Monday, January 11, 2010

Nick Stern on Climate Change

In 2006, Sir Nicholas Stern was commissioned by the UK government to do a analysis of how much climate change will cost the British economy (known as the Stern Report). In the lead up to Copenhagen, the ABC broadcast a speech he gave in Britain. [here's the mp3]

At the start he gives a quick summary of climate change. He explains what a 5 degree increase means. Humans have never seen it. It was 30 million years ago. Humanity has only been around 200,000 years. Even a 3 degree increase hasn't occurred for 3 million years (still before humans). He sums it up as follows:

...what we can now see is that the risks that we run are not small probabilities of something unpleasant, they're big probabilities of something catastrophic."

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