Readers can decide for themselves, but we prefer the latter link, where a Scientific American article tells us, “Climate change will not be dangerous for a long time.” It’s the “lukewarm” position between two views: 1) man’s carbon dioxide emissions are going to kill us and 2) the entire global warming scare is a fraud or hoax.
But in a sense, both articles are saying the same thing. In Scientific American, author Matt Ridley writes, “Dangerous warming … is about a century away,” while the Yahoo article names some cities that the author believes will be uninhabitable because they will be too hot or under water in 2100 — about a century from now.
The difference, though, is the Yahoo article, brimming with alarm and an intent to frighten, insists that radical steps must be taken right away. The author wants to the see the current United Nations climate talks in Paris produce “a universal, legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the globe in the hope of keeping average temperature increases below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit before 2100.” The Scientific American article is more measured — more rational. Ridley suggests, “We should spend the coming decades” before the warming arrives “stepping up research and development of new energy technologies.”
“Many people,” he said, “may reply that we don’t have time to wait for that to bear fruit, but given the latest lukewarm science of climate change, I think we probably do.”
There simply is no reason, Ridley says, “to rush into subsidizing inefficient and land-hungry technologies, such as wind and solar, or risk depriving poor people access to the beneficial effects of cheap electricity via fossil fuels.”
Ridley’s article differs from the Yahoo article in another way as well. It acknowledges that the models used to predict global warming have been wrong and says that the most recent U.N. climate report “included a table debunking many worries about ‘tipping points’ to abrupt climate change.” The Yahoo article doesn’t yield a micrometer from its contention that human activity is dangerously warming the planet.
Of course there is also a third possibility — nothing happens, there is no man-made global warming whatsoever, not now nor a century from now. There’s just too much that’s still unknown about the climate to guess how things will be in 85 to 100 years. But that’s not an interesting story. People would rather read about the science fiction of roasting and flooded cities.