Hoesung Lee, the new head of the IPCC, isn’t wasting time writing tawdry romance novels as did his predecessor. He yesterday called for a shift in focus for the IPCC, saying that they should focus more on solutions.
As he told the Guardian, “We have been doing a fantastic job in identifying the problem of climate change. At the same time we have been somewhat slow in identifying the solutions aspects,” Lee told the Guardian. “I believe the next cycle of the IPCC should be more focused on opportunities and solutions.”
I think everyone on his side of the fence is tired of talking about the problem. Given the quality of data available to quantify the existence and scope of the problem that’s no surprise.
One way of side-stepping around the legitimate concerns of those unconvinced by prior emissions of climate ‘information’ is to focus on things that need doing anyway.
Cities from New Orleans to Manila need to build robust defences against storms. Cities from Tokyo to New York need to address subsidence. Beaches from England to California have suffered serious erosion. Forests from Canada to Indonesia are dealing with wildfires. Populations from Thailand to Pakistan are increasing so fast that they are moving into areas threatened by serious flooding.
Bring on the engineers! Let’s start fixing areas threatened by today’s climate and build in a prudent safety margin for threats that may arise from sober assessments of future climate change. If those safety margins are added on to existing projects it won’t hurt so much–it won’t cost so much.
From sea walls and harbor protection to forest management practices and combating incursions into rain forests, from river management to aquifer depletion, these tasks need to be undertaken with or without climate change.
Action taken on these existing problems would provide real world protection for threatened populations and show evidence that making a better world can also include provision for an uncertain future.
Acting in such a manner would forestall criticisms from skeptics that we are building protection against a problem they don’t see coming. We need to do these things anyhow. And it wouldn’t necessarily take the focus away from where the alarmists believe it should be–on mitigation. We need to do these things anyhow.
Someone tell me I’m missing something important, because I don’t see why we aren’t moving on this now.
Maybe Hoesung Lee has something…