Adaptation is the only response to climate change



It has been said many times on this blog, whether or not climate change is a problem, there is only one response: adaptation.

Climate change mitigation action, such as carbon taxes, emissions trading schemes etc, have done nothing whatsoever to alter the climate, but have cost the global economy billions, and probably trillions, of dollars – dollars which could have been spent far more wisely.

It is scandalous that so much hard-won cash has been squandered on pointless environmental gestures, when millions are dying from lack of clean water or cheap electricity. As the author of the following article points out, these decisions are not ones that should be made by scientists:

It is interesting to enquire initially just whose job is it to tell us how to respond if we believe climate change is happening and materially human-induced. When various clever non-scientists raise concerns about climate change models they are waved away by specialists in the area, told that these are proper scientific questions for proper scientists. Yet all too often scientists fail to apply the same rules to themselves. The issue over whether there is global warming and what the human contribution to it might be is – at least to a material extent – a scientific question. But whether we should do anything about it and, if so, which of the available technical options is best to adopt, is emphatically not a question for scientists. Instead, it is a question for economists, which then puts you very much in my world. (source)

And for those morons who continue to label anyone who questions the climate dogma ‘deniers’, the thing we should be denying is any more of the money you want to flush down the pan on mitigation…

There’s plenty more – read it all.


  1. luisadownunder says:

    Economists are every bit as useless as “climate” scientists, a misnomer if ever I heard one.

    Any person with half a brain can understand the difference between climate and weather. Perhaps a return to teaching science at a grade school level, and not dogma, will do the rest.

  2. manicbeancounter says:

    I missed the article in the UK Telegraph. Mitigation policy is something I have been looking at for the past couple of months.

    The article does not fully bring out an important element of mitigation policies. They do not bring greenhouse gas levels down, but only stops them going above a level that is higher than currently. So mitigation does not replace the future costs of climate change with the costs of policy. It instead replaces the full costs of climate change, with the costs of policy AND a reduced cost of climate change. If only a small minority of countries reduce emissions, then they will be saddled with nearly all the costs of climate change AND the policy costs. The maths does not add up, unless every nation constrains emissions. But for the emerging nations to severely constrain emissions growth would require them to curtail their high rates of growth, a cost for them well beyond even the most apocalyptic scenarios of climate change.

    Some figures will illustrate the magnitude of the problem. What will be the impact of the major rich economies succeed it meeting the 2008 UK Climate Change Act of reducing carbon emissions by 80% of the 1990 baseline? I looked at World Bank CO2 emissions (see note 1) and split out the ACEJU block (Australia, Canada, EU, Japan and USA). I then estimated the CO2 emissions for 2050.
    In billions of tonnes of CO2, without policy ACEJU emissions are 1990 10.7, 2010 11.2, 2050 11.0. For the rest of the world the figures are 1990 11.5, 2010 22.4, 2050 49.4. So if all the ACEJU countries successfully cut emissions by 80% of the 1990, global CO2 emissions will only be 2.3 times the 2010 level, instead of 2.7 times without policy. If dangerous climate change can only be averted by maintaining 2010 emissions levels, 15% of the world’s population are not going to do much.

    Note 1. The growth in total GHG emission figures is less. CO2 rose from 71% of global emissions in 1990 to 76% in 2010.
    Note 2. Under my estimates, CO2 emissions per capita (EPC) without policy in the rest of the world will be still two-thirds of the ACEJU countries. Within that China’s EPC would be equal to ACEJU, and India’s just half.

  3. [snip] OK you’ve had three plugs for your book – and don’t start using multiple user names, please. First and final warning. Thanks – Ed

  4. What? You mean that when Climate Change brings warm weather we should wear lighter clothes, and when Global Warming brings snowstorms we should wear heavier clothes? Is that practical?
    More importantly, who is going to make millions from that?


  1. […] derived from “The Climate Fix” by Roger Pielke Jnr. This enlarges on a comment made at Australian Climate Madness […]

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