A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Adaptation - not the Kyoto Protocol - is the solution to 'global warming'.....

..... say 13 experts in a new book. This 'Press Release', posted here with permission, is from the International Policy Network, London (IPN).

'Adapt or die', Ed. Okonski, Profile Books, 2003. Click image to buy.Press Release

"Climate change is considered a major environmental issue. Conventional wisdom suggests that it will be devastating for the environment and humanity, and that ‘climate control’, through agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol, is the only way to address it.

But a new book, Adapt or die: the Science, Politics and Economics of Climate Change (published soon by Profile Books), challenges the view that climate change will be catastrophic, and that “climate control” is necessary.

13 expert contributors argue that policymakers should focus on strategies to enhance society’s ability to adapt to climate change. As world leaders gather for the COP-9 meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Milan, Italy (1-12 December, 2003), Adapt or die proposes constructive alternatives to climate control which would enable humanity to cope with negative impacts of climate change without excessive costs.

'Attempts to control the climate through restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions would have little effect on the earth’s climate, but would harm our ability to adapt to climate change by slowing economic growth and diverting resources into inappropriate uses,' says the book’s editor, Kendra Okonski, Director of the Sustainable Development Project at International Policy Network, a London-based NGO.

'To deal with climate change, we should adopt policies that promote human well-being both today and in the future,' explains Okonski. 'We could do this today by eliminating disease and poverty, developing new technologies, and reducing humanity’s vulnerability to climate change. In contrast, the Kyoto Protocol requires huge expenditures today for negligible benefits in the far future.'

Under the Kyoto Protocol, parties would restrict emissions of carbon dioxide in the hope that this might mitigate global warming. Yet it is increasingly clear that Kyoto has costs with no benefits, and it is unlikely ever to come into force. Signatories are therefore searching for alternatives that will achieve the goals of the UNFCCC, without burdening the world with unnecessary costs.

The book’s 13 experts include, amongst others, Dr. Benny Peiser of Liverpool John Moores University (UK), Dr. Paul Reiter of the Pasteur Institut (France), and Julian Morris, Visiting Professor at the University of Buckingham. They tackle the science, politics and economics of global warming, showing that:

• The Kyoto Protocol and other attempts at climate control will not achieve the desired end of mitigating climate change or preventing negative consequences from global warming;

• The victims of such policies would be European consumers and taxpayers, and people in poor countries;

• Such policies are extremely expensive, and the desired ends could be achieved in a more just and cost effective manner;

• To reduce the effects of global warming for people everywhere, we should focus on reducing vulnerability to climate change today. This means eliminating disease and poverty, enhancing access to existing and new technologies, and improving infrastructure;

• Adaptation to climate change is fostered by policies that promote certainty, flexibility, and decentralised responsibility;

• The benefits of an adaptation strategy for climate change would spill over to other, as yet unknown future problems that will be encountered by humanity."

Book Details

Adapt or die: the science, politics and economics of climate change;
Publisher: Profile Books;
£ 14.99.

How to buy Adapt or die early and at a discount (£10 plus P&P): go here, or click the book image above right.

The book launch for Adapt or die will take place on Monday, 1 December, 2003, London SW1.
RSVP: Stephanie Drnasin, Stephanie-at-policynetwork.net (replace -at- with @), +4420 7231 2132

For a review copy of the book, to interview the editor, or one of the contributors, or for more information, please contact Damian Nixon, International Policy Network, +4420 7231 2132, damian-at-policynetwork.net (replace -at- with @).

Up-dated information about the book will also be made available at www.adaptordie.info.


Nice to have the alternative viewpoint published in the UK for a change. As the Good Ship 'Kyoto Protocol' sinks below the rising tides, this is surely the way to go - trying to 'manage' climate itself predictably was always going to be a policy all at sea! Philip, with nasty cold and cough. Time for more medicine!

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