19 September 2009

78 Days - How the Climate Scientists Wimped Out

I don't want to embarrass the project I just stumbled upon, but I'm going to sneak out a few lines from its abstract:
The ultimate objective of the Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC) is to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations at levels that prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Climate change scientists are unable to define what would be an acceptable level and time-frame for stabilizing global concentrations of greenhouse gases. This is because defining acceptable and unacceptable risks of climate change and climate change policies is essentially a political issue.
Does anyone else see the cop-out there on the part of climate scientists?

Again, I don't want to embarrass anyone, but I do want to plead for a reconsideration of this non sequitur. If climate change scientists are unable to figure out what dangerous interference with the climate is — and what unacceptable risks are — how can they expect politicians and "ordinary citizens" to do it?

How about this? Unacceptable risks of climate change are those that kill people, extinguish species, decimate ecosystems, threaten civilization, disappear whole nations ... need I go on?

What is so difficult about that? Dudes, get a heart, get a grip, muster up some courage or ask some social scientists or health care professionals to give you a hand if you need it, but defining dangerous climate change and unacceptable risks is not hard to do.

Just do it!

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?