Climate Change Challenge: Quick Fixes

Climate Change, that science / psuedo-science / political hornets nest, is going to move to the forefront in President Obama’s second term if his inaugural speech is any indicator of future events.

The problem is that there are very few quick fixes, and one thing we want to avoid are knee-jerk reactions. From about 1990 until 5 years ago, just about all of our policies toward climate change were knee-jerk reactions based on insufficient computer models and fear. Lets face it – global warming and the prospect of roasting to death is scary stuff. Politicians and advocacy groups (the voices of the little people) know that fear is a great motivator and they use it to their advantage to rally the troops around a cause, eventually creating a crisis like global warming.

So what needs to happen?

Fear-mongers will latch on to every little last bit of climate change research that verifies their position. It is absolutely necessary for climate researchers to set an extremely high standard by which to referee papers. Researchers and peer reviewers must be rigorous in their due diligence so that incomplete data sets and incomplete modelling are rejected.

Science needs to perfect computer modeling so that we can determine, with a high level of certainty, what we are facing in a world changed by man-made inputs.

Politicians need to base their decisions on reason and they need to look for areas where policy can do the most real good; and I know that is a lot to ask.

This is my list of priorities for any organization. I will elaborate on each in future posts.

  1. Set policies and best practices in motion to deal with extreme weather. This can be accomplished in a year or less because most of it is common sense. Extreme weather is nothing new, but people are just realizing that it has a large societal and economic impact, something meteorologists have known for a very long time.
  2. Come up with a base definition and directive to react to climate change. So-called greenhouse gasses are not the only players. Human impact on climate is much more robust than just CO2. There are other factors like urban sprawl and other heat sources that have to be quantified.  I dare say that for most people, getting rid of evil gasses is one thing. Infringing on my right to new housing developments, shopping centers and paved roads — ah, that’s not going to go over so well. We can fix somethings and other things we cannot.
  3. Set a goal for clean energy just like JFK did for the space program instead of continuing on with half-baked programs. It can be done, we just need a President and Congress with the guts to do it.
  4. We have come a long, long way in the reduction of pollution. Allow the free marketplace to regulate standards here in the U.S., not policies that advocate taxes or fees. Businesses need their capital to improve infrastructure and consumers are smart enough to avoid heavy polluters like the plague.  Carbon credits are smoke and mirrors anyway and don’t get at root issues.
  5. Make the computer models better, knowing they will never be perfect.
  6. Develop a policy council which only has the best interest of United States at heart. The U.S. cannot allow itself to be regulated by the rest of the world, nor can it react to fear and pseudo-science.

It is essential that we take a balanced approach to climate change. We need to face the reality that extreme weather has a huge societal and economic impact, while controlling what can become wildly out of control regulations. That means the U.S.  reaction to changing weather must be distilled into a coherent, compact plan of action and free from non-U.S. influence.

If the U.S. is as mighty in science as we believe we are (and we are!) then we are able to develop and implement a plan that is far superior to any the United Nations can come up with.

I will elaborate on each of the six recommendations I made here in later posts.

–Chris Orr CCM
(c) 2013 Chris Orr CCM / Chris Orr LLC

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