Much, if not most or even all, of the credibility behind the “science” of the global warming movement was blown away in the Climategate scandal a year ago, but that doesn’t seem to have chastened the purveyors of the theory.
If anything, the global warmists are ramping up the rhetoric and the alarm. That seems to be the message this week in Cancun, where a little winter fun in the sun is being mixed with a conference on how to remedy something an increasing majority of people don’t believe is a problem.
The remedies now being discussed don’t exactly disprove accusations that global warming theory is nothing more than socialism in disguise.
In one paper Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said the only way to reduce global emissions enough, while allowing the poor nations to continue to grow, is to halt economic growth in the rich world over the next twenty years.
This would mean a drastic change in lifestyles for many people in countries like Britain as everyone will have to buy less ‘carbon intensive’ goods and services such as long haul flights and fuel hungry cars.
Prof Anderson admitted it “would not be easy” to persuade people to reduce their consumption of goods
He said politicians should consider a rationing system similar to the one introduced during the last “time of crisis” in the 1930s and 40s.
This could mean a limit on electricity so people are forced to turn the heating down, turn off the lights and replace old electrical goods like huge fridges with more efficient models. Food that has travelled from abroad may be limited and goods that require a lot of energy to manufacture.
“The Second World War and the concept of rationing is something we need to seriously consider if we are to address the scale of the problem we face,” he said.
Prof Anderson insisted that halting growth in the rich world does not necessarily mean a recession or a worse lifestyle, it just means making adjustments in everyday life such as using public transport and wearing a sweater rather than turning on the heating.
“I am not saying we have to go back to living in caves,” he said. “Our emissions were a lot less ten years ago and we got by ok then.”
The problem Professor Anderson and his ilk (like, for example, Bradley Schaefer at LSU) have is that developed countries generally function on democratic elections. Nobody will vote for zero economic growth in their home country. He also appears to have a problem with facts, as emissions in the developed world aren’t the problem anymore – the Chinese have admitted they’re the largest emitter of carbon on the planet, which is something that wasn’t the case before.
No one in Cancun seems to be suggesting China operate on a zero-growth philosophy.