According to a poll of top climate scientists attending a conference last month in Copenhagen, the world will not succeed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in what James Hansen likes to call "A Different Planet." According to The Guardian:
could still be achieved but only 18 thought that it would be. By the
end of the century, most thought average temperatures would rise by
The figure is not plucked from their imaginations. The authoritative report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
in 2007 laid it out in simple terms. If carbon emissions continue to
rise at present rates, then the IPCC's best guess is a 4C rise by 2100.
The Guardian poll merely highlights a belief that the warning has
simply failed to penetrate.
As one said: "I think a full understanding
of what must be done quickly, and the consequences of insufficient
action, is lacking among the policy makers and the public." Another
said: "Current government actions are playing into the hands of … an
electorate that doesn't quite understand how serious climate change is."
The article shows that political correctness has crept into the discussion. One anonymous observer said that, like Churchill rallying the British population, the possibility of failure could not be admitted. Others were bleaker:
Others said it could take a series of extreme weather events similar to
Hurricane Katrina and the 2003 European heatwave to force political
action. One said a "9/11-type event" that could be traced to increased
greenhouse gas emissions might break the political deadlock.
(Sorry to post this heading into a weekend…sometimes can't be helped.)