This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
If they were serious about GW, they'd build nuclear power stations to 100% of UK requirements and use off-peak spare capacity to desalinate or make hydrogen.
They'd spend real money on sea defences and flood prevention. As none of this is happening I'm forced to conclude that they are not serious, and they are using the 'threat' of GW to extend state power and taxation and to limit personal freedom.
And why is GW always a threat? A difference of 2deg C is no big deal, equivalent to moving 200(?) miles south, or about 2000ft downhill. (Figures from memory, not too reliable). It's possible that more space in Canada and Siberia will become habitable than space in S. America and Africa will become uninhabitable.
The only downside being that economically pumping a whole load of developement into places in the northern climes might not be too smart for when the next ice age or mini ice age arrives.
2012 according to some Russians and a few others.
Still, at least that would keep the Air Conditioning costs for the Olympics under control even if none of the other costs are ... ;-)
On reflection, why build anything now for flood defences when they will be unused (and so probably obsolete) by the time they are needed. There is planty of time left before those decisions need to be made. Peak Oil theory, if one accepts it, would suggest there are other intermediate matters which might intervene.
So one possible reason to build now might be that it would not be affordable in the future. But if that was the case presumably anything built would not be maintainable in the future - therefore pointless.
In addition if things were indeed that bad, which I doubt, who would care? More drastic solutions would be more likely from a human point of view.
As for the other species? Well it seems to me that Mother Nature was more than capable of trashing their existence when she felt like it without the need of assistance from a humanoid species. I doubt there is much that can realistically be done to alter that and I suspect that to attempt to interfere would not be advisable. In most cases such attemopts at 'natural' interference seem to have created at least as many new problems as they were attempting to resolve.
Such is the way of things when we use 'expertise'
Many issues converge here and not least the politics of the BBC Vs the Government.
Some might see this less as an attack on Stern and more as retaliation against Government after WMD etc. i.e. the BBC throwing a "hockey stick" in the works.
Some of the other correspondent's comments are very interesting; especially the government's approach to squeezing ever more money out of the populace.
Two magic tricks come into play, the creation of Gordon Brown (for which all credit is due for his inventiveness):
1) The preamble in which exaggerated claims are made that are later scaled back, (as another correspondent notes). This creates false relief "Oh well, It's not as bad as it could be."
2) The advance notice ploy. Announcing future bills very successfully ensures that when the bills come to be paid there is far less uproar, everyone is talked out by the time they come to pay. This was probably an idea borrowed from the old Hire Purchase agreements era. live now and pay later.
There is a third ploy, now that I come to think of it, which is the double budget ploy. This spreads the bad news out between two separate budgets (a problem shared - between two budgets- is a problem halved). Combined with leaks and ploy number one no one ever seems to have the energy to sum up all the bills.
Just imagine the situation where there is just one day a year when all the bills for the next year are to be announced together, that they have immediate effect and that the full amount for each is announced in one bitter pill. i.e. the way it used to be..
An advantage for the government is that they (who are we kidding, Gordon) gets to test reaction diffuse as much as possible, determine how much residual grumbling can be tolerated and thus the amount of the sting is determined.
Only once has this produced an unexpected (of the British people) outcome: the fuel tax that resulted in the lorry drivers campaign. Of course, it only worked once and subsequently Gordon seems to have an immunity for fuel tax hikes.
Sorry twice, the air fuel tax hike.
Gordon seems to be getting a bit desperate these days and is making some false steps.