Wednesday, January 6, 2010

fatalism or radicalism?

"According to sophisticated computer modeling of future rates of climate change, we do have a short time left to cut back emissions in order to avoid "dangerous" levels of warming, and can still aim for a "safe landing" within the one-to-two-degree corridor. This window of opportunity is very nearly closed, however. My conclusion in this book, one that is supported by the 2007 IPCC report, is that we have less than a decade remaining to peak and begin cutting global emissions. This is an urgent timetable, but not an impossible one. It seems to me that the dire situation that we find ourselves in argues not for fatalism, but for radicalism."

Mark Lynas, Six degrees - our future on a hotter planet, chapter "Choosing our future".

His last sentence reminds me of the answer of Nicolas Hulot to critics of his movie Le syndrôme du Titanic: "Ce n'est pas moi qui me radicalise, c'est la situation!" (tentative translation: "I am not becoming radical, the situation is!").

It does not seem to me that the agreement reached at the Copenhagen Climate Conference is radical enough. Will the world be able to react in time? The next decade will tell us...


François Ascani said...

"Tipping Elements in the Earth System: How Stable Is the Contemporary Environment?", a special issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences should interested you and your readers.

Cedric said...

Thanks for the pointer!