Monday, 1 November 2021

How many days left to save the planet? #COP26 [updated]

Glasgow's meeting of climate luminaries, aka COP26, is "the last best hope" to save the planet ... say the press secretaries and promoters of COP26.

They're in good company. They've been many "last best hopes" in recent decade. 

"I think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate change," said NASA's James Hansen. He said that in 2006.

"We have only four more years to act on climate change," he said in 2009.

Hansen was a piker. In 2008, climate change researchers Andrew Simms and Victoria Johnson revealed we only had 100 months to save the planet. Or just 96 months! (This was Prince Charles; and this was 2011.)

These can be added to a long list of apocalyptic enviro-predictions with which the planet blithely refuses to cooperate.

And yet the planet is still here, and calamity has yet to occur. And, despite falling freedom and diminishing respect for reason and science, the human environment continues to get better, not worse. Historian Scott Powell puts this down to what he calls “The Hank Rearden Effect”—the tremendous ability of entrepreneurs, industrialists and inventors to continue producing, in the face of expanding efforts to slow them down. 

The great irony is that the race to continue proving the doomsayers wrong is between producers on one side, and ranged them on the other side are the vast mass of politicians, regulators and cultural mavens who wish to shackle them.

And still, after more than three decades of doom-saying we have still to see the predicted effects of global warming. We are however feeling, and about to feel even further, the effects of regulations to (allegedly) arrest global warming.

Expect promises of many more to spew forth from COP26.

How many days left to save the planet? Apparently exactly as many as it takes to grab another headline.

UPDATE: To keep yourself updated on the latest gloomy predictions, you really can't go past The Extinction Clock. A slice...


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