Just in case no-one noticed, the IPCC finally dropped the façade of being a scientific rather than a political body following the publication of the Synthesis Report. The IPCC now stands naked behind the Kyoto Protocol as the policy needed to avoid a computer modelled CO2 driven climate catastrophe.
Meanwhile, the report seems to have had a profound effect on UK prime minister Gordon Brown. Despite being previously advised that the UK could not meet the EU target of 20% of energy coming from renewables by 2020, he now intends to set a much higher target. Furthermore, he seems poised to replace the draft climate change bill target of a 60% reduction in the UKs CO2 emissions by 2050 with an 80% target. Details of any strategy designed to achieve such ambitious targets so far seem to be limited to the desire to seek the end of the single use plastic bag and the setting up of a ‘green hotline’ to advise people how to reduce their environmental impact. He also claims that there will be hundreds of thousands of ‘green jobs’ created, with no mention of how many may be lost.
Enter Gwyn Prins and Steve Rayner to point out that Kyoto is ‘The Wrong Trousers: Radically Rethinking Climate Policy’
We face a problem of anthropogenic climate change, but the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 has failed to tackle it. A child of summits, it was doomed from the beginning, because of the way that it came into being, Kyoto has given only an illusion of action. It has become the sole focus of our efforts, and, as a result, we have wasted fifteen years.
We have called this essay “The Wrong Trousers” evoking the Oscar-winning animated film of that name. In that film, the hapless hero, Wallace, becomes trapped in a pair of automated ‘Techno Trousers’. Whereas he thought they would make his life easier, in fact, they take control and carry him off in directions he does not wish to go.
We evoke this image to suggest how the Kyoto Protocol has also marched us involuntarily to unintended and unwelcome places. Just as the enticingly electro-mechanical “Techno Trousers” offered the prospect of hugely increasing the wearer’s power and stride, so successful international treaties leverage the power of signatory states in a similar way, making possible together what cannot be achieved alone. The Kyoto Wrong Trousers have done something similar to those who fashioned and subscribed to the agreement. To set a new course, we need to understand how we have gone wrong so far. Accordingly, the essay proceeds in three sections, as follows:
Continue reading the entire essay.
Paul after “The IPCC now stands naked behind the Kyoto Protocol as the policy needed to avoid a computer modelled CO2 driven climate catastrophe.” – I didn’t bother reading the rest.
David Joss says
The authors present a cute analogy, claiming: “Wallace’s Wrong Trousers were enticingly electro-mechanical and seductively modern. They offered the promise of greatly increasing the wearer’s power and stride (or in Wallace and Gromit’s case, making dog-walking easier). But when they were switched on, their undoubted power actually produced quite unexpected and unwelcome results.”
However, as even my little grandson understands, what brought Wallace’s plan undone was that the trousers were hijacked by a very unwholesome penguin.
And that, it seems to me, is the real danger facing the world.
Paul Biggs says
Luke – just read the essay:
OK for you – and it had better not mention Al Gore.
David Archibald says
There is no problem of AGW. Increased CO2 will result in a minuscule amount of warming and a whole lot more plant growth. It is wholly beneficial. There is no need to do anything.
Paul Biggs says
Err – Luke – skip page 8 where it merely says:
But in 2006-7, climate change rocketed to the top of the international political agenda with a velocity that demands explanation. We can point to the coverage given to the ineptitude of the Bush Administration’s response to the flooding of New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina, and the sense of political momentum among activists was reinforced by Al Gore’s visually compelling and widely screened advocacy film, An Inconvenient Truth.
Paul Biggs says
Aaargh! page 18 too:
Speaking in Sydney after the General Election campaign had begun, Al Gore described Australia and the USA as the “Bonnie and Clyde” (i.e., desperate outlaws) of international climate policy, and urged Australians to sign Kyoto, thereby forcing the USA to follow suit.
Paul Biggs says
Aaargh! What does ‘allegorical’ mean? Page 31.
Phew! Not derived from ‘Al Gore:’
Allegory is a form of extended metaphor, in which objects, persons, and actions in a narrative, are equated with the meanings that lie outside the narrative …
Al Gore has joined up with a Venture Capitalist; they intend to makeover the global energy business;
“What we are going to have to put in place is a combination of the Manhattan Project, the Apollo project, and the Marshall Plan, and scale it globally,”
Thats the plan!
Executive Summary? Sorry, I’m not an executive, just an ‘umble worker, guvnor.