New York — There are some 20,000 research papers listed on Google Scholar, a search engine for academics, that mention the worst-case scenario for climate change, one where an over-populated, technology-poor world digs up all the coal it can find. Basically, it’s the most cataclysmic estimate of global warming. This scenario is important to scientists. It focuses minds on the unthinkable and how to avoid it. According to a provocative new analysis from the University of British Columbia, it’s also wrong. This is good news. The researchers contend that current goals of reducing coal, oil and gas consumption may be closer than we think, thus allowing us to set the bar even higher in our efforts to reduce pollution. The bad news is that this is good news in the way a destabilising climate-shift is preferable to planetary extinction: we are still in a lot of trouble. Nevertheless, if the study is verified by other scientists and catches a wave into the realm of policy makers, it could h...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.