The British Green Party has put its undemocratic cards blatantly on the table. One of their most recent policy statements is a â€œ 10 point flood response planâ€ . Point number three is of especially interest:
Get rid of any cabinet Ministers or senior governmental advisors who refuse to accept the scientific consensus on climate change or who won’t take the risks to the UK sereriously( http://greenparty.org.uk/news/2014/02/14/green-party-launch-10-point-flood-response-plan/ )
The leader of the British Green Party Natalie Bennett enlarged on this in an interview with the BBC conducted by Ross Hawkins (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26187711). These exchanges took place:
Hawkins: â€œ Every , as this [the 10 point plan] says, senior government advisor who refused to accept the scientific consensus on climate change as you describe it shouldnâ€™t be in their post; every one of them?â€
Bennett: â€œYes. We need the whole government behind this. This is an emergency situation weâ€™re facing now. We need to take action. We need everyone signed up behind that.â€
Hawkins: â€œ And, I am not reducing this to the absurd; that literally would include every senior government advisor , i.e., it could be the Chief Veterinary Officer ; it could be any advisor whether or not they are directly connected with the issue of flooding? â€œ
Hawkins: â€œAnd you would see them removed from their posts?â€
Bennett: â€œWe would ask the government to remove themâ€.
Bennett: â€œItâ€™s an insult to flood victims that we have an Environment Secretary (Owen Paterson) who is a denier of the reality of climate change and we also canâ€™t have anyone in the cabinet who is denying the realities that weâ€™re facing with climate change.â€
This is the voice of the true fanatic, so captured by an ideology that any dissent from the â€œtrue wayâ€ becomes heresy which must be eradicated. For Bennett it is not enough to have policies implemented , only those who unreservedly support the policies can be tolerated in government even if they are not involved in implementing the policies themselves.
In short, Greens want the debate on man-made global warming to be officially over as far as the government is concerned. They belong to the one class of person who should be denied a public voice, namely the class of those who would deny a public voice to others.
Bennett is a very odd sort of public campaigner. I know her personally because we were both members of a group trying to stop a laboratory handling dangerous toxins being built in the centre of London next to St Pancras station. (The site is approximately 100 feet from my front window).
Because all the major Westminster parties were wildly in favour of the project the only chance of stopping it was to show was to show that the bidding process was tainted. This I did comprehensively using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to obtain documents which showed unambiguously that Gordon Brown had illegally interfered with the bidding process. Further details including the Brown documents can be found at http://livinginamadhouse.wordpress.com/2012/09/09/the-new-leader-of-the-greens-knows-how-to-keep-mum/
Despite being a Guardian journalist with ready access to the media, Bennett refused to use the material and the campaign comprehensively failed because it was reduced to using bog-standard street politics: going on marches, making banners, sending deputations to the local council and so on.
Why wouldnâ€™t Bennett use my FOIA material? I could never get a meaningful answer out of her. All she would say was that it wasnâ€™t of public interest, a self-evident absurdity as it not only struck directly at the sale of the land, but was of general public interest because a Prime Minister had interfered in a bidding process for an enterprise he favoured. On the face of it the story appeared to be right up the Guardianâ€™s street.Perhaps she refused to use the material because she could not claim the information as her own. Surprisingly for a journalist she made no attempt to use the FOIA herself to aid that campaign.
Are you now or have you ever been a climate-change sceptic?
By Brendan O’Neill PoliticsLast updated: February 15th, 2014
842 Comments Comment on this article
Recognise him, Greens?
Imagine if there were a campaign to sack every senior government adviser who didnâ€™t believe in God. Thereâ€™d be outrage, and rightly so. Purging politicos from power on the basis of their private beliefs, on the grounds of what lurks in their conscience, would be seen as an intolerable assault on freedom of thought.
Well, the Green Party is proposing just such an assault on senior government advisers – not on the basis of whether they believe in God but on the basis of whether they accept the climate-change consensus. The party has published a 10-point plan on dealing with the current floods, and at the very top of the plan is the proposal that all senior advisers who do not accept the â€œfindings of climate scientistsâ€ should be ditched, thrown out of office, expelled from public life effectively. This would apply even to advisers whose brief has nothing to do with the environment. As Green Party leader Natalie Bennett makes clear in this pretty shocking interview with the BBC, â€œevery senior adviser who refuses to accept the scientific consensus on climate change shouldnâ€™t be in their postsâ€.
There is more than a whiff of McCarthyism to this proposal. Perhaps we should ask every aspiring civil servant, â€œAre you now or have you ever been a climate-change sceptic?â€ The Green Partyâ€™s proposal shows how authoritarian and intolerant environmentalist politics has become, so that everyone who raises awkward questions about the climate-change consensus is branded a â€œdenierâ€ (a term borrowed from the Inquisition) and anyone who fails to conform to the right way of thinking on climate-change issues will swiftly find themselves accused not just of being wrong, but of being immoral and even dangerous – the Green Party says sennior government advisers who refute the green consensus are â€œendanger[ing] our future and our childrenâ€™s futureâ€.
When a party can so casually call for the sacking of political advisers who do not accept a particular outlook, a particular consensus, then itâ€™s pretty clear that party has lost any attachment to the age-old ideals of free thought, free speech and the rights of conscience. The Greens are demanding nothing less than a purge of eco-heathens and political undesirables from public life. And in the process they have revealed their true instincts, which are to demonise their opponents rather than debate them, censor stuff they donâ€™t like rather than challenge it, and, like a secular version of yesteryearâ€™s pointy-hatted enforcers of Biblical correctness, brand as beyond the pale anyone who doesnâ€™t accept the gospel of greenness.
We can adapt to climate change, or we can try to mitigate it. Not both
By Andrew Lilico Energy Last updated: February 21st, 2014
4 Comments Comment on this article
‘Adapt’ and ‘mitigate’ are alternatives, not complements
In response to my recent article arguing that, since we have failed to prevent climate change, we shall have to adapt to it, a number of commenters offered a familiar response. “Adapation is, of course, necessary,” they say, “but it is not an alternative to efforts to mitigate (limit) climate change. Rather, we must try as much as we can to limit climate change, and what we fail to limit we shall have to adapt to.” I say: that’s wrong. “Adapt” and “Mitigate” are alternative strategies, not complements. Allow me to explain why.
If your central strategy, in response to climate change, is to adapt to it, you want to be as rich as possible as quickly as possible. Then, when the climate change happens, you will have the greatest resources to cope with it. Indeed, if you believe climate change to be a sufficiently serious problem, such that adaptation will be challenging, you may need to be willing to make sacrifices to achieve high enough growth to make adaptation easier. In particular, we do not normally seek to grow the economy at the fastest rate possible. Instead, we (entirely appropriately) use significant amounts of resources today on things we like having and doing today, such as helping the sick or funding opera or educating the poor. These are, in their way, splendid things to do. But they have the consequence that the economy grows more slowly than it would otherwise do.
Similarly, we have leisure time to go to the cinema or walk in the countryside or play with our children or many other wonderful things. But the time spent in these leisure activities could be spent building new machines or researching new technologies or acting other ways that would increase our wealth and technology making us more able to address the environmental challenges to come. To adapt best to climate change, we want to be rich and have very high technical capabilities when the time comes.
By contrast, to best “mitigate” climate change – to prevent as mmuch of it as feasible – we want the economy to grow morre slowly (ideally, even shrink), because if the economy grows more slowly it will use less energy and, as it grows, there will be more time for new low-carbon-emitting technologies to replace existing high-carbon-emitting technologies. Furthermore, even insofar as slower growth is not the explicit intention of mitigation policies, it is their inevitable consequence. If regulation makes energy expensive, or if resources are diverted into insulation or other means for limiting carbon emissions, that induces distortions and allocation of resources that does not maximise short-term growth. If mitigation works, then it may be efficient overall, in that we do not end up wasting the resources we would gain through higher growth by spending them on adapting to climate change. But it definitely means slower growth in the short term.
If adaptation is our central strategy, we want to get richer quicker. If mitigation is our central strategy, we want to get richer slower. Those are not and can never be complementary strategies.
Furthermore, in a world of scare resources we must choose how to allocate them, and mitigation and adaptation are competing claims upon resources. If I have Â£100m available for environmental policies, do I spend it on extra flood defences or on extra subsidies for green energy? I can’t say “both.”
Saying “Adaptation is not an alternative to mitigation” is really a disguised way of saying “Mitigation must be our main strategy.” And I don’t agree with that.
Matt Ridley’s Latest piece
Published on Monday, February 17, 2014, updated Monday, February 17,
Floods and gales in the UK are not evidence of climate change
This is my column in the Times this week. I have added some updates in
the text and below.
In the old days we would have drowned a witch to stop the floods.
These days the Green Party, Greenpeace and Ed Miliband demand we purge
the climate sceptics. No insult is too strong for sceptics these days:
they are â€wilfully ignorant• (Ed Davey), â€headlless chickens• (the
Prince of Wales) or â€flat-earthers• (Lord Krebs), with â€diplomas in <
idiocy• (oone of my fellow Times columnists).
What can these sceptics have been doing that so annoys the great and
the good? They sound worse than terrorists. Actually, sceptics have
pretty well all been purged already: look what happened to Johnny Ball
and David Bellamy at the BBC. Spot the sceptic on the Climate Change
Committee. Find me a sceptic within the Department of (energy and)
Climate Change. Frankly, the sceptics are a ragtag bunch of mostly
self-funded guerrillas, who have made little difference to policy ˜
let alone caused the floods.
Whatâ€˜s more, in the row over whether climate change is causing the
current floods and storms, the sceptics are the ones who are sticking
to the consensus, as set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) ˜ you know, the body that the alarm-mongers are always
telling us to obey. And it is the sceptics who have been arguing for
years for resilience and adaptation, rather than decarbonisation.
Mr Miliband says: â€This winter is a one-in-250-year event• (yett itâ€˜s
nothing like as wet as 1929-30 if you count the whole of England and
Wales, let alone Britain) and that â€the science is clear•. The chief
scientist of the Met Office, Dame Julia Slingo, tells us â€all the
evidence• suggests that climate change is contributing to tthis
winterâ€˜s wetness. (Why, then, did she allow the Met Office to forecast
in November that a dry winter was almost twice as likely as a wet
winter?) Lord Stern, an economist, claimed that the recent weather is
evidence â€we are already experiencing the impact of climate changeâ€¢.
[For a thorough debunk of Lord Stern’s comments on the global
position, see below.]
All three are choosing to disagree with the IPCC consensus. Hereâ€˜s
what the IPCCâ€˜s latest report actually says:
â€There continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence
regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of
floods on a global scale.•
Hereâ€˜s what a paper published by 17 senior IPCC scientists from five
different countries said last month:
â€It has not been possible to attribute rain-generated peak streamflow
trends to anthropogenic climate change over the past several decades.•
They go on to say that blaming climate change is a politicianâ€˜s cheap
excuse for far more relevant factors such as â€what we do on or to the
landscapeâ€¢ ˜ building on flood plains, farm drainage etc.
As for recent gales caused by a stuck jetstream, Dr Mat Collins, of
Exeter University, an IPCC co-ordinating lead author, has revealed
that the IPCC discussed whether changes to the jetstream could be
linked to greenhouse gases and decided they could not. â€There is no
evidence that global warming can cause the jetstream to get stuck in
the way it has this winter,• he says, in a statement that raises
questions about Dame Juliaâ€˜s credibility.
In 2012, the Met Office agreed:
â€There continues to be little evidence that the recent increase in
storminess over the UK is related to man-made climate change.•
So please will Lord Stern, Dame Julia and Mr Miliband explain why they
are misleading the public about the science?
That consensus, by the way, has never said that climate change will
necessarily be dangerous. The oft-quoted 97 per cent agreement among
scientists refers to the statement that man-made climate change
happens, not to future projections [and anyway it has been
comprehensively discredited and described as infamous by a prominent
climate scientist]. No climate change sceptic that I know â€denies• ;
climate change, or even human contributions to it. Itâ€˜s a lazy and
unpleasant slur to say that they do.
Sceptics say it is not happening fast enough to threaten more harm
than the wasteful and regressive measures intended to combat it. So
far they have been right. Over 30 years, global temperature has
changed far more slowly than predicted in 95 per cent of the models,
and has decelerated, not accelerated. When the sceptic David
Whitehouse first pointed out the current 15 to 17-year standstill in
global warming (after only 18 to 20 years of warming), he was
ridiculed; now the science establishment admits the â€pause• but claims <
to have some post-hoc explanations.
While the green lobby has prioritised decarbonisation, sceptics have
persistently advocated government spending on adaptation, so as to
grab the benefits of climate change but avoid the harm, and be ready
for cooling as well if the sun goes into a funk. Yesterday Mr Miliband
yet again prioritised carbon limits ˜ cold comfort to those flooded
from their homes. Huge sums have been spent on wind farms and
bio-energy, with trivial impact on emissions. The money has come
disproportionately from the fuel bills of poor people and gone
disproportionately to rich people.
Given that there are about 25,000 excess winter deaths each year,
adding 5 per cent to fuel bills kills far more people now than
(possibly) adding 5 per cent to future rainfall totals ever would. If
just a fraction of renewable energy subsidies sluiced towards wind
farms by the climate secretaries Ed Miliband and Ed Davey had instead
been put into flood defences, they would have done far more good.
Meanwhile, please notice that those lambasting the sceptics work for
you, drawing wages from public bodies supported by the taxpayer: Lord
Stern, Lord Deben, Dame Julia Slingo, Sir Mark Walport, Professor
Kevin Anderson, even a spin doctor called Bob Ward, and more. Most of
the sceptics operate on self-employed shoestrings and cost you
nothing: Andrew Montford, David Holland, Nic Lewis, Doug Keenan, Paul
Homewood, Fay Kelly-Tuncay. There is only one professional sceptic in
the entire country ˜ Benny Peiser ˜ and he is not paid by the
Despite the fuss, sceptics have had little effect. Renewable subsidies
for the rich grow larger every year. Jobs are still being destroyed by
carbon floor prices and high energy costs. Emissions targets have not
been lowered. At the very most, George Osborne and his allies may have
slightly pinched the flow of funds to consultants and academics to
talk about the subject. Maybe thatâ€˜s what makes the great and the good
1. Some details on the row about the “pause”, which was furiously
denied for a while, then suddenly explained. Whitehouse’s account is
well worth reading for those interested in the history of the subject.
Whitehouse was accused by Mark Lynas of the New Statesman of
being wrong, completely wrongâ€˜, and deliberately, or otherwise,
misleading the publicâ€˜. So Bob Ward asked Phil Jones of UEA to put the
record straight. He wrote:
“What you have to do is to take the numbers in column C (the years)
and then those in D (the anomalies for each year), plot them and then
work out the linear trend. The slope is upwards. I had someone do this
in early 2006, and the trend was upwards then. It will be now. Trend
wonâ€˜t be statistically significant, but the trend is up.”
This last self-contradiction caused much amusement later. Ward was
unable to assemble a rebuttal. Jones eventually stated:
“Bottom line: the no upward trend has to continue for a total of 15
years before we get worried.”
That point is now well past on nearly all the temperature records. By
2007, the Met Office was boasting that its new computer could see a
resumption of warming in the future:
“We are now using the system to predict changes out to 2014. By the
end of this period, the global average temperature is expected to have
risen by around 0.3 Â°C compared to 2004.”
In fact, as of now, at the start of 2014, global temperatures are if
anything slightly lower than in 2004. The pause continues. Attempts to
explain it, using volcanoes, aerosols, natural cycles, missing Arctic
heat and ocean absorption of heat have proliferated, but so far they
are extremely unconvincing.
The latest example is the paper by Matthew England et al, on which Nic
Lewis had this to say:
“Matthew England’s paper claims to show that the hiatus in global
surface temperature since around 2001 is due to strengthening Pacific
trade winds causing increased heat uptake by the global ocean,
concentrated in the top 300 m and occurring mainly in the Pacific and
Indian Oceans. But his study uses model-based ocean temperature
“reanalyses”, not measurements. A recent study by Lyman and Johnson of
the US Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory shows, using actual
measurements of sub-surface ocean temperatures (infilling data gaps
using a representative mean), that ocean heat uptake has actually
fallen heavily from around 2002, whether measured down to 100 m, 300
m, 700 m or 1800 m. Indeed, they show an exceptionally large 90% fall
in the heat content trend for the top 300 m between the decades
1993—2002 and 2002—2011. Several other obserservational datasets for the
more often cited top 700 m ocean heat content also show a substantial
reduction in heat uptake between those periods. So, unfortunately,
ocean temperature measurements completely contradict Matthew England’s
neat explanation for the warming hiatus.”
2. The seasonal forecasting failures of the Met Office are becoming a
habit. The Met Office forecast â€drier than average conditions• just
before the extremely wet April-June of 2012. It forecast a warm March
last year before the coldest March in years. It forecast mild winters
in 2008-9, 2009-10 and 2010-11: all three were hard and the
authorities were caught unprepared. (Donâ€˜t get me wrong — II hugely
admire the Met Office as a short-term weather forecaster, but itâ€˜s no
better than the Daily Express at seasonal forecasts).
3. On how to deal with carbon emissions, the most delightful irony of
all is that Lord Stern believes we are doing too much. Really. Go and
read his report and you will find a clear statement that a Pigovian
tax of $80 per tonne of carbon dioxide (equivalent) should compensate
for all the harm likely to be done by carbon dioxide emissions. If so,
as the Adam Smith Insituteâ€˜s Tim Worstall points out, then fuel duty
is already 15p a litre too high and other taxes on fossil fuels about
right. So letâ€˜s give him another knighthood, cancel all the wind
turbines and declare job done. Then there might be some more money for
as Worstall puts it:
“We can go further as well. As My Lord Stern has pointed out (and as
have eminences like Richard Tol, William Nordhaus, Greg Mankiw and, in
fact, just about every economist who has bothered to look at the
issue) the correct solution to the results that come from the IPCC is
a carbon tax. Of some $80 per tonne CO2-e in fact according to Stern.
And it’s well known that UK emissions are around 500 million tonnes.
And also that we already pay some swingeing amount of such Pigou
Taxes: the fuel duty escalator alone now makes petrol a good 15p per
litre more expensive than it should be under such a tax regime. And
there are other such taxes that we pay, so much so that we are
already, we lucky people here in the UK, paying a carbon tax
sufficient to meet Lord Stern’s target (which is, it should be noted,
rather higher than what all the other economists recommend: we’re not
stinting ourselves in our approach to climate change).
We don’t quite pay it on all the right things as yet, this is true,
but the total amount being paid is about right. We just need to shift
some of the taxation off some products and on to others. Less on
petrol and more on cowshit for example.
That is, according to the standard and accepted science of climate
change we here in the UK have already done damn near everything we
need to do to beat it.
This, in turn, means that we now have to fire everyone who disagrees
with this application of that accepted science. Which means we get to
fire Ed Davey for suggesting more windmills for example. We don’t need
any other schemes, plans, subsidies, technological boosts nor
regulations. As Stern and all the others state once we’ve got that
appropriate carbon tax in place then we’re done, problem solved. We
just then sit back and allow the market to churn through the various
options now that we’ve corrected the price system for externalities.”
Originally Published on Monday, February 17, 2014, updated Monday,
February 17, 2014
We have failed to prevent global warming, so we must adapt to it
Weâ€™ve spent 25 years trying to prevent global warming, and have barely scratched the surface
The economics of trying to prevent global warming has simply never added up Photo: Christopher Pledger
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By Andrew Lilico
6:59PM GMT 17 Feb 2014
There are many interesting questions one can raise about how climate scientists and economists model both climate change and the human contribution to it. But Iâ€™m not going to discuss any of those here. Iâ€™m going to take as a given that global warming does exist and has many accepted, worrying effects – and try to argue that we should not be attempting to prevent it, but instead be looking to adapt to it.
It is interesting to enquire initially just whose job is it to tell us how to respond if we believe climate change is happening and materially human-induced. When various clever non-scientists raise concerns about climate change models they are waved away by specialists in the area, told that these are proper scientific questions for proper scientists. Yet all too often scientists fail to apply the same rules to themselves. The issue over whether there is global warming and what the human contribution to it might be is – at least to a material extent – a scientific question. BBut whether we should do anything about it and, if so, which of the available technical options is best to adopt, is emphatically not a question for scientists. Instead, it is a question for economists, which then puts you very much in my world.
For any ongoing event, there are at least five kinds of potential policy responses: ignore, accelerate, prevent, reverse or adapt. Assuming we do not wish to accelerate or ignore global warming, the three relevant options are reversal, prevention (called â€œmitigationâ€ in the climate change jargon) or adaptation.
For 25 years the main approach politicians have discussed has been prevention. Margaret Thatcher led the way, with her November 1989 speech to the UN General Assembly. Later we had Kyoto and Al Gore and the Stern Review and David Cameron with the huskies, and now Philip Hammond and Ed Miliband arguing about who sees climate change as the greater â€œnational security threatâ€.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s it seemed plausible that prevention (or even reversal) was a genuine option. We had great successes with limiting sulphur emissions causing acid rain, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) destroying the ozone layer and (earlier) smoke that had caused the famous fogs of London.
Yet the past 25 years have taught us that our scope, capacity and will to prevent climate change by limiting CO2 emissions is much less than was the case for these other pollutants.
These decades of devising fabulously expensive mitigation schemes are hoped, at best, to take a few tenths of a degree centigrade off global warming during the 21st century, compared with a likely rise of two to four degrees. The low-end estimates of the cost of such futility is put at 1pc to 3pc of GDP, with some models suggesting the actual cost is much higher.
Those of a scientific bent respond by saying we must enormously increase our efforts, doing far more to prevent warming proceeding. But the Chinese and Indians and Americans will never agree, and in economically depressed Britain the public appetite for even the sacrifices we make at present has all but evaporated, let alone asking for more.
Even if prevention were feasible, standard policy analysis suggests it would be a terrible idea. Already, according to UK government criteria, it is rare to find a global warming mitigation policy that comes anywhere near having benefits that match costs.
For example, the renewable energy strategy was found to have a 20-year cost of Â£57bn to Â£70bn but benefits of only Â£4bn to Â£5bn. This problem is so endemic that a few years ago the guidance for ministerial sign-off of policy impact assessments had to be changed so that ministers no longer declare that they are satisfied that benefits exceed costs. Nowadays they sign to say they merely believe that benefits â€œjustifyâ€ costs. Even those few assessments that did find positive net benefits, such as the 2008 UK Climate Change Act, assumed international agreement that has never come through.
Given this, it is preposterous to suggest that the UKâ€™s doing 10 or 50 times as much to prevent global warming could possibly be a good policy, even if it could work. The economics of trying to prevent global warming has simply never added up.
Before the notorious Stern Review of 2006, economists studying the area typically thought adaptation to climate change should be the central focus of policy. What would â€œadaptationâ€ mean in practice? The first principle is this: itâ€™s easier to adapt to change if youâ€™re richer. Green policies that force us to use overly expensive energy or that make us spend inefficiently large amounts of resources on insulation or that tax our travel in ways that make us do less business will damage growth, and make adapting to climate change harder. In 2012 the UK government received Â£44.5bn from environmental taxes (mainly fuel duties), equivalent to 2.9pc of gross domestic product, while the Government estimates green policies will raise typical medium-sized business bills by 39pc by 2030. Conversely, the more successful policy is in inducing GDP and wage growth, the more inclined folk will be to act in environmentally favourable ways.
The next principle is: do not waste resources on futile mitigation efforts while cutting resources on adaptation. If government budgets are tight and you must choose between subsidies for green energy and money for flood defences, that should be a no-brainer.
There are many ways we may need to adapt to a warmer world with potentially more violent extremes of weather. That may change the ways our houses are roofed and our river banks are buttressed, the clothes we wear, the ointments we put on our children. Adaptation will not be easy or cheap. But it will be feasible (unlike preventing climate change) and it will be much, much cheaper.
Furthermore, adaptation is much less risky than mitigation in two important ways. First, there is obviously some chance that climate change will not turn out as expected. In the past decade or so climate scientists have been struggling to explain the fact that global surface temperatures have not risen since the late 1990s. They insist that makes no difference to their long-term story about whether the Earth is warming and what the eventual impacts may be. And perhaps thatâ€™s right. But it does make a difference to policymaking.
If we had known in 1998 that even if we had tried nothing more to prevent climate change there would be no warming for two decades, that ought to have changed very markedly the policy assessment. Almost no policy that would have no impact within five years is ever a good idea, because of the ways the future is discounted.
The second way adaptation is less risky is that we know relatively little about the effects of mitigation strategies and they may not work as expected or might even have perverse long-term effects. By adapting as and when we need to, we cut down on the risks of doing something counterproductive by accident or of simply wasting our time and money.
The last advantage of adaptation is that as we become richer our tastes and technology will change automatically. It is perfectly possible that we shall naturally find ways to change our behaviour that stop climate change in its tracks, or alternatively we may devise some clever way of cleaning up after our grandparents.
Weâ€™ve spent 25 years trying to prevent global warming, and have barely scratched the surface. In doing so we have spent untold billions and plan to spend countless more. One does not need to doubt that climate change is happening to doubt that this is the strategy we should stick to. Prevention is dead. Long live adaptation.
Andrew Lilico is an economist with Europe Economics
John Kerry: climate change world’s ‘most fearsome’ weapon of mass destruction
US secretary of state compares climate change sceptics to people who believe the Earth is flat
US Secretary of State John Kerry Photo: AP
By Our Foreign Staff
7:41PM GMT 16 Feb 2014
John Kerry has said that climate change is the world’s “most fearsome” weapon of mass destruction and those who deny it are like those who think earth is flat.
The US secretary of state accused climate change sceptics of using shoddy science to delay measures needed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases at the risk of imperilling the planet.
In a speech in Indonesia, Mr Kerry also went after those who dispute who is responsible for such emissions, arguing that everyone and every country must take responsibility and act immediately.
“We simply don’t have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation,” he said, referring to what he called “big companies” that “don’t want to change and spend a lot of money” to act to reduce the risks. He later singled out big oil and coal concerns as the primary offenders.
“We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts,” Mr Kerry told the audience gathered at a US Embassy-run American Center in a Jakarta shopping mall. “Nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits.”
“The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand,” Kerry said. “We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.”