Planet3.0 can hardly provide a more valuable service this week than to link to David Robert’s excellent piece, possibly the most valuable few hundred words written last week. David, referring to work by Kevin Anderson and Alice Bows, quotes their conclusion:
“The logic of such studies suggests (extremely) dangerous climate change can only be avoided if economic growth is exchanged, at least temporarily, for a period of planned austerity within Annex 1 nations and a rapid transition away from fossil-fuelled development within non-Annex 1 nations.”
Then David concludes:
I know what you’re thinking. It’ll never happen. It’s political suicide to bring it up. Conservatives will use it against us. Very Serious People will take to fainting couches across the land. …
But for now, it’s enough to say: It is what it is. As Anderson says, we’re currently mitigating for 4 degrees C and planning for 2 degrees C. That is ass backwards. It is, almost clinically, insane. We need to be doing the opposite — mitigating for 2, planning for 4 — as soon as possible.
I don’t know what to add. This seems exactly right. (Right in the sense that it is a correct description of the state of affairs, not that the situation is the result of sensible decisions!)
The only grounds for optimism is the tendency for the truth to get out eventually. And that being true, the only way to proceed is to get people to understand both the cumulative nature of the problem and the long time scales. We have to start being a bit of a nuisance.
The charming rendition of the old three monkeys motif is floating around the web unattributed. Proper attribution will be appreciated.