Climate change: is victory at hand?

Author Paul Gilding (who I very much admire) has written an interesting post, claiming that victory is at hand:

There are signs the climate movement could be on the verge of a remarkable and surprising victory. If we read the current context correctly, and if the movement can adjust its strategy to capture the opportunity presented, it could usher in the fastest and most dramatic economic transformation in history. This would include the removal of the oil, coal and gas industries from the economy in just a few decades and their replacement with new industries and, for the most part, entirely new companies. It would be the greatest transfer of wealth and power between industries and countries the world has ever seen.

Gilding suggests that we saw a significant shift in the public debate last year, and that this will lead to a profound shift in both the debate and official responses:

I have come to this conclusion after reflecting on a year when an avalanche of new knowledge and indicators made both tipping points clear. The first and perhaps the best understood is the rapid acceleration in climate impacts, reinforcing the view many hold that the scientific consensus on climate has badly underestimated the timing and scale of climate impacts. The melting of the Arctic Sea Ice, decades before expected, was the poster child of this but extreme weather and temperature records across the world, notably in the USA, suggested this Arctic melting is a symptom of accelerating system change. 

It also became clear that this was literally just the “warm up” act – that we are currently heading for a global temperature increase of 4°C or more, double the agreed target. 

In response came a series of increasingly dire warnings from conservative bodies like the International Energy Agency, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Perhaps most colourfully, the IMF chief and former conservative French finance minister, Christine Lagarde, said that without strong action “future generations will be roasted, toasted, fried and grilled”. The World Bank was similarly blunt about the economic consequences of our current path: “there is also no certainty that adaptation to a 4°C world is possible.”

I’m less sanguine: I agree, last year we saw a shift in the debate with greater numbers of the public accepting the science. However, public acceptance of the science is notoriously fickle.

The real question is how fast our civilisation responds.

Time may be against us.

At this point it is very much a race against tipping points.

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37 thoughts on “Climate change: is victory at hand?

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  2. The veil of right wing political suppression of science in South Carolina is being raised, http://www.thestate.com/2013/03/25/2694028/secret-dnr-climate-study-will.html. No stolen emails were involved.

  3. [...] 2013/03/21: WtD: Climate change: is victory at hand? [...]

  4. Us “fanatical alarmists”, to quote Eric, can be like that. As can we “climate alarmist intelligencia [sic]“, to quote you from January. Your labelling reveals your frustration and true colours. Nice work. Lol. And yawn.

  5. klem says:

    Dear John Samuel

    Atta boy, keep up the name calling. For a little while there I thought you had some credibility. The name calling reveals your frustration and shows your true colours. Nice work. Lol!

    • Which name did you object to? 9TL? Anyone who still raises Climategate, after nine enquiries all vindicated the science, is a loser.

      No anonymous internet troll has any credibility to start with. You have nothing to lose.

  6. john byatt says:

    Eric Worrall says:
    March 22, 2013 at 8:50 am
    Unless the target of the theft is Heartland, in which case the thief is a hero.

    eric rewriting history again

  7. Eric Worrall says:

    … This would include the removal of the oil, coal and gas industries from the economy in just a few decades and their replacement with new industries…

    As someone who takes the technological singularity hypothesis seriously, I think think this will happen anyway. The only thing which might stop it from happening is if you guys manage to strangle progress with red tape and taxes. Given the loss of signatories to Kyoto, and the growing financial chaos in Europe, you’ve got buckleys.

    With incompetent leading lights like Lewandowsky, who hilariously just managed to classify the head of the UK MET office Climate Impacts unit as a conspiracy theorist, its not climate skepticism which is on the wane.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/03/ipcc-lead-author-calls-lewandowsky-deluded/

    • Another Super Nova implosion! Tweet from Betts, “Clarification from @skepticscience that Lewandowsky et al do *not* really think I was “espousing conspiracy theory”

      That’s because you, Eric, and Nova, have your facts wrong – motivated, ironically, by your conspiracy theories. How juicy.

      “One misrepresentation of Recursive Fury is that we accuse Professor Richard Betts of the Met Office of being a conspiracy theorist because one of his quotes appears in our raw data. This inclusion of a relevant comment in the raw data of a Supplementary Material document was reported in hyperventilating fashion by one blogger as a spectacular carcrash. However, there is no mention of Professor Betts in our final paper and we are certainly not claiming that he is a conspiracy theorist. To claim otherwise is to ignore what we say about the online supplement in the paper itself. The presence of the comment in the supplementary material just attests to the thoroughness of our daily Google search.” is from One misrepresentation of Recursive Fury is that we accuse Professor Richard Betts of the Met Office of being a conspiracy theorist because one of his quotes appears in our raw data. This inclusion of a relevant comment in the raw data of a Supplementary Material document was reported in hyperventilating fashion by one blogger as a spectacular carcrash. However, there is no mention of Professor Betts in our final paper and we are certainly not claiming that he is a conspiracy theorist. To claim otherwise is to ignore what we say about the online supplement in the paper itself. The presence of the comment in the supplementary material just attests to the thoroughness of our daily Google search.

      I’m becoming convinced that Stephan has paid you to be his archetype.

  8. john byatt says:

    The flying monkeys are still flinging crap at each other,

    this was a chuckle

    Eugene WR Gallun says:
    March 14, 2013 at 11:21 am
    To Armagh Observatory 6:41 am

    Papal plural — Might be a richer joke than I first thought. He is telling us he is no longer one of the “high priests” of the global warming religion.

    Eugene WR Gallun

    theories coming thick and fast, so far the email thief has been russian chinese indian english and american, is learned in shakespeare and of high morals

    • john byatt says:

      They seem to have lost interest in the emails and are all out to identify the email thief, lets hope they give some good clues to the police

      how delicious if the police arrest the thief based on info supplied by his adorers,

      http://scottishsceptic.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/where-is-ms-eliza-doolittle-from/

      • There is no honour amongst thieves.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Unless the target of the theft is Heartland, in which case the thief is a hero.

      • john byatt says:

        The email thief scot sceptic

        “Their writing is fluid, intelligent, underpinned by morality and articulate.”

        that rules out eric

      • Gleick confesses, demonstrating honour. Watts and company don’t, demonstrating dishonour.

        Another own goal for 9TL!

        • Bill Jamison says:

          Confessing to a crime is honorable? What kind of twisted logic is that!?! Nothing Peter Gleick did in his attempts to discredit Heartland Institute were honorable. He still hasn’t admitted to forging the one document even though all signs indicate he was the author.

        • Can we throw Watts and Delingpole into jail for handling stolen goods? Or can we at least bankrupt them for causing the waste of time of the public enquiries that vindicated the science?

          Of course a confession is more honourable than subterfuge…to decent people.

          And only Joe Bast believes Gleick forged the document. Other forensic analyses don’t. It was Bast. You know it. And we know it. And, to pretty well prove it, he’s afraid to go to court.

        • Bill Jamison says:

          So Bast wrote it and mentioned Peter Gleick by name even though until this theft he was not exactly a high profile alarmist? Bast wrote it but doesn’t know whether Koch Brothers funded them or not? And doesn’t know whether Koch ever funded climate related issues?

          Damn dude you are gullible? It’s easy to prove that all of the other documents release by Gleick are real. It’s obvious that Gleick didn’t find the smoking gun he was looking for so he forged the document that attempted to make Heartland Institute look bad and the details are there for anyone to see – things like the fact that it was created in the Pacific timezone not the Central timezone. It’s not a coincidence that Peter Gleick is in the Pacific timezone and Heartland isn’t.

          And of course then you have an actual expert that analyzed the document and concluded that Peter Gleick the criminal wrote it.

          http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/14/professional-forensic-stylometric-analysis-of-the-fake-heartland-climate-strategy-memo-concludes-peter-gleick-is-the-likely-forger/?shareadraft=4f60115ad1058

  9. EoR says:

    Monckton’s Downunder Circus tour of RSL clubs and school halls drags embarrassingly on with low attendance. I can’t wait for the NZ leg when he gets to tell New Zealanders why global cooling is causing the worst drought in 70 years. It’s clear people are no longer interested in his dissimulation.

    • Nick says:

      I had no idea he was still here,or there. Good. And he’s not really all there,any way,even if he’s here.

  10. catweazle666 says:

    >>I agree, last year we saw a shift in the debate with greater numbers of the public accepting the science. <<

    This would appear to suggest otherwise.

    http://www.globescan.com/commentary-and-analysis/press-releases/press-releases-2013/261-environmental-concerns-at-record-lows-global-poll.html

    • You guys love that report but here’s the kicker, it isn’t a measure of acceptance of the science. It is a measure of the seriousness with which people view environmental issues.

      But regardless of how the general public feel about climate change, it continues on unabated anyway. Somebody forgot to tell the Earth that it’s not an issue anymore. http://uknowispeaksense.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/someone-forgot-to-tell-the/

      • Someone else is afraid to look at the globe’s oceans.

      • john byatt says:

        globe has heated by the equivalent energy of over 2 billion hiroshima nuclear detonations in the last 17 years , the climate sceptics claim we are now in an ice age because it snowed in march,

        no wonder they are being deserted in droves, only the loonies left in the denier blogs these days

      • Bill Jamison says:

        That poll does indeed show the “measure of the seriousness with which people view environmental issues”. And it shows that fewer people see climate change as a serious issue now than just a few years ago. It’s hard to get people to take action if they don’t see it as a serious issue. Based on that I don’t see how the claim made is valid:

        There are signs the climate movement could be on the verge of a remarkable and surprising victory. If we read the current context correctly, and if the movement can adjust its strategy to capture the opportunity presented, it could usher in the fastest and most dramatic economic transformation in history.

        The truth is we don’t have a replacement for gasoline in cars. We’re probably decades away from having a viable cost effective replacement. To claim that we are on the verge of replacing the fossil fuel industry is silly IMO.

        I’m sure the author would like to believe his claims. It seems that he things that the rapid changes he reports will be enough to spur people to action. I doubt it.

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