Climate Change is going home to cash
The climate sceptics have had their moment in the sun with the torpedoing of the previous narrative, but they have not succeeded in replacing it with their own – which is that the whole idea is a fraud, a conspiracy on various levels. Some people might think that, but my strong sense is that many more are bemused, and simply do not know what to think.
So here's a helping hand. What do you think really clever people think – people who aren't climate scientists, and who aren't climate sceptics, but who need to know, purely pragmatically (as for multimillion-dollar investment decisions) where the truth really lies? You can find out by looking at last week's edition of The Economist, which some people probably consider Britain's cleverest magazine. (They certainly think so themselves.)
Last week The Economist ran a cover story entitled "Living With Climate Change" which struck me as one of the most notable things I have read about global warming all year. The magazine has no truck with climate scepticism – the future is far too important for nonsense. But neither does it embrace the old narrative, which is that it's real, but if we fight it we can stop it.
Instead, it sets out, quite coldly, a new, third position: it's real, but after Copenhagen, it can't be stopped. With all the world's efforts, here in Cancun, concentrating on halting the warming at a rise of two degrees, widely considered the danger threshold, the magazine quotes Britain's most distinguished climate scientist, Professor Bob Watson, former head of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as saying that the two degree target is "a wishful dream". And then it sets out in detail how we should begin to adapt to what's now inevitably coming.
Make of it what you will. But hey, if you're confused, that's where the smart money is...
Of course there is another possibility that businesses can spot a cash cow ready for milking. It would be interesting to know how much of the "smart money" is actually from consumers reacting to real changes and how much is mulct from them by Governments and then spent just in case.