It’s one thing to portray a doomsday scenario as it would happen unless drastic action is taken when it comes to global warming. It’s been done over and over.
But Mark Lynas, author of “Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet,” took a different approach. Lynas, who is actively campaigning for government “solutions” to combat global warming, presented what he acknowledged were unlikely scenarios in his book and movie to create a sense of climate change panic.
Lynas appeared at a preview screening of the movie “Six Degrees,” which is based on his book, at the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C., February 4. The events shown in the movie included a submerged Lower Manhattan, a wilted Amazonian rainforest and a permanently arid climate reminiscent of the Dust Bowl in the 1930s in the American West – severely disabling U.S. agriculture.
However, according to Lynas, the scenarios he portrayed in his book are not inevitable – in fact, he thinks they’re not “even likely at the moment.” He said he just wrote the book to give “what-if scenarios at each stage of the process.”
“I’m worried about the sort of catastrophe-type approach, despite the fact you’ve seen it and the fact that it’s in my book,” Lynas said. “But, you know, it’s there because we’re talking about real potential events here, this isn’t science fiction. But, at the same time, I warn people not to get hung up on the five, six-degree catastrophes. Yes, we have to realize what they could be and therefore avoid them, but we haven’t … wake up each morning and feeling depressed about the fact that we’re inevitably going to see the collapse of human civilization.”
“I do not think that is inevitable,” he said. “I don’t think it’s even likely at the moment, particularly given how rapidly things are changing and the positive stuff which I’m seeing every day.”
Lynas said the entire world should not have to cut its emissions and suffer the economic consequences, but that emissions cuts should be targeted toward developed countries, because the poorer countries should be able catch up in terms of growth.
“I don’t think we can turn around to the Chinese and say, ‘I’m sorry, we need to save the future of the planet,’” Lynas said during the movie. “The rich countries have to take the lead and we have to cut our emissions in a much more dramatic sense to allow for some room for growth in the poorer countries.”
Lynas also had some criticism of the Bush administration for its resistance to global warming political solutions – suggesting retrofitting the U.S. economy geared toward “green” technologies is the way to go.
“You know, you hear a lot about first-mover disadvantage and you hear this from the Bush administration. That’s been their line all the way through, that if they cut their emissions, they’re going to be at an economic disadvantage.” Lynas said. “[W]hat about being at an economic advantage by being the people who bring this technology to commercial markets first and develop that kind of dominance.”