Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Difference Four Years Makes

When I was in college, the rallying cry was

"Stop Global Warming!"
"It's not too late to act!"

Now, the buzzwords are

"mitigate and adapt"
i.e. "we're screwed so we'd better get used to it"

Paragraphs like this one from the cover story for Swiss Re's new report on Building a Sustainable Future (pdf) are supposed to make us feel better:

In the best-case scenario, a successful mix of political, social and technological factors would mean that low-carbon technologies could supply 92% of the global power supply by 2050. This would cap the global temperature increase at 3°C. However, reaching this goal would involve global policy consensus, relatively stable economic conditions and strong public support for the replacement of fossil fuel technologies with low-carbon energy sources.
Yet my initial reaction is

A) 3°C is still a lot
B) "global policy consensus, relatively stable economic conditions, and strong public support" = yeah right.

But hey, at least Obama is talking about climate change again.

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