Funny things happen when you question the idea of a single dangerous limit to climate change. Most people, and I am talking about people who worry deeply about climate change, people who campaign on climate change issues, academics, researchers, you name it, they instantly get the hump when I question the validity of building policy around the idea of a two degree dangerous limit.
For example, I commented on an article urging scientists to get better at communicating uncertainty http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2012/06/mark-maslin-on-communicating-uncertainty-ahead-of-ar5#comment-557384018 lamenting the fact that many people believe the two degree limit is a scientific fact. I received a rapid reply slapping me down for not accepting the seriousness of climate change and consequently advocating doing nothing. Apparently it is people like me who are stalling policy makers from taking the appropriate action.
I explained that it was the advocates of the two degree limit who didn’t take the problem seriously enough, that these advocates want to continue warming the world to levels more than double the warming currently experienced, a level of warming which has already sent weather patterns into chaotic, random and mad spasms.
I went on to point out that it is the advocates of the two degree dangerous limit who are stalling, by claiming that dangerous climate change is not here yet, thus legitimating the neo-liberal agenda of business as usual, and the utopian fantasy of some technological wizardry that it is going to make the horrible climate change monster go away without the rich having to surrender even one crumb of their wealth and power.
Needless to say, when I explained these points the respondent recognised he had been overly hasty in his response, and recognised the legitimacy of my position. But this wasn’t the first time my attempts to highlight the fallacy of the two degree limit has met with such impassioned reactions.
And that goes to show just how ingrained the two degree dangerous limit has become with ‘progressive’ climate policy and campaigning. To worry about climate change is to want to warm the world by two degrees, to the very edge of what the two degree advocates claim is dangerous climate change, and which I argue is way beyond dangerous.
That is no accident, it is a deliberate act of power designed to forestall immediate and massive political and social change. And the vast majority of academics, NGOs and ‘progressives’ have fallen for it, hook line and sinker.