In stark contrast to the hard liberalism of TW is one of the worst pieces of woolly-thinking soft liberalism (well, actually the Green Party, of which I’m a member and supporter, if you care. It is from their mag). And yet somehow it seems all too typical.
Life in the Peruvian Andes is hard… blah blah… Recently, these communities have experienced the worst winter to hit Peru in nearly 50 years with temperatures plummeting to a deadly minus 24ºC Oh dear. Well, clearly they could do with a bit of warming, then, no? Or are we really obliged to pretend that all climate change is necessarily bad?
I want to talk about the climate change issues of this piece, but as an aside I should point out that these people’s real problem is poverty, as the piece itself quite happily points out: Poverty is the real issue here. The people have no resources. They don’t have electricity or heating. And indeed the solution proposed is for them to get richer (though it isn’t put in those terms): Our mission is to support the people of the high Andes to obtain the skills and resources to survive the harsh winters, to make them more resilient… build solar, wind or hydroelectric power generators… find the best crops to grow. Ah, it would all warm the cockles of TW’s heart.
Somewhere towards the end of the piece it must have occurred to the writer that they needed to make at least some effort at explaining why global warming was making the place colder:
It’s assumed that climate change means everywhere will get hotter, but that’s simply not the case. In places like Peru, it will get much colder, and the recent weather has been a stark reminder for the indigenous people of the reality of climate change.
But this isn’t very convincing. First of all, the fact that the coldest winter in 50 years is quite cold shouldn’t be terribly surprising. that is what is meant by extremes, after all. There is no evidence at all presented that there is any link to long-term climate change, that this is anything other than weather. But secondly is that In places like Peru, it will get much colder. Well, that is an interesting assertion. No source, of course, so we look to our authority the IPCC AR4.
That looks like the obvious image to go for. Err… can you spot the cooling n the Andes? No? Well done, your grasp of reality is rather better than Abbie Upton‘s. Still, those are the global maps. Perhaps I should look at the regional ones?
Nope, fail again. Do I need to taunt her any more?