Friday, March 30, 2012

IPCC Chair Said We Are Now Sunk

I was reading about Kari Norgaard, Climate Depot's Daily Pillory, who teaches at the University of Oregon. This kind of thing doesn't do the cause any good, and probably actively hurts it, but anyway I came across this Wired interview of her from 2009 which has this statement by Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC:
“If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.”
As there's been no action since then, we're officially sunk, in the eyes of the IPCC, or at least its Chairman.

This is a good reason not to make categorical statements, especially if you're in charge of something. Even if your intentions are good.


ScruffyDan said...

Ugh... References for a fixed deadline before it is 'too late' to do anything are pointless. A better way to think about the issue is that every year we do nothing the solution becomes more difficult, but it is never really 'too late'.

Though at some point it might be too late to limit warming to 2C. But then we can still work to avoid 3C of 4C... etc.

This problem of 'too late' is a large problem within thing communicating climate. Even James Hansen often says or implies 'game over' which is basically the same as too late. Of course Hansen and others might go into great detail what they mean by game over (and when reading those details it all seems so reasonable), but very few people both to read them. And those who are willing to make misrepresentations are handed an easy target.

Jay said...


"To many Americans and Canadians, the greenhouse signal literally became visible during the last two weeks of October of 1996, when winds that seemed to roar without respite gathered a "black blizzard" of prairie topsoil that darkened the skies of sixteen states and the Canadian Maritimes. The dust penetrated the lungs of cattle, stopped traffic on interstates, stripped pain from houses, and shut down computers. People put on goggles and covered their noses and mouths with wet handkerchiefs. They stapled plastic sheets over windows and doors but still the dust seeped through. Analysis disclosed that soil from Dalhart in the Texas Panhandle landed as far away as Halifax, Nova Scotia. In place of the soil, the winds left only the heavy sands that now bury parts of the western plains under drifting dunes."

Otter said...

If I recall rightly, Al Gore predicted in 2007 that Arctic ice would be gone by this year.

Of course, I have always thought that he deliberately tried to tie the idea to the Faux Mayan 'prophecy' for 2012....

*notes prior comment* Sounds like a description of the Dust Bowl. I have to wonder if there were not some few in the 30s who tied that, to greenhouse theory.

Anonymous said...

This actually comes from a Revkin story in the NYT 2007. I'm not finding anything through your Wired link.

Here is more:

He said that since the IPCC began its work five years ago, scientists had recorded “much stronger trends in climate change,” like a recent melting of Arctic ice that had not been predicted. “That means you better start with intervention much earlier.”


Dano said...

Al Gore predicted in 2007 that Arctic ice would be gone by this year

You don't have to recall rightly, all the denialist blogs will do that for you.

Nevertheless, this is what he said, because the denialist blogs won't do that for you:

“Some of the models suggest that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during some of the summer months, could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years,” says Gore.

So, no. "You" don't recall rightly.