A recent story in The Irish News berated the government and the people for doing too little on climate with the usual blah blah blah. “The implementation of measures to protect against future climate impacts in Ireland is ‘too slow and fragmented’, according to a major scientific report.” But the crucial point, and the totally ridiculous one, is that if Ireland doesn’t limit emissions, it will wreck the Irish climate. Do these people not know what “global” even means?
The story drones that:
“The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published Ireland’s first Climate Change Assessment (ICCA) on Thursday. It found that Ireland needs to rapidly reach at least net-zero carbon dioxide emissions and substantially cut other greenhouse gas emissions. Despite reductions in every sector except agriculture, the EPA said Ireland has made ‘limited progress’ in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and added that there is a ‘very long way to go’. Ireland is ranked second highest in the EU when all greenhouse gas emissions are considered on a per person basis. ‘Deep, rapid, immediate and sustained emission reductions are required to keep global warming in line with the key Paris Agreement temperature goals,’ the report states. It said that delayed action would likely leave an Irish climate that is ‘increasingly unrecognisable’ as the century progresses.”
Spot the flaw? Duh. It’s that Ireland’s contribution to human emissions is so small that what that nation does will have no effect whatsoever on whatever impact they then have on the weather. If you’re really trying to change the global temperature and think CO2 is the control knob, then logically you have to go after the big emitters like China. It’s China that would affect the climate in Ireland and not vice versa. If you’re actually being practical, and can think logically. On which there’s no guarantee, obviously.
Instead of talking turkey, or Thanksgiving bug loaf, the story poured forth clichés in boringly predictable language:
“The ICCA said that human activity has resulted in widespread and rapid changes in climate which are affecting people today. Worldwide, the most recent decade was likely warmer than any sustained period in at least the last 100,000 years. Global sea level has risen by 0.2m since 1900, and the rate of rise is accelerating.”
It looks and sounds like thought. But it isn’t. Thus the author (BA in “Journalism and New Media with Law Minor” including a year on “European Culture and European Journalism”) writes credulously:
“EPA director-general Laura Burke said the report reinforces the need for Ireland to ‘pick up the pace of action’ to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. She added: ‘If we can reach net-zero global carbon dioxide emissions by 2050, then many of the key components of the climate system such as temperature and precipitation would stabilise within the lifetime of many of today’s younger citizens and to the benefit of all of society.’”
Bosh. Ireland could sink beneath the waves, or convert its entire economy to dirty coal, and it would have no measurable impact on human GHGs and hence on “key components of the climate system”. As anyone who lives in the real world of trade-offs knows.