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Climate Change: Going beyond the dangerous

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Published on Feb 9, 2012

Kevin Anderson, former Director of the Tyndall Centre (the UK's top academic institute researching climate change) is a depressing guy. Here, in his lecture "Beyond dangerous climate change: emission scenarios for a new world", he lays out the grim reality of climate change, and our inability to address it globally.

We are currently mitigating for 4 degrees C of warming and planning for 2 degrees C. As Anderson points out, that's ass backwards. Further, he sees absolutely no way we can meet those targets, given the rapid industrialisation of China and the emerging economies, and the current state of global political inaction.

He points out, with brutal honesty, that "climate analysts construct their scenarios not to avoid dangerous climate change but to avoid threatening economic growth". There is, therefore, almost no possibility that we are going to act, either in time or at the scale necessary, to address the challenge facing us.

We pretend that 2 degrees C is our threshold. Yet the climate scenarios and plans presented to policymakers do not actually reflect that threshold. As Anderson says, "most policy advice is to accept a high probability of extremely dangerous climate change rather than propose radical and immediate emission reductions."

Depressing stuff indeed...

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Download the paper this lecture is based on (written by Anderson and Alice Bows) here: http://ianmcpherson.com/blog/audio/Ke...

Read David Robert's thoughts about the paper in two articles at Grist:
http://grist.org/climate-change/2011-...
http://grist.org/climate-policy/2011-...

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This lecture is part of the London School of Economics Department of International Development Friday Lecture Series. More information can be found here: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/newsAndMedia/vi...

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Speaker: Professor Kevin Anderson.
Recorded on 21 October 2011 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House, London UK.

This lecture is part of the LSE Department of International Development Friday Lecture Series. A question and answer session follows the talk.

Kevin Anderson is professor of energy and climate change in the School of Mechanical, Aeronautical and Civil Engineering at the University of Manchester.

He has recently finished a two-year position as director of the Tyndall Centre, the UK's leading academic climate change research organisation, during which time he held a joint post with the University of East Anglia.

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