaches to managing the CO2 problem. The alternative to a cap-and-trade bill is for the president to turn to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and regulate CO2 as a pollutant. Much more stringent measures would come through the EPA, and that’s a threat being held over the Senate. For a bill to pass, it has to happen before the November election; after that Obama will face real challenges in getting it through. And there are attempts to block the EPA regulation. The worst-case scenario is that the rest of the world goes it alone without the US.

You gave evidence last week to the UK government on geoengineering. To what extent should we be investigating the potential of geoengineering? I think the focus of research ought to be defossilizing the economy, but we may need to fall back on geoengineering. In terms of regulation, this would need to be addressed at a G20-level meeting, and it’s of such importance that it should be raised to that level. For now, we need to move rapidly towards an international interim ban on the use of aerosols in the atmosphere for geoengineering. Once we’ve opened the door to field trials, we’ll be slipping into larger-scale operations. This is something that needs to be put in the back drawer for 30 years...more here...


MK said...

"It just remains now for the alarmists to readjust their rhetoric and their tactics."

Indeed, they'll never stop telling us that we're evil and bad and that we must be taxed to save ourselves.

Ayrdale said...

As long as the MSM keep on the same tack, you're probably right. The problem for the left is though, the MSM are losing influence to the blogosphere...