Sunday, November 29, 2009

No matter what happens at Copenhagen we're screwed

Recent developments make John Quiggin optimistic that, contrary to recent expectations, the Copenhagen conference will produce an agreement to limit carbon emissions. Why is Quiggin cheered when we're already doomed?

The Global Carbon Project announced earlier this week that a six degree Celsius temperature increase by the end of the century is virtually inevitable. This was the worst case scenario proposed by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007.

This prediction is particularly worrisome as the climate policy of the European Union, the UK and many other national and international organizations is predicated on a maximum increase of only two degrees Celsius.

The Global Carbon Project is led by Professor Corinne Le Quéré of the University of East Anglia and the British Antarctic Survey. The team is comprised of 31 researchers from seven countries. The study by Professor Le Quéré and her team was published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

A six dregree temperature rise will have rather unpleasant consequences:

It would cause a mass extinction of almost all life and probably reduce humanity to a few struggling groups of embattled survivors clinging to life near the poles.

With the tropics too hot to grow crops, and the sub-tropics too dry, billions of people would find themselves in areas of the planet which are essentially uninhabitable. This would probably even include southern Europe, as the Sahara desert crosses the Mediterranean.

As the ice-caps melt, hundreds of millions will also be forced to move inland due to rapidly-rising seas. As world food supplies crash, the higher mid-latitude and sub-polar regions would become fiercely-contested refuges.

Best we start now consolidating government power in anticipation of the apocalypse.

When the going gets tough who better to be in charge than a bunch of lefties, who do, after all, have a proven track record of being able to make the hard life or death decisions. Hey, everyone recognises the importance of economists so maybe Quiggin will be the first president of the southern hemisphere's remnant population. Or since we're talking lefties here, maybe that should be emperor.

Update: Click the following link for more on lefties and climate change.



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