IPCC 5th Assessment Report released today

Take a look at the latest report (which I have yet to do!) which was released today.

What I like is the increasing focus on the strategic need to consider the overall carbon budget we have left to work with. I think it provides clarity to the challenge of climate change that we face. It’s not so much about thinking ‘how much carbon can each of us afford to emit per year’, but rather ‘how can we change the technologies we use to stop relying on carbon’.

The analogy I think of sometimes is with the 19th century use of whale oil. If you lived in the Victorian era and were concerned about the whales, would you think “I’ll turn down my oil lamp at nights to use less whale oil” or would you think “that Thomas Edison has a nice invention of an electric light bulb … how can I get some light bulbs, and how can I get this thing called ‘electricity’ over the next few years before all the whales have gone?”.

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