Azara Blog: American Geophysical Union makes a silly statement on climate change

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Date published: 2008/01/24

The BBC says:

The world's climate is "clearly out of balance and is warming", the world's largest society of Earth and space scientists has said in a statement.

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) warned that changes to the Earth's climate system were "not natural".

Changes in temperature, sea level and rainfall were best explained by the increased concentration of greenhouse gases from human activities, it added.

The union called for carbon emissions to be cut by more than 50% by 2100.

It is one thing to state that various geophysical phenomena are due to "human activities". (Most sane people believe this.) It is quite another to make the ridiculous claim that these changes are "not natural". Of course they are "natural", since humans are part of nature (last time anyone bothered checking). Some people might not like this inconvenient truth, but that's the way it is.

And "out of balance" is another rather silly phrase. The AGU of all people ought to realise that the world is never in any kind of equilibrium, and the idea that there is some kind of magic equilibrium which the world should be in is just plain naive. You can easily claim that climate change might be dangerous to humans (never mind other species). But "out of balance" is a meaningless phrase. The AGU should learn to be a bit more precise with its language.

As for the call "for carbon emissions to be cut by more than 50% by 2100", the AGU is rather behind the game on that one as well. Even many Republicans would say 60% by 2050.

And these scientists expect to be treated seriously?

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