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June 11, 2004



Don't talk to me about these climate change reports. I have the misfortune to read some of these. They invariably conclude: nothing very conclusive as yet, more research needed - calls for more funding please.

I think though we can safely pin down global warming to Bertie's G8 hot pants.

Jon Ihle

I'm willing to believe that global temps are rising, but I've yet to hear a compelling case that this change has been caused by human activities and not the same mechanisms that have drastically altered the Earth's climate time and again over millions of years. Can a theory be both anthropocentric and anthrophobic at the same time?

Peter Nolan

I dunno - I think US spending on anything related to climate is about $3bn a year.

The research on climate damages seems to have firmed up a great deal since the early nineties in the developed world studies, with confident estimates of damages for 2.5 degree C warming at about 1% of US or UK GDP.

However, very little is known with any certainty about the catastrophic risks - the Greenland ice sheets melting or the Atlantic Conveyor weakening.

There are lots of useful technologies that can come out of it, like accurate two-year forecasts for El Nino or secondary pollution reductions that for such a small amount compared to the full Kyoto cost constraints, more research is by any measure, a good investment.

Have a look at the new report by the Council on Foreign Relations:


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