I would be interested to know what the IPCC would have to say about Ian Holford's recent letter. According to a quick perusal of the United Nations website, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was set up to provide an objective source of scientific information. The UN states that the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report is categorical in its conclusion:- climate change is real and human activities are the main cause. The average global temperature increased by 0.85'C from 1880 to 2012. Oceans have warmed and the amount of snow and ice have diminished. From 1901 to 2010, the global average sea level rose by 19cm as oceans expanded due to warming and ice melted. There is alarming evidence that important tipping points, leading to irreversible changes in major ecosystems and the planetary climate system, may already have been reached or passed.
There is little point in delaying an effective response to rising emissions. Any further delay means increased expense and stress in dealing with the effects of global warming. Imagine living in a coastal city in 100 years time, wondering how much more, and how quickly, the sea level will rise. The expense of replacing coastal infrastructure, roads and housing etc with a significant sea level rise will be mind boggling. Predicted further sea level rise is approximately 0.5 metres by the end of the century but it could well be more if tipping points are passed. Dealing with worsening droughts, floods, drinking water shortages etc won't be cheap to deal with, and who wants to see the Great Barrier Reef destroyed completely.
The argument that we are too small a country to make a difference is nonsensical. At 1.3% of total world emissions we produce about 4 times our 'fair share'. The effect of 20 or so other small countries making a big effort to reduce emissions would be to make a significant difference. The more countries that contribute to decreased emissions, the more pressure on other countries to do likewise.
Tim Robilliard, Tamworth