David King: Death, famine, drought: cost of 3C global rise in temperature

Thats from the Grauniad. Its was on the BBC 10 o'clock news. It was Scientist issues grim warning on global warming in the Times. But why? Thats what I was wondering, as I watched the news (just for once on TV; from my mothers house, on hols for Easter. Very nice too but no wireless connection...). Suddenly we were back to melting glaciers and dry lake beds but I could think of no particular report or reason for it coming out, and the TV gave no clue.

Most of it appears to be conciousness-raising: Prof King's latest comments are partly designed to raise the profile of the climate change debate among members of the public. "The government's willingness to deal with it is there. The finance is behind it, the obligation on the utilities is behind it but now it really is for the public to support it. If we don't get international agreement, we don't tighten our belts further on the issue, then we certainly are heading towards issues that go into dangerous climate change," he said.

And the rest of it seems to come from Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change last year. So nothing new, it seems.

Meanwhile, the IPCC AR4 draft is out for review in a new (final?) draft. The US CCSPO is co-ordinating the US review, it seems, and appears to be handing out the draft on its own bat, presumably by agreement with the IPCC itself.

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I've been wondering if there's a link to the UK government's current energy review. There are signs that the government is tending towards a massive expansion of nuclear power (which many fear will be at the expense of renewables and even public awareness of the need for energy efficiency: see a video report from last week at http://www.channel4.com/news/special-reports/special-reports-storypage… ). This is either an attempt to influence internal debate by stimulating public concerns, or (more likely perhaps?) part of a campaign to make people worried enough about climate change that they will overcome their anti-nuclear tendencies.

The science behind the more extreme predictions about climate change may not be rock solid, but when the issue is the habitability of the planet, planning for worst case scenarios seems prudent.

"The government's willingness to deal with it is there. The finance is behind it, the obligation on the utilities is behind it but now it really is for the public to support it."

Lip service is what we get from government. Britain & The US point at Nuclear Power growth in China & India.

Yet Britons & Americans would not look at India & China as the model for minimum wage ($10.00 a day?) or would perhaps reduce UK & US car ownership levels to those in China & India >>> one car per 20 persons?

So why point China & India (today) as the way to go. I guess it's not back into the future, but more like into the future backwards (or with heads in the sand).

Nuclear Power may be an option, but it is not an alternative. Alternative means that, alternative to fossil fuels (Coal & Oil) alternative to Nuclear Power, and reductions in emissions from cars & planes.

We cannot quarter (1/4) car use in Europe & North America, however we can expect car use (and air travel) to quadruple in China & India (and Africa). That means car ownership & air travel are set to double (worlwide) in the next 30 years.

Then we enter Mad Max (science fiction from pre-history) where people no longer mug each other for a pair of $100 dollar NIKEs, but for a tank-full or even gallon of petrol

[I don't see why nuclear power is not an alternative. It is low-CO2. Of course the waste is the problem, and we (UK) at least don't have a solution for that yet. As to the govt... their rhetoric is good. But they won't do unpopular things (like enforcing speed limits on motorways). So I have some sympathy for them: they would do more, if they thought we would support it - W]

Alternative - as in "renewable" Energy Sources

I don´t think Nuclear Power has become "renewable" yet, but you never know the availability or not of fuel for Nuclear Reactors could be (become) a "sensitive" issue, and I don´t just mean whether Iran, Egypt & N korea want Nuclear Power.

Egypt had to beg the EU for subsidies, it cannot finance its own nuclear prohgramme?

But if you double the market (and use) for Nuclear fuels, you have to worry (1) about availability of sources, ans (2) the dreaded disposal,

The Military use certainly concerns the US & Israel, more it would seem than it concerns Climate Science. Nuclear is more about Political & Culturo-Economic Climate Science.

Still we need to keep Particle Physicists well endowed with research funds - they may come up with something cold, or something "new". Maybe even before hell freezes over. Nobody seems to have come up with a better use for spent fuels