I’ve been writing for several years now that this would be the toughest decade for climate activists. My reasoning has been that the economics of the prescriptive measures being pushed would become clearer (and people would start to understand how expensive fighting climate change really is) and that many of the factors that worked to push temperatures up in the last decade have switched modes–the alphabet soup of AMO, PMO, ENSO, accompanied by solar cycles, etc.
I even bet climate activist Joe Romm $1,000 that this decade wouldn’t warm more than 1.5C, based just on the changes in these factors. I still think I’m going to win.
There’s been a lot of pushback, but uber climate scientist James Hansen made it official the other day–temperatures are not rising. Temperatures have stalled. He writes, “The 5-year mean global temperature has been flat for a decade, which we interpret as a combination of natural variability and a slowdown in the growth rate of the net climate forcing.”
And so begins a decade when activists will have to fight twice as hard just not to lose ground. They couldn’t convince everyone back when temperatures actually were rising quickly–it will only be tougher now. (Which is one reason that tying their fortunes to their new pet toy Xtreme Weather is idiotic.)
Their real best bet? They need to make the following point early and often: If all of the cyclical or periodic components that drive the weather are pushing in a downward direction–and temperatures don’t fall–this global warming stuff is not only real, but probably pretty powerful.
We’ll see if they figure that out.