There are a number of articles on the Science and Values blog about climate change. I was at a Cardiff university conference over the summer where the question of what action to take to tackle climate change was discussed along side questions about poverty reduction. The fear was that major action to tackle climate change, with CO2 levels reduced to 80% of today’s level, will lead to a massive increase in global poverty. Even though it was recognised that there is a problem, the effect of actions to reduce CO2 levels may cause greater problems. Both James Lovelock and Mike Hulme have proposed different solutions.
James Lovelock commented to an audience at the ‘Ways With Words’ literary festival at Dartington Hall, near Totnes in Devon that; “It’s not going to take much of a sea-surge to knock out London. We should be spending money strengthening defences there rather than vain efforts to improve renewable energy.”
Although he thinks renewables are a good idea, he is right to note that they are not very practical at present, instead more work needs to be done in developing mitigation strategies around the world to protect against severe weather. That would have a benefit to the world whether global warming is real or not.
Renewables are a waste of time, says James Lovelock Telegraph 14th July 2009
Mike Hulme asks us to become more realistic about climate change. Instead of seeking to eradicate it we need to come to terms with it.
Mike Hulme in the New Scientist “… they will not “solve” climate change. This does not imply passivity in the face of change, however. Nor does it allow us to deny that our actions on this planet are changing the climate. But it does suggest that making climate control our number one political priority might not be the most fruitful way of using the idea of climate change.
The world’s climates will keep on changing, with human influences now inextricably entangled with those of nature. So too will the idea of climate change keep changing as we find new ways of using it to meet our needs. We will continue to create and tell new stories about climate change and mobilise these stories in support of our projects. Whereas a modernist reading of climate may once have regarded it as merely a physical condition for human action, we must now come to terms with climate change operating simultaneously as an overlying, but more fluid, imaginative condition of human existence.”