Sunday, April 20, 2008

Our Favourite and only planet

Lifeboat Earth? April 20, 2008 - Imagine if President Bush announced a plan for Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs that declared: They will cease accumulating nuclear weapons by 2025. We will accomplish this through incentives and voluntary action, without mandates.

Mr. Bush would be ridiculed, but in essence, that’s the plan he announced for climate change on Wednesday. He set a target for halting the growth in carbon dioxide emissions by 2025, without specific mandates to achieve that, and in the meantime he blasted proposed Senate legislation for tougher measures as unnecessary
Unnecessary? When scientists detect accelerating melting in the Arctic and confidently predict centuries of coastal retreats and climate shifts, endangering the only planet we have?

Now let me pause for a special request: If you’re a skeptic about climate change, stop reading here.

That’s because the skeptics have mostly made silly arguments — that climate change is a “hoax” — when there is a much better argument available for them: that the remedies favored by environmentalists, like a cap-and-trade system to reduce emissions, probably won’t do the job.

Three respected climate experts made that troubling argument in an important essay in Nature this month, offering a sobering warning that the climate problem is much bigger than anticipated. That’s largely because of increased use of coal in booming Asian economies. More >>>