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[personal profile] freeptop
I'll let some other people do the writing, because they did a much better job than I can:

"As The Economist puts it:

Using the IPCC’s assessment of probabilities, the sensitivity to a doubling of carbon dioxide of less than 1.5C in such a scenario has perhaps one chance in ten of being correct. But if the IPCC were underestimating things by a factor of five or so, that would still leave only a 50:50 chance of such a desirable outcome. The fact that the uncertainties allow you to construct a relatively benign future does not allow you to ignore futures in which climate change is large, and in some of which it is very dangerous indeed. The doubters are right that uncertainties are rife in climate science. They are wrong when they present that as a reason for inaction."

"Why are conservatives so radical about the climate?"
"John Raese, who is leading the Senate race in West Virginia and who says proudly that he was “a tea partier before the Tea Party existed,” recently declared that “one volcano puts out more carbon dioxide than everything that man puts out.” This doesn’t tell you anything about volcanoes. (Actually, humans emit about one hundred times more carbon than volcanoes.)"
"[T]here’s a kind of right-wing nationalism that demands we take no action until China, India, and the rest have played their part. But that doesn’t even make mathematical sense—China’s per capita emissions are one-quarter of ours. If leadership in the world means anything, then that imposes certain burdens on us."
"What missionaries and militaries have in common is that they have to deal with reality. In fact, that was always the trump card of conservatism: It refused to indulge in sentimentality and idealism, insisting on seeing the world as it was. But, at the moment, it’s the right that is indulging in illusion, insisting, fists balled up and face turning red, that the reports from scientists simply can’t be true."
(The whole article is worth reading, but I thought the above points were worth quoting in particular).


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July 2011


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