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WSJ gives ink (again) to climate change critics

WSJ-LogoIn his latest Wall Street Journal op-ed, Matt Ridley provides a predictable litany of reasons why action on climate change shouldn’t be a priority right now. It’s a classic “delayer” mash-up of professing respect for science while simultaneously failing to take repeated warnings from scientists seriously. None of his distractions or excuses change the fact that acting on global warming now is the cheapest, safest, and most effective way to ensure a livable future climate for humans.

  • World leaders are taking climate change seriously.
  • Warming hasn’t stopped, and in fact the world is on track to get 4ºC warmer by the end of the century.
  • Scientists are making great strides in understanding the factors driving short-term climate variations.
  • Climate action doesn’t have to wait until other problems are solved.

World leaders are taking climate change seriously, even those leaders that aren’t attending the summit.

Ridley calls out China, Germany, and India, without mentioning the fact that Germany is on track to meet one of the world’s most aggressive renewable energy targets, and currently uses nearly 30% renewable energy thanks to their groundbreaking (and wildly popular) transformation of their power generation system. Meanwhile, China is laying the groundwork for its own emissions trading program, with pilot programs already underway in major cities. It invested $56 billion in 2013 in switching to renewable energy and modernizing its infrastructure. Meanwhile, thanks to government stimulus programs, renewable energy is bringing electricity to some of the poorest slums of India. Their actions at home speak far more loudly than Ridley’s rhetorical questioning over their dedication.

The world is on track to get a lot warmer by the end of the century — not just “a bit.”

It’s unclear just how much warming Ridley means by “a bit,” but the IPCC projects a warming of around 4ºC on a business-as-usual emissions pathway. The IPCC further clarifies that this would exceed the limits of agricultural adaptation in many parts of the world, even causing tropical regions to become seasonally uninhabitable. The World Bank has further studied what a 4ºC warmer world would be like, tallying overwhelming human and economic costs.

Click here to read more from this September 5, 2014 Climate Science Watch article.

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