22 December 2011

Professor Kevin Anderson - Climate Change: Going Beyond Dangerous

This is the best presentation we have seen all year. It's a must watch!


  1. I would love to have the text to read as I am rather confused.
    Kevin's chats about making ( lots of emissions here ) and then driving lower CO2 emitting cars by the 1%. This seems to be so easy as not to be part of what he is saying is a very difficult and sharp drop in emissions. I would have thought bicycles to be the essential change in transport technology and remember Cuba did just that in the early 1990's when cheap Soviet oil stopped flowing.
    That was with done in stagnant i.e. not growing socialist economy, where austerity was the order of the day. I agree with your comment that a prolonged period of austerity for the 1st and new development path for 3rd World is imperative but the talk about more efficient cars for the 1% SEEMS ODDLY IRELLEVANT.
    Eric Ward
    Chiang Mai

  2. I think that what Anderson was saying was that if the top 1% emitters cut back on their emissions by 50% from cars (but not just cars) then that would be significant. In NA the top 1% of the global population is those who earn more than approximately $45,000. It would mean most cars. I suspect it would also mean homes and eating beef and other ruminants.

  3. David - I had a similar feeling. Where does driving luxury cars fit into this? Suddenly, he's shifted from planned economic recession to buying Audis. As Anon said, I *think* the point he's trying to illustrate is that very serious reductions in the emissions of the top 1% are possible on the timeframes required. However, this example seems to claim that doing so is compatible (more or less) with current lifestyles with only regulative changes to encourage the motor industry in the right direction a little faster (and some reversal of car occupancy trends and no growth in total miles), which is indeed odd. I think he's desperately trying to reach for something - anything - to offer as hope in a very bleak situation.

    However, the most disappointing part of this otherwise fascinatingly depressing talk is that around the 53 minute mark, he repeats the claim that an IEA report suggested a 3.5ºC temp rise by 2035. This was a gross misreading of the IEA fact sheet found in a CSM article (the fact sheet says twice that it is talking about a scenario which by 2035 is on a trajectory to a long-term increase of at least 3.5ºC). I'm very surprised he took a popular news pieces at face value on this when the result is so far out of alignment with mainstream predictions as to be laugh out loud funny.