Scientists first warned of the possible effects of anthropogenic CO₂ emissions in the early 1970s. By the mid to late 1980’s, there was a consensus view that if emissions remain unabated a range of catastrophic impacts on humanity could ensue. In the intervening period this perspective has remained unchanged and has largely been reinforced by the significant volume of ongoing research that has been undertaken. The cornerstone international response to the science was defined in 1997 (The Kyoto Protocol) under the auspices of the United Nations. This established emission reduction targets for developed countries which are binding under international law. Numerous follow-on international meetings, discussions and negotiations have been held, national government departments established and rafts of policies introduced. However, in spite of these substantial resources, derisory progress has been made and CO₂ emissions continue their inexorable rise. We can have no real confidence that disastrous outcomes will be avoided.
In this presentation the case will be made that it is, in fact, unsurprising that we are in this position as we are pursuing a strategy that is both intellectually flawed and ethically unsound. An alternative route forward is proposed.
Chair – Tom Rubens
Doors 10.30. Entry £3 standard, £2 concs./Free to Ethical Society members.