A: Of course not. Only efforts to sharply cut CO2 emissions starting immediately would be good for the climate.
If proof were ever needed that winning a Nobel Prize does not make you a genius on every subject, consider what atmospheric scientist Paul Crutzen told Reuters:
It’s a cruel thing to say … but if we are looking at a slowdown in the economy, there will be less fossil fuels burning, so for the climate it could be an advantage… We could have a much slower increase of CO2 emissions in the atmosphere … people will start saving (on energy use).
Yes, and monkeys could fly out of my butt, which, as an aside, is probably the only thing I could do that might garner a Nobel prize or at least a mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. But (butt?) I digress.
If carbon dioxide emissions stopped growing forever, concentrations would still keep rising forever, and the climate would be destroyed. In fact, the recent rate of growth of emissions has been faster than even the most pessimistic IPCC model had projected (see “Global carbon emissions jumped 3% in 2007“). If that rate of growth were cut in half, we would still have our foot on the accelerator headed toward the cliff (see “For peat’s sake: A point of no return as alarming as the tundra feedback“).
Crutzen knows better. He signed the Must Read Bali Climate Declaration by Scientists, which acknowledged that to avoid catastrophic impacts “global emissions must peak and decline in the next 10 to 15 years.” A global economic slowdown doesn’t increase the chances of that happening. Quite the reverse.
Lots of people who apparently never believed in serious climate action have been taking the opportunity of the slowdown to say we must back off intelligent emissions controls:
And he’s a Democrat. Sadly, he doesn’t seem to know better. Even his own inadequate climate bill doesn’t began restricting emissions for 5 years, and given its absurdly generous rip-offset provisions, it doesn’t actually lower emissions from current levels for two decades (see “Dingell and Boucher draft climate bill: Likely no CO2 cut until near 2030“). Why should the current economic slowdown change what we do several years from now? Even sadder are these comments:
Sen. John Warner, R-Va., a lead sponsor of a Senate bill to curb greenhouse gases that failed this year, acknowledged that the economy could delay when reductions in carbon dioxide would start.
Has he even read his own bill? It too doesn’t kick in at all for five years, and it too wouldn’t actually start reducing CO2 emissions below current levels for two decades (see “Boxer-Lieberman-Warner bill update: Probably no U.S. CO2 emissions cut until after 2025“).
You would expect such doubletalk from congressional opponents of climate action — and you wouldn’t be disappointed: