Today, as negotiations on climate change begin, the Financial Times publishes a strongly-worded, lead editorial. The editorial begins and ends with the following two paragraphs.
As the biggest environmental meeting in history opens in Copenhagen, the scientific case for a global agreement to fight man-made climate change remains overwhelming. The furore over alleged data manipulation, following the theft of e-mails from the University of East Anglia , has stirred up the sceptics (and shaken some scientists) but Climategate does not alter the real issue – that, despite many uncertainties, the risks of catastrophic change justify decisive global action to cut carbon emissions. ….
The forces of negativity and scepticism, whether self-interested or naive, must not prevail if we are to reduce the threat to the planet’s future without sacrificing future economic growth.
“Copenhagen: we can’t risk failure”, Financial Times, 7 December 2009.
The middle paragraphs are equally sensible and well-written.
One of these climate sceptics the editorialist worries about is Regent University economist Doug Walker, a close friend and former colleague. He might be self-interested (Aren’t we all?), but is certainly not naive. Douglas is very articulate and writes, in part:
The United Nations Climate Change Conference is scheduled to begin tomorrow, 7 December, in Copenhagen, Denmark, for two weeks of talks aimed at concluding an agreement that would enter into force after the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012. The meeting will bring together 15,000 delegates and officials, 5,000 journalists and 98 world leaders, 1,200 limos and 140 private jets. The extraordinary carbon footprint of the meeting (roughly, Morocco’s annual carbon emissions) is likely to be its most lasting legacy to the world.
In his most foolish promise, President Obama has said he will pledge the United States to lower its emissions of carbon to a level 85 per cent below those of 2005. This would bring the level of American emissions to those of 1910, which, given the much higher expected level of population in 2050, means the per capita U.S. emissions would be about those of 1875.
Douglas O. Walker, “A fable for Copenhagen”, group email message circulated on 6 December 2009.
If Douglas posts the entire e-mail to his blog – as he often does – I will provide the link in an update. It is important to read all views, even those of sceptics.
Tags: global warming