Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Greenpeace Prescription

Greenpeace has urged the South African government not to get caught up with short-term political agendas, but rather to consider what scientists said was required to address climate change.

Me, I'm a scientist, and I think the past is quite a good guide to the future. The temperature rose by ~0.7 degrees C in the 20th century and there was effectively no change in any of Africa's climate indicators. There were no real regional trends in rainfall, for instance - a bit more here, a bit less there, but nothing Africa-wide.

So to address climate change, we need to do absolutely nothing - and the money saved can be used to address a real problem, like the million who die each year from a preventable disease like malaria.

If that is the message that emerges from COP 17, it will be worthwhile. Instead we will be told we need Africa to curb its emissions and preserve its forests. When Africa is about 2% of the global emissions? Purlees!

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