A study in alternative realities:

Last week in Oxford a clutch of the world’s most eminent climate scientists gathered for a conference with the slightly forbidding title Four Degrees and Beyond.

As keynote speaker Professor John Schellnhuber told the group:  “… a full, fair and feasible solution of the climate problem can be derived (politically), yet its adoption by the multilateral political system is rather unlikely. Therefore, a world warming up by 3, 4 or even more degrees needs to be faced or, at least, imagined.”

That imagining takes us somewhere close to cataclysm; what Schellnhuber calls a “runaway greenhouse effect”. Listen to his presentation here.

In Australia as we count down the weeks to December’s Copenhagen summit, the federal opposition is divided between those who see the government’s limply pro-polluter CPRS as “a new tax!” that ought to be resisted, delayed or ignored, and those, championed by Senator Nick Minchin, who believe passage of the bill should be stalled until the new year by using Senate numbers and a fillibuster to defer even the possibilty of a vote.

What planet do these people live on?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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