Meteorologists know a lot about climate, or at least they should. But are they the best group to be promoting policy responses to say ‘climate change’? Once upon a time scientists mostly just provided quality information, and then those with, for example, expertise in economics, looked for best potential policy solutions?
Anyway, I have just received** this information from the American Meteorological Society explaining that they more-or-less have the science of climate change sorted, and now want to mediate a very open and very public discussion on potential policy responses:
“The American Meteorological Society, the nation’s leading professional society for those in the atmospheric and related sciences, recently launched a new weblog (blog) to address the challenging policy issues related to climate change. The goal is to help decision makers at all levels make sound policy based on the
best available information.”
“From a policy standpoint, the important scientific questions about human caused climate change are largely settled. Society faces serious risks and complex choices about how to handle them. We need to confront the most contentious policy issues as openly and straightforwardly as possible. That way we may be able to overcome
the stumbling blocks that keep preventing us from dealing with climate change. AMS wants to help by making sure that it is knowledge and understanding that drive our policy choices.
“ClimatePolicy.org will encourage exchanges among experts, policy-makers, journalists, and the broader society. The blog will build on the knowledge of some of the world’s leading climate experts who come from the United States’ most renowned institutions. The core contributors include Joe Aldy (Resources for the Future), Scott Barrett (Johns Hopkins University), Dan Kammen (University of California, Berkeley), Mike MacCracken (Climate Institute), Mike Mastrandrea (Stanford University), and Michael Oppenheimer (Princeton University). With this broad range of expertise, ClimatePolicy.org will explore and analyze society’s options for reducing climate risks while also increasing economic opportunities and incorporating ethical values. These expert contributors, along with reader input from around the world, will help encourage a full assessment of potential responses to the threats posed by climate change.” [End of quote]
As I see it there are two options: mitigation and/or adaptation.
In order to mitigate, countries like Australia are looking at reducing emissions through the introduction of carbon trading or alternatively a carbon tax. There is always the option to do nothing, what a friend described to me the other day as “the third way”.
** Information received via David, thanks.