Uncertainty must be met by climate action? – New Scientist

Michael Le Page argues for a carbon tax and dividend system, see link, but nowhere, but here, is the the reality being presented that concentrating on the symptoms will not cure the addiction. The WBCSD report covered in a previous post, requires that knowledge and skills be created faster than carbon taxes alone can deliver.

Rather than drenching yesterday’s businesses with money, it must be showered on research and education in reducing the resource intensity of products and services. some will be misdirected but it will do more good than the actions being presently taken.

If someone knows of this message being promulgated elsewhere, please let us know. If you can prove us wrong, ditto


Editorial: Uncertainty must be met by climate action

03 December 2008

…………….Some politicians still demand certainty from climate scientists and are sitting on their hands until they get it. But certainty may be no more available here than in that other troublesome discipline, economics. This is not a counsel for inaction, but for grown-up government: for doing what we know is needed in the face of uncertainty, and for taking actions like those called for this week by the British government’s Committee on Climate Change, from decarbonising electricity generation to culling carbon-spewing vehicles and aircraft.

Here’s another heresy. Perhaps the endless negotiations to frame a successor to the Kyoto protocol – currently in mid-grind in Poznan, Poland– are becoming an impediment to action. The protocol’s various market devices, like cap-and-trade and the clean development mechanism, could now be holding up the technologies we know will do the job. Invented by the Clinton/Gore administration, should they now be jettisoned by Barack Obama? Michael Le Page believes so (see “Time for change on climate: an open letter to Barack Obama”) and argues that taxing carbon would be a better plan. It would be a bold move. But just as past economic certainties are failing, maybe it is time to think the unthinkable here too.



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