"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fight global warming even if it's untrue

I quite like this line of argument, that was published in a letter to the Sunday Telegraph from Cafod. Of course, the sceptics were out in force the next week, but it makes sense to me. 

Fight global warming even if it's untrue

SIR – The longer I work on climate change, the less important I think it is whether or not the warmists or the sceptics are right. This may seem a rash statement, but hear me out. Just imagine a future where the majority of the world's climate scientists are proved wrong and global warming does not occur at the rates predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

If we hadn't listened to them, we might enjoy the satisfaction of saying "told you so", but we'd still be living in a pretty miserable world. That world might not be much warmer but, my goodness, it would be beset by a host of other serious environmental issues: diminishing water resources, rampant deforestation, massive soil erosion, uncontrollable urbanisation and the frightening loss of biodiversity.

Peoples lives would be threatened and whole ecosystems destroyed because we hadn't bothered to address the causes of this environmental degradation under a global economic system that, in its current state, can only grow if nature dies.

Now imagine a world where we had listened to the climate scientists and started to change our resource-consuming behaviour and address the inequities of the global economic system. Although the warming still didn't materialise, we would have addressed a host of environmental issues and be living a largely pollution-free existence.

We may even be saying thank you to the climate scientists who, although they got it wrong, provided us the opportunity to create a cleaner, brighter and fairer world.

Dr Mike Edwards, CAFOD

And I think they should go ahead with the Severn barrage!


Tom said...

Interesting - I really agree with this, and for wider reasons that he says. For instance, the incredible expansion of car use has made many of our cities and towns wretched. I was looking at some old photos of Stoke Newington from 100 years ago and it was amazing how graceful and jolly all the streets looked without any cars on them. If we massively reduced cars in the name of global warming, our lives would be far happier, even aside from any environmental impacts.

Alas, however, I fear that articles like this will only confirm suspicions of the sceptic nutters that climate change is some kind of socialist conspiracy.

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