There is an article on the Telegraph website 'IPCC's Rajendra Pachauri is damaging the world'.
We should be concerned to tackle the problems in the world, in the order of greatest impact. I see these as:
1. Irrational behaviour resulting from religious doctrines, most particularly due to the teachings in the Koran.
2. Excessive population growth, somewhat correlated to item 1. and including the loss of control of women over their own fertility due to such religious doctrines. ('Your wives are a tilth unto you, go into your tilth when you want') For Britain the sustainable population size is somewhere around 20 million, depending on the acceptable standard of living.
3. Food and water security. Linked to items 1 and 2.
4. Energy security. Fossil fuels have been relatively cheap for decades. This cannot continue indefinately, whether or not you believe in peak oil or that it is imminent or indeed past the peak, it stands to reason that there simply cannot be an indefinite supply. It is fossil fuels which also have boosted agricultural production. Artificial fertilisers require energy to produce. Without such fertilisers the production per hectare reduces significantly. In addition, arable land will be needed for growing biofuel crops, at present this is oilseed rape for producing biodiesel. It may be that growing algae would be worthwhile in the future, when the technical hurdles have been overcome. If we factor these in to the equation too, the sustainable population size for Britain is not more than around 7 million. Does that surprise you?
5. Man made climate change. The levels of carbon dioxide have increased significantly over the last hundred years or more, due to human activity, in particular through burning fossil fuels. That is not refuted. Carbon dioxide is also irrefutably a greenhouse gas. The acidity of the oceans is also increasing due to the dissolved carbon dioxide. For this reason alone it would be worthwhile attempting to curb emissions. Whether or not the human contribution to climate change is significant in the long term scheme of things I am still trying to understand. The climate undergoes cyclic changes on long timescales anyway, long before humans appeared on the planet in any significant numbers. We need to learn to adapt to whatever changes occur, from whatever cause.
If the IPCC really wants to do something useful, it could tackle items 1 and 2 as a first priority.
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