Notable points include Hansen`s assertion that "scientists and political forces" are failing to deal with global warming because "scientists present the facts about climate change clinically, failing to stress that business-as-usual will transform the planet" and because "the press and television, despite an overwhelming scientific consensus...give equal time to fringe contrarians". He used to spread the blame equally between the two, he says, but no longer does so: commercial interests are, he says, more culpable.
["balance" may one of the great unspeak words of our time].
One of things Hansen doesn´t really explore in his piece is the relation between development and climate change, and the politics thereof. That´s where I think a recent article in The Economist piece is useful.
Bolton v Gore reports an exercise at the UN (without those pesky Europeans) to rank priorities. Which should come first -- hunger and disease or climate change?
Of course there need to be priorities in spending, but in my view there can be big pitfalls in attempting to rank very different challenges against each other as if they were all exchangeable units from the same budget. Often, like is not being compared with like. And this is not to speak of the fact that climate change was "set up to fail" in the Copenhagen Con. (The Economist did acknowledge this at one point, but now with a change of editor, that honesty may have been forgotten. After all, the article perpetuates the lie that Al Gore was "nipped at the post" in the 2000 election -- not that the election was stolen).
I´d be glad of others views on this, because getting the political arguments concerning development right may prove to be as important as winning the media war in the US and elsewhere over the science of climate change.
An American friend who works on new water and sanitation technologies for developing countries writes:
the [UN] ambassadors selected clean drinking water among their top priorities, which will be impossible to achieve unless they directly address the local and global issues associated with environmental degradation. Whichever way you go about it, you have to address the fragile basis of human life on this planet.