Zoe Williams tries to scare the bejabbers out of all of us with he latest story about climate change:
When it looked like the news couldn’t get any worse, it did: worse in a way that dwarfed our petty elections and clueless, pendulum analyses, worse in a way that dusted the present with the irrelevance of history. In the journal Science Advances, five of the world’s most eminent climatologists warned of the possibility that warming may be significantly worse than we thought. Previous consensus was that the Earth’s average temperature would go up by between 2.6C - life-altering but manageable - and 4.8C - cataclysmic. Now, the range suggested by one projection goes up to 7.4C, which is “game over” by the 22nd century.
This is not going to happen. No, not because all climate science is a crock, not because CO2 is plant food or any of that. But because this report is based upon something that will not happen:
Using the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 for future greenhouse radiative forcing
RCP 8.5 simply is not going to happen. As Matt Ridley has been saying for some years now that is not a possible path for our future. It requires that we use more coal in hte future than we do now. That we use energy less efficiently than we do now, more of it and a greater portion of it comes from coal. This is just not going to happen.
As Bjorn Lomborg pointed out near two decades ago all we have ever needed to do to avoid those terrors of boiling Flipper in the meltwater from the last ice floe is to get solar power down to about the price of coal fired. Which we've done. And no one thinks that it is going to stop getting cheaper off into the future either.
The truth about the catastrophic part of climate change is that we've already done what we needed to do to avoid it even if the direst original predictions were true. We needed that economic change to reduce coal burning, the economic change which has been achieved through solar cost reduction. We're done therefore - we are, after all, only a year or two away from people preferentially installing solar purely on cost grounds.
And any and every report, paper and surmise which is based upon RCP 8.5, or the earlier scare story of A1FI, is simply untrue. For we've already done enough to avoid those emissions pathways.