George Monbiot Says There’s No Point In Battling Climate Change

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This is not, of course what George Monbiot actually comes out and says, that there’s no point in Battling Climate Change. But it is the implication of what he’s saying:

Some of the Earth’s largest land masses – Australia, Russia, the US, Brazil, China, India and Saudi Arabia – are governed by people who seem to care little for either humankind or the rest of the living world. To maintain their grip on power, which means appeasing key oligarchs and industries, they appear prepared to sacrifice anything – including, perhaps, the survival of humanity.

We have the collective action problem here.

The effects of the emissions affect all equally. Thus it is necessary for all to limit emissions for there to be none of those ill effects.

If large portions of the globe are going to carry on emitting however much we limit ours then there’s no point in our limiting ours. In fact, quite the opposite. Richer places will weather the coming storms better than poorer. Therefore if others are going to emit so that we know disaster will strike our best option is to emit like Billy-Oh to grow to be rich and thus sail through the problems more easily.

That they don’t limit emissions means we shouldn’t either.

This also comes in a milder and possibly less objectionable form, this argument. There’s still that debate about whether we should mitigate or adapt to climate change. We might think it more moral to mitigate – certainly, the entirety of the Green movement thinks so. But again, if all those other people out there are going to cause climate change anyway then mitigation is the wrong response from us. We need to be investing in adaptation, not mitigation. Building seawalls, not preventing the seas from rising because we’re simply not going to have any effect upon that second.

That is, assume that the bastards are going to boil us all. What’s our best reaction? Quite, it’s not making ourselves poorer by not stopping all from boiling, is it? Thus the insistence that them bastards are going to boil us all stops us from even considering mitigation.

Which isn’t what Monbiot wants to say at all but is the inevitable outcome of what he does say.

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Michael van der RietBarksJohn BPatSpike Recent comment authors
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Spike
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Spike

BUT WE HAVE NO SCIENCE AT ALL ON CAUSATION. We don’t know whether pollution will block solar energy or the “greenhouse effect” will trap it, or whether Earth will continue in equilibrium, reflecting excess energy back to space. All we know is that the weather is scary.

And that, if we let government curtail our lives until we can no longer detect our effects in the atmosphere (and the Third World does not), the primary effect is that our government will get more powerful and that we will be poorer. Your Carbon Tax.

Pat
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Pat

An alternative solution would be for us enlightened westerners to conquer the world and apply out super wise governance. Not sure where the G stands on that.

John B
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John B

And yet… much more extreme climate change, huge swings between warming and freezing took place before Mankind existed and even then before he started burning fossil fuels. Would it not be the start point to find out and understand why/how these changes took place, what reversed them? It really would be annoying if Man’s activities were merely coincident with natural variation which no amount if Pigou taxes and windmills would stop. And looking at the actual data rather than listening to the insane people, it certainly looks that way – change so slight as to be hardly noticeable, visible only… Read more »

Barks
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Barks

It’s best whenever one encounters “oligarchs and industries” or “giant corporations” or “evil businesses” to disregard any ideas that follow and consign the author to your list of mental people to be avoided.

Michael van der Riet
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Michael van der Riet

We Citizens of Planet Earth have missed several deadlines after which it was going to be too late to do anything to avoid roasting like Sunday chickens. By universal agreement, it is now too late. We are going to hell in a handbasket so we might as well enjoy the ride. My choice of ride being a Monster Truck naturally.