Thursday, December 17, 2009


In a note from Stupid TV, Franny Armstrong quotes Climate Interactive's assessment that current proposals at COP15 would mean a 3.9C temp rise which would which would equate to something like:
- Africa uninhabitable
- Southern Europe a desert
- Australian agricultural system wiped out
- All coral reefs gone
- Most forests gone
But as John Sterman has explained, there's a significant probability, perhaps 50%, that temperature rise could be higher than that. This applies for 2 C as well:
there is a real risk of what we call “eroding goals” — of slipping what we strive for in the face of difficulty. Since when is a 50/50 chance of limiting warming to 2 °C by 2100 acceptable as a target? Sure, that’s better than doing nothing, but who thinks playing Russian roulette with half the chambers loaded is a good gamble? To limit the chance that warming will exceed 2 °C by 2100 to no more than, say, 5%, emissions would have to fall even farther and faster than the “Low Emissions” path... That’s still like playing Russian roulette with 1 in 20 chambers loaded. Who among us would play that game? Who among us would play that game when the gun is pointed not at our heads, but at our childrens’?
P.S. 18.05: supposedly the UN draft means 3 C

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