International Dimensions of Climate Change is the latest report from Foresight, which advises UK policymakers who are making decisions with long-lasting impacts. The report considers how the UK is likely to be affected by global climate change over the next 30 years and beyond, focussing on risks associated with foreign policy and security, finance and business, infrastructure, resources and commodities, and health. The report is available here.
Hypothetical solutions to imaginary problems
There are also nine commissioned reviews and seven think-pieces to support the main report:
- The implications for the UK health sector of the international dimensions of climate change, 2010 to 2100
- Ethical, social and behavioural impacts of climate change
- The implications of climate change for global governance and international institutions
- Physical resources and commodities and climate change – part 1 (PDF, 11.2 Mb) | Physical resources and commodities and climate change – part 2
- A reflection on the long-term evolution of international climate change law and potential impacts upon key areas that may require a response from the United Kingdom
- Public understanding of and attitudes towards climate change
- The implications on the UK of the impacts of climate change and sea-level rise on critical coastal infrastructure overseas, 2010 to 2100
- The impacts of climate change on overseas infrastructure (excluding sea-level rise)
- The impact of climate change overseas on the UK financial services sector
- Climate change and geoengineering
- How climate change will affect the world’s largest companies
- Achieving scale in investment – global risk and opportunity from climate change
- Proprietary environments: innovation paradox and policy
- Climate change and social capital
- The ramifications of climate change – the security perspective
- The state of climate change science and technology in the UK
Despite two decades of intensive worldwide research costing billions of dollars, AGW remains only an unproven hypothetical possibility. The best available evidence indicates a barely detectable highly uncertain warming trend for which the most probable effects have been a net benefit. Still, governments, the media and a large portion of the intelligentsia have subscribed passionately to an unshakable belief in the certainty of the imagined threat and the urgent necessity to drastically reduce use of the fossil fuels which are essential to our entire modern civilisation. That this obsession has managed to maintain even in the face of immanent and seemingly unavoidable collapse of the entire global financial structure is even more remarkable.
The idea that diffuse sources of renewable energy and the as yet costly and largely undeveloped technologies to capture and store it, can quickly, easily, effectively and affordably replace fossil fuels is a naivety which would be difficult to imagine were it not real. That it is subscribed to so widely, passionately and with such utter conviction must surely be a mass mania not unlike those that swept Europe in the Middle Ages and manifested in the form of witch hunts, dancing manias and the Children’s Crusade.
There is an old story about a scientist who discovered a means of communicating with animals and he said to a lemming: “There is one thing about you I really don’t understand. Every so often you gather in millions and march into the sea. Why do you do that?” The lemming replied, “That’s funny. There is also one thing about you I really don’t understand. Why don’t you do it?”
Perhaps we do but just on a time scale proportional to our greater longevity. At least here in the Lucky Country we mostly all live close to the sea so getting there should entail minimal effort or discomfort. For those whom getting to the coast is too inconvenient, trying to live off of renewable energy should be a quite effective alternative.