The International Energy Agency was, until recently, a conservative and staid body. When I was at the U.S. Department of Energy in the 1990s, we ignored most IEA reports, because, like the vast majority of energy forecasters, they inevitably projected that the future would simply continue the trends of the recent past.
But now, of course, if we stay on current trends, we are going to utterly destroy a livable climate and ruin the lives of billions of people. Even so, attention must be paid when a major international body is so uncharacteristically blunt, when they actually lead their website with this bombshell headline from their own news release!
Anyone who follows the IEA or Climate Progress knows that they and many others have been issuing this warning for the last year or two (see “Yes, Deniers And Confusionists, The IEA And Others Warn Of Some 11°F Warming by 2100 If We Keep Listening To You“).
And because the world just keeps blithely dumping more and more carbon pollution into the air, the leadership of the IEA has been increasingly blunt. Their chief economist, Fatih Birol, said late last year that the world is on pace for 11°F warming, and “Even School Children Know This Will Have Catastrophic Implications for All of Us.” If only school children ran the world!
The IEA news release is about the recent remarks of Deputy Executive Director Richard H. Jones:
Ambassador Richard H. Jones warned that if energy policies do not adapt, enough carbon dioxide will be being emitted to reach 1,000 parts per million in the atmosphere. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that equates to 6º Celsius increase in temperature by the end of this century. “That’s basically Miami Beach in Boston,” he said.
Of course, 1000 ppm is also the Atlantic Ocean all over Miami Beach, so Miami beach has to go somewhere.
Kudos to the IEA for telling it like it is. Is anyone listening?
- IEA Report: Existing Cleantech Is The Answer To The Climate Problem And It Could Save $100 Trillion By 2050