A goal that can't be missed


The G8 meeting in Italy is reported to have agreed yet more goals. An 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 (from a baseline yet to be agreed) is more of the usual aspiration target-setting, with no agreement on hard shorter-term goals. The chances of India and China signing up to something similar are zero. The likelihood is that there will some form of agreement cobbled together in Copenhagen in December which will in practice be meaningless and will achieve nothing.

However, one further goal has been agreed which will be easy to reach. That is to keep average temperatures from rising by more than 2°C, which has now been taken as some line in the sand beyond which we cannot go without disastrous and irreversible consequences. In practice, we are extremely unlikely to get close to this goal whether or not anything is done about emissions control. So that's one goal they'll meet.

Elsewhere, Prince Charles, in his Richard Dimbleby lecture, has calculated that we have just 96 months to save the world, in what the Independent reported as a searing indictment of capitalist society. So, I assume he is going to take a lead by shutting down Duchy Originals. In the meantime, we can be comforted that the heir to the throne has such a sound grasp of maths.

For more information, visit the website of the Scientific Alliance.