Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Greens are fretting that we may be about crash through their arbitrary 1.5C global warming “limit”. But what will they do, when nothing bad happens?
As Earth Swelters, Global Warming Target in Danger
The Earth is so hot this year that a limit for global warming agreed by world leaders at a climate summit in Paris just a few months ago is in danger of being breached.
In December, almost 200 nations agreed a radical shift away from fossil fuels with a goal of limiting a rise in average global temperatures to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times while “pursuing efforts” for 1.5°C (2.7°F).
But 2016 is on track to be the hottest year on record, also buoyed by a natural El Niño event warming the Pacific, according to the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization. The first six months were a sweltering 1.3°C above pre-industrial times.
“It opens a Pandora’s box,” said Oliver Geden, of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs. “The future debate about temperature targets will be about overshoot.”
Many climate scientists say the Paris targets are likely to be breached in the coming decades, shifting debate onto whether it will be possible to turn down the global thermostat.
The green movement has a terrible problem with “tipping points” and “limits”. If they set the bar too high, catastrophe is way to distant for anyone to care about. Greens set the tipping point bar too low, their credibility is damaged when nothing bad happens.
What’s behind the door or lurking at the top of the stairs is never as frightening as the door or the staircase itself. And because of this, comes the paradox: the artistic work of horror is almost always a disappointment. It is the classic no-win situation. You can scare people with the unknown for a long, long time (the classic example, as Bill Nolan also pointed out, is the Jacques Tourneur film with Dana Andrews, Curse of the Demon but sooner or later, as in poker, you have to turn your down cards up. You have to open the door and show the audience what’s behind it. And if what happens to be behind it is a bug, not ten but a hundred feet tall, the audience heaves a sigh of relief (or utters a scream of relief) and thinks, “A bug a hundred feet tall is pretty horrible, but I can deal with that. I was afraid it might be a thousand feet tall”….
Stephen King himself sadly appears to support climate initiatives. We can but hope that one day the great writer will recognise a poorly constructed narrative and badly executed plotline for what it is.