We have also had the
On the negative side, I just heard Ian MacFarlane, that gravelly voiced member of the Australian opposition, go on about the alleged harm to the Australian economy if we were to take tiny baby steps in reducing our use of fossil fuel. The short and narrow sightedness of so many people in this country (because let's face it, MacFarlane etc represent a great number of Australians) is shameful. The 4 degree conference warns of carbon dioxide levels of 700 ppm or more by 2100. With it will go crop failure, marked sea level rise and millions of environmental refugees. This is a terrifying future – and not far away.
One commentator at the 4°C conference, a journalist, warned that too much emphasis on catastrophe was paralyzing. But others pointed out that we can go too far in the other direction, and that just fuels complacency. A consensus seemed to emerge that scientists must try to convey the full picture, as far as possible.