Friday, October 8, 2010

Reiner Grundmann on decarbonization

Already under discussion on Roger Pielke jr.'s  blog, here you can see an interview with our klimazwiebel contributor Reiner Grundmann from Aston University in Birmingham, UK. Filmed in a nice British campus setting, this video also serves as a great example of one of the many ways how social scientists approach the issue of climate change and climate policies (here via media analysis).
Reiner elegantly develops his argument for decarbonization and explains why we should put less emphasis on science - in the end, it is too often used as an excuse for political inaction:
"If you put the science at the centre, it seems as if there is some rational voice that knows it all and tells us what to do. But this is a political issue, essentially."


Richard Tol said...

how very boring and sensible

earmarked taxes, by the way, are to be avoided -- carbon should be taxed, and research into carbon-neutral energy should be subsidized but there is no reason to tie the budget of the latter to the revenue of the former -- and doing so reduces the efficiency of fiscal policy

Anonymous said...

Decarbonization is a political decision, but the reason for decarbonization is a scientific "decision".

This "consensus" tells us that Co2 is the most important environmental issue we ever faced and that we have to act now.

If we don't act now the whole world will collapse. The climate train can not be stopped and the catastrophy is already there.

This is exactly what one would call CAGW. AGW means that there will probably be some damage, if we don't "stop the train" in the next 50-100 years. CAGW says that we can't really stop AGW.

This is what green activists tell us every time. We could extend it to every possible threat for humanity.

BSE will kill a million people in the UK even if we stop BSE now (10 years ago). CFCs need 50 years to reach the ozone layer. Even if we stop now (20 years ago) its already to late.

All depends on these horror scenarios. I think that when there are signs that the prophecy may not come true, we can wait. The extreme temperature rise from 1975 to 2000 and the very warm european summers were a sign for (nearly) everybody that climatology was an "exact science", but the new evolution tells us that this might eventually not be true.

Imho, the only solution is a more and more open discussion. Tell us exactly why we should act now and not in 10 years. We can act now in many different ways that will help people to better survive natural disasters of any kind.

Decarbonization without a worldwide environmental revolution is a "shot in the air", imho.

I don't speak about "human doubts" but about scientific rigor and honesty.