Says the latest Oxfam missive through our door. And their website has similar, sourced to the Stern report: ..the unfair way climate change affects people living in poverty. They are least responsible for the problem, have benefited less from levels of carbon use, but are paying the biggest price. The level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is historically a result of rich world activity. Therefore to be fair, the rich world should bear the full costs of adapting to climate change, at least in the early years.

People who give to Oxfam may well be supposed to be sympathetic to this (I am; though poor people have many other problems too). But (using this as an excuse to repeat one of my first points about Stern) I’m really not sure how well it works in the world at large. Do people who would do nothing, for their own sake, really think “I must cut back to help the poor”? It seems unlikely. It may even have the opposite effect. How altruistic are people, when it comes down to difficult choices? Maybe we all feel obliged to so at least something… so Oxfam may benefit from our guilt?


  1. #1 dodo

    I think the best solution to fight against global warming is “Contraction and Convergence”.

  2. #2 Lubos Motl

    Hi poor guy,

    you didn’t want to believe me – an IPCC insider – that IPCC is going to reduce dishonesty which will lead to a reduction of its predictions in the next report much like when paranormal phenomena such as telepathy are tested more properly. ;-)

    Now it’s public, see

    The sea level rise has been reduced to 1/2 much like the attribution of warming to the intrustry since the industrial revolution. One more IPCC and pseudoscience (global warming in this case) could disappear from IPCC altogether.

    Julian Morris tells governments to think twice before they throw billions of pounds away.


    [Lubos - First off, I wouldn't trust the Torygraph. But if you're referring to "The IPCC has been forced to halve its predictions for sea-level rise by 2100, one of the key threats from climate change. It says improved data have reduced the upper estimate from 34 in to 17 in." then thats interesting, though its the upper limit not the central value. Probably, though, they have misunderstood something - W]

  3. #3 Carl Christensen

    Such compassion, Lubo, you’re really turning into a Republican! When do you liberate Slovakia?

  4. #4 Eli Rabett

    It makes sense for OXFAM, people who support them and look at their site are likely to be more altruistic than the average.

  5. #5 Lubos Motl

    Sierra club has different estimates of the sea level rise than you or IPCC have, William. ;-) From Gordon on my blog:

    Lubos: Last week, we were treated to the spectacle of banner first page headlines in the “Victoria Times Colonist” newspaper( B.C.Canada) about how global warming was going to flood this city. A Sierra club “spokesman” said that thecontiguous ocean would rise a minimum of 8 metres and a maximum of 25 metres(!)and there were maps showing huge tracts of the city inundated. Of course, there were no citations of any studies to back these absolutely preposterous claims…….just a short note to remind you
    that junk science and baseless emotional propaganda are flourishing.

  6. #6 Lubos Motl

    If you don’t trust Torygraph, you may prefer Herald

    that just leaked that global warming is “hot air”, in an article by Professor Michael Jackson (not the plastic one).

    [A typical rag-bag of nonsense from another Emeritus: "Also, the temperatures in the upper parts of the atmosphere (the lower stratosphere) appear to have been falling at a faster rate than those at the earth's surface have been increasing" - doesn't it embarrass you to quote stuff like that? - W]

  7. #7 guthrie

    JAckson even gets in a dig at DDT banning, which seems to be compulsory if you have any desire to be thought of as a sceptic. It usually indicates that you are an anti-environmentalist.
    (Not to be confused with a common or garden uninformed person- an antienvironmentalist is someone who is convinced that environmentalists want to see the downfall of society and want everyone to live in caves. Sure, a few hundred people probably do want to see that. MEanwhile the rest of us that can be classified as environemtnalists feel insulted, since that is not what we want.)

  8. #8 garhane

    This is fascinating, like picking though all the stuff that swirls around at the change of a high tide. Bits of this and that which do not seem to fit together in any obvious way. I guess this could be taken to represent the movement from theory and persuasion to action on
    environment. Better get a helmet and some steel toed boots if you plan to stick around. It is going to be a rough ride. Just look at the nasty trick someone pulled on the Sierra Club, an organization that really has produced a long series of genuinely useful results in ecological matters.

  9. #9 Lubos Motl

    In fact, I haven’t read the whole article, William, and in no way I endorse its quality. Still, I’ve read enough to be sure that it is a wiser article than moonbat’s articles, for example

  10. #10 guthrie

    Its not wiser at all. Its a pile of smelly pants. I wrote several hundred words and e-mailed them off the the Herald, pointing out how silly the article was. Maybe they’ll print it. Anyway, to sum his argument up-
    the cliamte has always changed, and anyway we cant predict the weather years in advance, so it might all be hunky-dory anyway, and who wouldnt want to live in a Mediteranean UK?

  11. #11 guthrie

    Well, the Herald published the first two paragraphs of my reply. They left out the other 6. At least in internet argument you can point out all the problems and faults, but newspapers are always limited.