When it comes to preventing today’s disasters, the squabble about climate change is just a distraction. The media usually has room for only one environmental argument: is climate change happening? This pits virtually all climate scientists against a band of self-taught freelance sceptics, many of whom think the “global warming hoax” is a ruse got up by 1960s radicals as a trick to bring in socialism. (I know, I get the sceptics’ e-mails.) Sometimes in this squabble, climate scientists are tempted to overstate their case, and to say that the latest disaster proves that the climate is changing. This is bad science. It also gives the sceptics something dubious to attack. Better to ignore the sceptics, and have more useful debates about disasters and climate change – which, for now, are two separate problems.Read the whole thing.
22 January 2011
FT Column on Disasters and Climate Change
Simon Kuper has a great essay on disasters and climate change that draws on some of my work. Here is the bottom line: