Futile for so many reasons, practical and political. Grinding developed economies to a halt is an entirely unrealistic aim. China and India will press on with industrialisation in order to raise their populations out of a miserable life of poverty. Much of the developed world has its eyes firmly fixed on the forthcoming GFC Mark II, and when the going gets tough, touchy-feely environmentalism gives way to hard-nosed reality. Without anything else, this simple list demonstrates why adaptation is infinitely preferable to attempts at mitigation.
And now another nail in the coffin, as respected climatologist Murry Salby claims that natural drivers have a far greater effect on CO2 levels than anthropogenic sources, and if anthropogenic source have little effect, then reducing them by means of carbon taxes will in all probability achieve nothing for CO2 concentration, much less the climate:
Carbon dioxide is emitted by human activities as well as a host of natural processes. The satellite record, in concert with instrumental observations, is now long enough to have collected a population of climate perturbations, wherein the Earth-atmosphere system was disturbed from equilibrium. Introduced naturally, those perturbations reveal that net global emission of CO2 (combined from all sources, human and natural) is controlled by properties of the general circulation – properties internal to the climate system that regulate emission from natural sources. The strong dependence on internal properties indicates that emission of CO2 from natural sources, which accounts for 96 per cent of its overall emission, plays a major role in observed changes of CO2. Independent of human emission, this contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide is only marginally predictable and not controllable.
The podcast of Prof Salby’s talk is here. A paper on this topic is apparently being prepared for publication.