Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Have we already lost the fight against climate change?

Academics and policy makers are devoting too much attention to climate change mitigation policies rather than policies geared towards adapting to climate change. This is the claim made by Frances Cairncross (chair of the UK Economic and Social Research Council) in the article below.

Adaptation policies have had far less attention than mitigation, and that is a mistake," she said. ".. We need to think now about policies that prepare for a hotter, drier world, especially in poorer countries. That may involve, for instance, developing new crops, constructing flood defences, setting different building regulations, or banning building close to sea level.


She's right too in my opinion. If climate change is a stark reality, and it surely is, then we have to admit that mitigation policies are going to have only a minimal effect, no matter how politically difficult it is to make that admission. We need to face up to reality.

Another article hitting the news today is equally pessimistic in terms of our prospects of fighting climate change. Peter Smith from the University of Nottingham, UK claims that we have only 20 years before we reach the 'climate change point of no return'. Yet more reason to start preparaing adaption strategies. Fast.


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