SEARCH BLOG: SCIENCE and POLITICS
Earlier this week, Dr. Roger Pielke, Sr. posted The Vulnerability Perspective at Climate Science. The bottom line premise was that...
There are 5 broad areas that we can use to define the need for vulnerability assessments : water, food, energy, health and ecosystem function. Each area has societally critical resources. The vulnerability concept requires the determination of the major threats to these resources from climate, but also from other social and environmental issues. After these threats are identified for each resource, then the relative risk from natural- and human-caused climate change (estimated from the GCM projections, but also the historical, paleo-record and worst case sequences of events) can be compared with other risks in order to adopt the optimal mitigation/adaptation strategy.
I sent Dr. Pielke the following:
Part of the problem is getting agreement on the correct approach... and keeping the federal government from mandating some half-baked "solution." Governments should protect their citizens from those who would cause destruction or degrading of our key critical resources... but not try to pick winners and losers based on incomplete information.Dr. Pielke offers up a rational approach to examining how climate and other changes are occurring [as opposed to simply using climate model projections] and then assessing the impact on critical resources.
What, for example, would be the course of action if reforestation was seen as beneficial to temperature and rainfall, but detrimental to food supplies and general economic well-being [not that such is the case]? The U.S. government has a tendency to believe it can direct worldwide action on any issue. As shown in recent climate talks, unilateral action by the U.S. is like trying to save the world by pushing a rope up a cliff.
Why, for example, is Europe agonizing over CO2 when it has had exorbitant fuel taxes for decades? Maybe because burning coal is more economical than importing solar energy to countries that are generally overtaxed.
Unfortunately, when science and politics get together, we seem to get politicized science rather than science-based politics.
To say the least, this would be a vast improvement over the irrational "blame everything on global warming" politics that we have been subjected to for too many years. We don't need more of the "Global warming is increasing the intensity and number of forest fires across the American West" when the opposite is the real cause.