Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Collapse of Climate Policy and the Sustainability of Climate Science

Roger Pielke,Jr. has another in his series of insightful posts on the direction of climate policy and the future prospects for climate science here.
He writes:
  • The political consensus surrounding climate policy is collapsing. If you are not aware of this fact you will be very soon. The collapse is not due to the cold winter in places you may live or see on the news. It is not due to years without an increase in global temperature. It is not due to the overturning of the scientific consensus on the role of human activity in the global climate system.
  • It is due to the fact that policy makers and their political advisors (some trained as scientists) can no longer avoid the reality that targets for stabilization such as 450 ppm (or even less realistic targets) are simply not achievable with the approach to climate change that has been at the focus of policy for over a decade. Policies that are obviously fictional and fantasy are frequently subject to a rapid collapse.
As always, Piekle's argument is well written and provokes a myriad of responses, although I am not sure in this instance why people find his analysis controversial: he seems to be one of the few people who consistently grasps the real world dynamics of politics and how they do, and do not, mesh with the environmental ideology of many advocates and science activists.