by Alton C. Thompson
“ . . . 17 of the world’s leading climate scientists have worked out a simple but challenging solution: the world, they say, must turn by mid-century [i.e., by 2050 CE] into a zero-carbon society.” So states Alex Kirby in this article. The problem to which they were referring?: “what we have to do to avoid catastrophic climate change,” of course.
I have two problems with this conclusion:
- Arctic climate scientist John B. Davies has stated (2013) that our species will be close to extinction by 2040—and Guy McPherson has stated that our species will be extinct by 2030! (Also see this video—Michael Ruppert.) What reasons do these scientists to reject those conclusions?
- If there is good reason to believe that if, by 2050, all societies in the world—not just ours, as the statement suggests—what reason is there to believe that goal will be accomplished?
I regard this second question as of especial importance because scientists tend to live in an intellectual realm that is removed from political reality. Insofar as they make projections into the future, those projections are based on a fundamental assumption—the assumption that if X occurs, Y will occur.
The problem here is that they may not even assign a probability to the occurrence of X, so that the probability of Y’s occurrence is unknown. And without a probability being assigned to X (our becoming a zero-carbon society by 2050, in this case), the claim that we humans could be “safe” by 2050 is meaningless. Worse than meaningless, in fact, because it induces a sense of complacency: If one believes that something is conceivable, it’s a short step to believing that it is likely—in this case that we will become a zero-carbon society by 2050.
Our “leaders” are already complacent, and there’s no reason that this will “melt away” soon—or ever! What, then, is the point in scientists declaring that “if . . . “? Why are they so politically naïve?
Not that not being complacent will “save” us, though. Even if the majority of our “leaders” were aware of the threat that faces us humans, it’s likely now too late to do anything to prevent our extinction within a few decades, if not years—and bursting into tears about possibility (probability?!) this won’t help anything!