At a UK Royal Society symposium last week, Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, was as blunt on the reality of climate science as he was critical of those who deny it. His full remarks are here.
Some excerpts on the science:
Two hundred years of good science – teasing out uncertainties, considering risk – has laid the foundation of what we now understand.
It screams out from decade upon decade of research.
The basic physics of climate change is irrefutable.
Greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere and cause changes to the climate.
Human activity is significantly contributing to the warming of our planet.
And on the mistaken notion that reading on climate action is bad for a country’s economy:
Too often, we are told that those who go low-carbon first will sacrifice their competitiveness.
But as the Prime Minister set out last week, reaffirming our shared commitment to being the greenest government ever:
“We are in a global race and the countries that succeed in that race, the economies that will prosper, are those that are the greenest and the most energy efficient.”
The real danger we face is being outpaced by other countries who are investing in clean, low-carbon economies.
This is a boom market of £3.3 trillion, growing at 3.7% a year, with investment in renewables outpacing that in fossil fuels.
For our businesses this means opportunities, for our governments tax revenues, for our people jobs, for our societies insulation from the volatility of fossil fuel prices.
So this drive for low-carbon energy is a real engine of growth for hard-pressed economies around the world.
And on those who deny the science:
You know, when I am confronted by some of the most dogmatic and blinkered people who deny that climate change is happening, I am reminded of the sentiment of the famous USA Today cartoon.
“If we really are wrong about climate change, we will have created a better world for nothing.”
In reality, those who deny climate change and demand a halt to emissions reduction and mitigation work, want us to take a huge gamble with the future of every human being on the planet, every future human being, our children and grand children, and every other living species.
We will not take that risk.
Hear, hear! Act, act!