Stuck in the middle of a long recession, that may turn out to be a Depression (with a capital ‘D’) after all, what is the best thing the Western world can do to make life easier for citizens?
According to ‘scientists’ at the Cancun climate summit, it is to halt economic growth in the rich world for the next twenty years or so.
I kid you not.
From the Telegraph, with emphasis added by me:
In a series of papers published by the Royal Society, physicists and chemists from some of world’s most respected scientific institutions, including Oxford University and the Met Office, agreed that current plans to tackle global warming are not enough.
Unless emissions are reduced dramatically in the next ten years the world is set to see temperatures rise by more than 4C (7.2F) by as early as the 2060s, causing floods, droughts and mass migration. (…)
In one paper Professor Kevin Anderson, Director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, said the only way to reduce global emissions enough, while allowing the poor nations to continue to grow, is to halt economic growth in the rich world over the next twenty years.
This would mean a drastic change in lifestyles for many people in countries like Britain as everyone will have to buy less ‘carbon intensive’ goods and services such as long haul flights and fuel hungry cars.
Prof Anderson admitted it “would not be easy” to persuade people to reduce their consumption of goods
He said politicians should consider a rationing system similar to the one introduced during the last “time of crisis” in the 1930s and 40s.
This could mean a limit on electricity so people are forced to turn the heating down, turn off the lights and replace old electrical goods like huge fridges with more efficient models. Food that has travelled from abroad may be limited and goods that require a lot of energy to manufacture.
“The Second World War and the concept of rationing is something we need to seriously consider if we are to address the scale of the problem we face,” he said.
Prof Anderson insisted that halting growth in the rich world does not necessarily mean a recession or a worse lifestyle, it just means making adjustments in everyday life such as using public transport and wearing a sweater rather than turning on the heating.
“I am not saying we have to go back to living in caves,” he said. “Our emissions were a lot less ten years ago and we got by ok then.”
Of particular note is the turn of phrase that such rationing would change the lifestyle ‘for many people in countries like Britain’. So, not all, then? Like climate activist to-ing and fro-ing around the globe in first class seats on big airliners to tell us we should ration our travelling?
Such proposals have nothing to do with science. I haven’t seen the paper yet. From the reporting you get a sense it’ll be dressed up all sciency, with math and tables and stuff. But when you look closer all you see is more conjecture based on false premises and presuppositions. Science is not about setting policy, that is politics. There is another, more apt word to describe what Anderson is engaged in: activism.
A year after Climategate, desperation over losing the ‘narrative’ is evidently turning into insanity. They are utterly deranged. Are they still taken seriously by anybody?
Only if Annex 1 nations reduce emissions immediately  at rates far beyond those typically countenanced and only then if non-Annex 1 emissions peak between 2020 and 2025 before reducing at unprecedented rates, do global emissions peak by 2020. Consequently, the 2010 global peak central to many integrated assessment model scenarios as well as the 2015–2016 date enshrined in the CCC, Stern and ADAM analyses, do not reflect any orthodox ‘feasibility’. By contrast, the logic of such studies suggests (extremely) dangerous climate change can only be avoided if economic growth is exchanged, at least temporarily, for a period of planned austerity within Annex 1 nations and a rapid transition away from fossil-fuelled development within non-Annex 1 nations.
With note  reading:
In essence, a planned economic contraction to bring about the almost immediate and radical reductions necessary to avoid the 2◦C characterization of dangerous climate change whilst allowing time for the almost complete penetration of all economic sectors with zero or very low carbon technologies.
Remember Hayek: A planned economy equals a totalitarian regime. Not just deranged, but (extremely) dangerous to boot.
[UPDATE002] I should search my own blog a bit more often. This fool Kevin Anderson has been banging on about a planned economic recession for some time now. About a year ago he was the reason we started the ‘cat’s out of the bag’ series of posts.