Thursday, March 7, 2019

In Praise of Climate Realism

I detect a distinct lack of realism in the approach of many activists to the global warming problem. I'm for some sort of Green New Deal too but it seems quite unlikely to me that warming, relative to pre-industrial levels, is going to be held under 1.5 degrees C or even 2 degrees C. So how do we adapt and, at the same time, prevent warming that goes even farther? And does the current wave of climate catastrophism (e.g., David Wallace-Wells' The Uninhabitable Earth, but there are countless others) help or hurt such an effort?
I thought this article by Ted Nordhaus and Alex Trembath of the Breakthrough Institute was an excellent attempt to grapple with these questions in a real world, cut-the-bullshit way. YMMV.
Is climate change more like an asteroid or diabetes? Last month, one of us argued at Slate that climate advocates should resist calls to declare a national climate emergency because climate change was more like “diabetes for the planet” than an asteroid. The diabetes metaphor was surprisingly co...

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