Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Building Another Tower of Babel

Note: This is the last of a series of climate-related articles I am publishing today. 

From Judy Curry's blog, a fascinating article:

The more I think of it, the project to decarbonise the world economy is a modern version of the biblical Tower of Babel in engineering project terms...

The most important and urgent exercise to undertake now is to scope and cost adaptation actions on the basis of the possible future climates. The Dutch have lived with sea level rise for centuries and they should be our guide. If I live to 100 and see in 2050, I will look back on this time as a modern equivalent of previous manias, such as the South Sea Bubble or the Tulip scam. If the climate has got more dangerous, we will be better able to tackle the challenges. If not more dangerous, we will have nothing but scorn for this period in history. Place you bets. Every time that someone comes up with a neo-Malthusian scare (over population, resource exhaustion, …. ), I quote my hero in this regard: the first Baron Macauley in a 1830 debate on Malthus’s original proposition stated:
“On what principle is it that, when we look we see nothing but improvement behind us, we are to expect nothing but deterioration before us?” 
He was right then and yet to be found wrong, and I say amen to his view now.
Read the whole thing. 

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