Monday, December 17, 2007

Proof that more words are meaningless

the IPCC report has fallen on deaf ears ...
... According to, as of Dec. 11, the synthesis report had some 265 blog reactions, where the Aug. 24 YouTube video of Miss Teen South Carolina struggling to explain why a fifth of Americans can't locate the U.S. on a world map had more than 5,300 blog reactions.
Not necessarily a fair comparison, as one is entertainment, the other serious. Much easier to either stick one's head in the sand and ignore the big serious problem, feel unqualified to even care, or already be convinced. I do care and I didn't write about the most recent synthesis report. Of course, I didn't write about Miss Teen South Carolina either.

Mr. Romm's point however, is more far reaching. His contention is that in order for the warnings of the IPCC and other scientific groups to be heard, it needs to be made more immediate. His proposal is that the US needs its own assessment of the impacts and solutions to global climate change.

He also espouses the belief that the IPCC has complete its useful life. The next report is due out in five years and is likely to contain more accurate models based on the data collected in that time period, but the end call to action of the IPCC is likely to be more strident and dire about the consequences of inaction.

I disagree with this position. If the IPCC is disbanded, the useful work of synthesizing the various studies and reports will go undone on a global scale. It is still beneficial to have the IPCC perform this task and take a holistic view of the world, and complementary to that, have individual countries examine the impacts to them directly and determine the policy solutions to spur deployment and development.

The danger of course that the proposed US NAS report would also fall on deaf ears or be hailed as an achievement and then largely ignored because politicians are unwilling to stomach the idea of taking unpopular but necessary decisions.