Who isn’t taking adaptation seriously?

Image courtesy of Flickr user "Arty Smokes (deaf mute)"

Keith Kloor apparently thinks that adaptation to climate change isn’t being seriously undertaken by policy-makers because of a clandestine cabal of “green pressure groups” and the climate blogosphere’s lack of enthusiasm.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, I don’t really find these explanations to be credible. From my perspective, it would seem that the relative weight of the climate blogosphere and environmental groups pales in comparison to that of an organized campaign by Republicans to annihilate US aid for adaptation in developing countries.

As Kate Sheppard reports, this comes at a time when “[o]ther countries are growing increasingly worried that the US will not follow through on its commitment to provide money” for adaptation and mitigation. And given that the Republicans’ ostensible concern is over wasteful spending in light of the deficit and these same Republicans claim that anthropogenic climate change is a hoax, it’s hardly a giant leap to worry that domestic adaptation funds might appear on their chopping block as well.

Meanwhile, adaptation remains a central point of environmental (or here or here) and climate science efforts to educate the public and policy-makers on what needs to be done in response to climate changes that we may not prevent in time.

Here’s a thought- when you’re more interested in trying to assign blame to the groups trying to fix a problem than the ones making sure it will only get worse, perhaps it’s you who isn’t taking the issue seriously.

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12 responses to “Who isn’t taking adaptation seriously?

  1. “Here’s a thought- when you’re more interested in trying to assign blame to the groups trying to fix a problem than the ones making sure it will only get worse, perhaps it’s you who isn’t taking the issue seriously”

    Indeed. And those stressing adaptation over mitigation want us to adapt to the hole we’ve dug, rather than stop digging. Politically, in the U.S., I think the best hope is for the GOP’s science denial to be shown for what it is, and make sure they get swept out in 2012. Ultimately, its their biggest weakness, and should be exploited. As I watched the video of GOP U.S. Rep Rohrabacher and paleoclimatologist Richard Alley during a House committee hearing that Rohrabacher chaired, I wondered what would happen if scientists just refused to be subjected to the kind of jaded bias combined with scientific illiteracy and bluster that Rohrabacher treated Alley with.

    He treated the testimony of scientists Robert Watson and Jerry Mahlman in a similar dismissive way a few years ago, while Pat Michaels and Robert Balling got the red carpet treatment. Rohrabacher is a guy who by his own words, doesn’t understand the difference between carbohydrates, hydrocarbons or CO2.

  2. ah, the ol’ Catastrophic meme…. “Must…. adapt…. or… die … ”
    This has been the human condition for eons. What’s changed? CO2? Apparently your alarmist wheels are decidedly wobbly:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/12/08/shredding-the-climate-consensus-myth-more-than-1000-international-scientists-dissent-over-man-made-global-warming-claims-challenge-un-ipcc-gore/

    INTRODUCTION:[snip]

    [We can all follow the link, thanks. No one's impressed this time either, BTW. -TB]

    • wow – 4 comments on that link. Big readership, huh? I guess it’s because your article failed to make any relevant point. 600 scientists dispute evolution. And what exactly has that to do with CAGW???? A bit o/t.

  3. Think broadly, ignore the issue of climate. If you want to assess a topic’s credibility within the scientific (or other relevant) community, would you go about it by creating “lists” of “dissenting” opinion?

    If that was a metric by which we could credibly assess science, then evolutionary biology would appear to be very controversial, whereas within the scientific community itself, as judged by the primary literature, actual surveys employing rigorous methodology, etc. shows that such “dissent” is trivial.

    • Aha! So suddenly your appeal to authority is vanquished. So much for the irrefutable inscrutability of the IPCC (ipecac). Meanwhile, do you have any credible evidence that man-made emissions materially affect the Earth’s climate? 1000+ scientists do not believe so, referring to “the primary literature, actual surveys employing rigorous methodology, etc. “. So, to reiterate (at the risk of being labelled a Troll … no, wait…) where is the evidence? Maybe things are becoming more and more broke.

      • Evidence for what aspect?

        That we’re seeing enhanced greenhouse rather than some other kind of warming?

        Try: the fingerprints in the different levels of the atmosphere (raising of the tropopause, cooling of the stratosphere, contraction and cooling of the upper atmosphere); the confirmed prediction of an increasing planetary energy imbalance; warming of the upper ocean across all basins; etc.

        You sure post a lot on climate blogs to not be aware of basic detection and attribution studies, Mike.

      • Mike Jowsey, those 1000+ scientists actually include quite a few who are very surprised to be counted as “skeptics”. Eduardo Zorita, prominently cited, has very little doubt that AGW is real and likely will become problematic. Or see how Tom Tripp, a lead author on a sub-report of the IPCC on CO2 emissions by the metal industry is being touted as some kind of expert on climate change (which he clearly is not).
        We also have complete unknowns in the world of science (for example Hans Jelbring, with his supposed PhD in climatology, has a whopping 2 publications, both in Energy & Environment and both well after his PhD; how the heck did he ever get his PhD on zero publications?!?!), and a range of people who continuously show they are merely in it for the ideology (Fred Singer is perhaps the best example).

        It’s also quite telling you don’t see how this Appeal to False Authority is similar to the same Appeal to False Authority of the 600+ scientists who claim the theory of evolution is wrong.

      • Marion Delgado

        Hans Jelbring apparently published his Doktorsavhandling (one hopes) internally at Stockholm U. It’s usually listed as his doctoral thesis, because the word avhandling means both dissertation as in doctoral dissertation (doktorsavhandling) and thesis as in Master’s thesis (gradu-avhandling).

        An excerpt and discussion is in the appendix at the bottom here.

        That said, wow. Even in Sweden, apparently being a right-wing crank gives you a free ride.

  4. Yes Mike, maybe things *are* becoming more and more broke.
    Hottest climate year on record according to NASA.

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/12/10/nasa-hottest-year-on-record-deepest-solar-minimum/#more-38056

    • Oh, right…. the hottest yeah, huh…. Plenty of Germans might disagree, then there’s that darn ol’ UHI thingy skewing the data (by as much as 9degC), plus plenty of temperature record adjustments forcing early measurements down to exaggerate supposed warming. And don’t count those awkward radiosonde data comprising more than 28 million soundings from roughly 1250 stations showing there is no hot-spot in the tropical upper-troposphere. For all you guys know we could be on the brink of a LIA. Climate science is a mewing babe. The temp records are patchy, the proxies are suspect, the satellite records are insignificant. Mother Gaia doesn’t seem too interested in your theories. I think She is just going ahead and doing her own thing. Maybe in 70 years or so Climate Science will have recovered some degree of respectability and matured to the point where it can actually forecast the next 5 to 10 years and have the humility to openly state the uncertainties inherent in trying to predict a chaotic system.

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