For a decade and more, I’ve been worried that the climate computer had missing feedbacks that made them underestimate the seriousness of climate change [See comments by John Mitchell and Peter Wadhams here]. Three of the missing feedbacks were increased forest fires, melting permafrost emissions, increased decomposition of wetlands.
Last Saturday, in the middle of the night, I was listening to Business Matters on the BBC World Service. At 18.30 minutes into the programme, there is a piece on the Greta Thunberg’s speech to the UN. She said:
We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you.
People must use less transport, eat less red meat and buy fewer clothes if the UK is to virtually halt greenhouse gas emissions by 2050
Sir Ian warned that persuasive political leadership was needed to carry the public through the challenge. One aspect of such leadership would be to inform the public about the severity climate change and the big lifestyle changes ‘needed to cut emissions’. [Note: Public campaigns]
(On the 50th anniversary of man’s first moon landing.)
Submission to the Public Inquiry on the 2018 York Local Plan
Joking aside, I believe this submission on the York Local Plan can start something of worldwide importance. Worrying climate feedbacks are mentioned in the accompanying document The York Local Plan: Climate Change. These climate feedbacks are eating into the remaining carbon budgets. Keeping to these budgets is one of the few ways to stop climate change becoming completely out of control. These are described in a video on “cascading tipping points” in the video by Paul Beckwith .
In How robots change the world, Oxford Economics ignored climate change. Their report contains some interesting conclusions about how robots will destroy jobs by replacing workers while creating other jobs by generating economic growth.
My previous post discussed a recent report from Oxford Economics,which discussed the replacement of workers by robots. It predicted that on average 1.6 workers will lose their jobs for every industrial robot installed. However, the introduction of robots will generate economic growth and create jobs:
Our study shows that the current wave of robotization tends to boost productivity and economic growth, generating new employment opportunities at a rate comparable to the pace of job destruction.
My post criticised Oxford Economics because their report ignored climate change: To keep to climate targets steep falls in carbon emissions are necessary. This is very unlikely to be possible with continued economic growth.