From Dr James Hansen’s blog, of today.
So, Mr. Buffett, I am heartened by the words in your last annual report, where you conclude that continued inaction on climate change “is foolhardy.” You wrote: “Call this Noah’s Law: If an Ark may be essential for survival (your emphasis), begin building it today.”
Your Ark’s characteristics will need to be informed by science and practical matters. Fossil fuel energy, encouraged and subsidized by our governments, has powered our economic development for more than a century. Science now informs us, unambiguously, that fossil fuel emissions must be phased out rapidly, or our children will inherit a climate system out of their control.
I recognize and salute your commitment, with Mr. Gates and others, to invest in development of clean energy technologies. Such R&D is an essential component of sound energy policies. Yet even your resources are tiny in comparison to the total fossil fuel economy.
We need good national and global energy policies to move the world off fossil fuels onto clean energies. However, the Paris climate accord, signed with pomp and circumstance, is only a precatory agreement, based on the hope that each of 190 nations will choose an effective “cap” for their emissions. But when a U.S. citizen is responsible for 25 times more emissions than an Indian citizen, what cap can we expect India to adapt and how would it be enforced?
Dr Hansen has been invited to speak at the annual meeting of the Berkshire Hathaway Corporation on 30th April 2016 in support of a shareholder resolution on potential impacts of climate disruption on its business which Mr Buffett and their Board opposes.
To quote oceanographer and geophysicist Wally Broecker, “The climate system is an angry beast and we are poking at it with sticks.”