With this climate change thing it’s worth, just occasionally, going back to look at what the established and agreed climate science actually tells us. You know, the IPCC and all that, the evidence that leads to COP 21, Paris Agreements and such blather.
So, to reintroduce Representative Concentration Pathways. RCP lower number is better for climate change than RCP higher number. RCP 8.5 means we end up broiling Flipper in the fumes of the last ice floe. RCP 2.6 means we’re done and dusted, we’ve beaten the problem and no worries, she’ll be right.
So, the one we want is RCP 2.6. The she’ll be right option. As you can see this asks for something akin to the low UN estimate of population size. I happen to think that’s easy for the UN has been overestimating population growth for a long time now. They continually underestimate the impact upon fertility of rising incomes. Hmm, OK, but that’s arguable.
The rest of it isn’t. Energy consumption in total grows not that much. This is achieved by being more efficient in our energy consumption – less energy per unit of GDP that is. Something we’ve been doing this past couple of centuries rather well. It does require that we pretty much ditch the oil and coal, true. That’s not too, too, difficult.
But now to the biggie. Does this mean that we’ve got to ditch economic growth? No, not the new, real and improved definitions, those old ones of flat out GDP growth? Well, as you can see, no. In fact, RCP 2.6, the lowest emissions path, the she’ll be right emissions path, leads to greater economic growth by that old GDP measure.
The why should be obvious, economic growth is doing things more efficiently, using fewer resources to get ‘er done, through advancing production technology. What are we saying we need to do to get to RCP 2.6? Using fewer resources to get ‘er done, through advancing production technology.
We got the same outcome in the older, pre-AR5 scenarios, A1T the largest economy but using non-fossil fuels worked, A1FI, the largest economy with lots of fossil fuels didn’t.
Do note this is the settled climate science. These are the models from which everything else – absolutely everything else – is worked out. You can’t reject these models without rejecting everything that is worked out either.
So, the Senior Lecturer at Islington Technical College – and the author and inventor of the Green New Deal to hear him talk – tells us that:
Second, I am troubled by a focus on restoring economic growth which is wholly incompatible with the climate goals.
Man’s a fathead, isn’t he? Entirely and completely ignorant of the very basics of the subject he wishes to discuss. Decent economic growth is a precondition of beating climate change. The less growth we have – of the right, non fossil fuel powered kind of course – the more we’ll end up broiling Flipper.
Economic growth – of that right, non-fossil fuel kind – is the solution to climate change. Meaning that the Fat Controller, and Extinction Rebellion, are simply wrong – factually incorrect – about having to reduce consumption or growth to beat climate change.
Why is it that people refuse to learn the accepted science of climate change?