A stable climate whatever it costs

The UK’s climate change envoy, John Ashton, makes a less than intelligent comment on BBC.

“We need to see the pursuit of a stable climate as an imperative to be secured whatever it costs through the urgent construction of a low carbon global economy, because the cost of not securing it will be far greater.”

I don’t know how you secure an imperative to pursue something, but I do know that “whatever it costs” is not a useful approach to making investment decisions, and that a “stable climate” is not a realistic goal.

Presumably John Ashton would not advocate that the government stop paying for health, education, and defence should the bill for a “stable climate” turn out to be very large.

Creating a man-made stable climate is science fiction. There has always been climate change. That doesn’t mean the we shouldn’t work on climate change adaptation and mitigation, but spending huge amounts of money on climate mitigation is not the best way of improving the human condition.

Is the “urgent construction of a low carbon global economy” code for a crash program of nuclear power plant construction? If the construction of a low carbon economy is “urgent”, nuclear power is the only realistic option. If that is what John Ashton means, he should say so, and let’s have an informed debate about nuclear power.


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