The world is “meandering into a failed future” because of its unwillingness to take decisive action on climate change, a leading UK academic has warned. Kevin Anderson, a professor of energy and climate change at Manchester University, UK, criticises oil companies for pushing an agenda of complacency. But, more unusually, he also blames academics, journalists and even some green groups for encouraging a belief that renewable power or other simple solutions can counter global warming. In an interview with Climate News Network, Anderson denies he is being alarmist or hardline. But he argues that there is a 95% chance that climate change action will not be robust enough to hold the growth in the Earth’s warming below the 1.5°-2°C target agreed at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015. Signs of misguided thinking in the UK, he says, include the government’s support for shale gas drilling and for building a third runway at Heathrow, London’s main airport. Anderson also believes that academics are wrongly advising policymakers they can reach the 1.5°-2°C target by using “mitigation” systems that suck carbon out of the atmosphere, such as experimental geo-engineering, and carbon capture and storage. He believes we should not be relying on this when there are more important targets – such as changing the lifestyles of the rich in the West who burn carbon by flying, driving large diesel cars, and being hooked on wasteful consumerism.
Climate News Network 6th April 2017 read more »