Apparently, for some people it isn’t enough that the United States must wreck its economy over the next half century for the sake of dealing with “climate change.” We have to do it NOW, according to an article in The Nation (warning: mild profanity):
Schellnhuber and his WBGU colleagues go a giant step beyond the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN body whose scientific reports are constrained because the world’s governments must approve their contents. The IPCC says that rich industrial countries must cut emissions 25 to 40 percent by 2020 (from 1990 levels) if the world is to have a fair chance of avoiding catastrophic climate change. By contrast, the WBGU study says the United States must cut emissions 100 percent by 2020–i.e., quit carbon entirely within ten years. Germany, Italy and other industrial nations must do the same by 2025 to 2030. China only has until 2035, and the world as a whole must be carbon-free by 2050. The study adds that big polluters can delay their day of reckoning by “buying” emissions rights from developing countries, a step the study estimates would extend some countries’ deadlines by a decade or so. [Emphasis added.]
Schellnhuber, in case you’re wondering, is the “chief climate advisor” to the German government. What he’s recommending is not possible except through measures that would essentially destroy the world’s economy, and no doubt result in far more deaths and suffering than would accrue should humanity decide to adjust to the change in climate instead of trying to forestall change that may or may not happen as Schellnhuber (whose name may one day be used as an synonym for “hysterical overreaction”) believes.
I myself was terrified when I saw these numbers,” Schellnhuber said. He urges governments to agree in Copenhagen to launch “a Green Apollo Project.” Like John Kennedy’s pledge to land a man on the moon in ten years, a global Green Apollo Project would aim to put leading economies on a trajectory of zero carbon emissions within ten years.
A “Green Apollo Project.” The mind boggles. He’s not talking about sending three guys to the moon and bringing them back. He’s talking about completely ripping up the world’s energy production, transportation, and manufacturing capabilities, and remaking them with technologies that in many instances don’t exist yet, and doing so in a ten-year period that would start in the middle of a major recession.
After that’s done, presumably we can get going on warp drive, and have the first edition of the Enterprise available for trips to Romulus by 2030.