Friday, 8 February 2008

New climate change campaign launched

Working with Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, we have just launched a new campaign to get the Government to toughen up its climate change targets. At the moment, the Climate Change Bill proposes a statutory target of 60% cut in CO2 emissions by 2050. But most people - environment campaigners, scientists and even the Prime Minister - now seem to accept that 80% is probably the minimum needed to avoid some pretty catastrophic climate change. The Lib Dems are going to try to amend the Climate Change Bill to have an 80% target, but we will only succeed if we can get other parties to vote with us. At the moment Labour and the Tories are saying we should leave it alone and wait until a committee of the great and the good (the Climate Change Commission) come back and tell us what the figure should be.

We say we can't afford to waste time and we need tough targets now.

If you agree, please join our Facebook group which allows you to register your own support and also to report back on whether your own MP is willing to back 80%.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Steve - this is not a campaign I can support and in my view, neither should you.

1. The science is flaky. Global-mean temperature rises pretty much stopped at the end of the last century despite record CO2 output. No models predicted this and at the very least proves that the models are wrong. Of course there are scientists whose whole credibilities and careers rest on dangerous climate change being a reality, so it is difficult to get an unbiased view. But there is no univeral consensus that anthopogenic CO2 is the cause of any global warming problems, if indeed there are to be any global warming problems. The IPCC has a view; many scientists both within and outside the IPCC do not share their view.

2. IF the predictions ARE correct, the consequences of global warming will not be "a disaster" as you put it. A couple of degrees of global mean temperature rise of the next 100 years is far from a disaster. Likewise between 30 and 70 cm of sea level rise over 100 years. If, over the next few decades we become certain that global warming is happening and it is man made, then we can act using the massively superior technologies available at that time. To act now with our bows and arrows is unjustified and irresponsible.

3. Taking drastic action "just in case" cannot be justified given the enormous adverse consequences of taking such action. We won't make any meaningful differece to man-made CO2 levels by unplugging our phone chargers and other such nonsense. The huge reductions we are being told are necessary would involve enormous - almost unimaginable - change. Most significantly, we would have to severely limit development in the developing world in order constraining their CO2 production. This would have tremendous adverse consequences in terms of the impaired standards of living, of nutrician, medical facilities etc of literally hundreds of millions - perhaps billions - of people. Over the coming century, the industrialisation of Brazil, China, India and the wealth that ensues from it, will save millions of lives when we look at the vastly superior life expectancies of the western world compared to the developing world. Holding the developing world back would harm far more people than global warming ever would. Clearly, CO2 limits for the developing world "just in case" are morally wrong. But without such limits, any action taken to curb UK emmissions is worthless. Given this background, taking drastic action now is wrong and would be irresponsible.

I should say for the record, I am in no way affiliated with any energy companies and this is entirely my own view, based on my understanding of the physics (I have a degree in physics / atmospheric physics) and of the projections and implications.