"In sum, the most important assumptions on which international negotiations and national policies are founded—that we can stabilise the climate at some level, that overshooting and returning to a lower target is feasible, and that we can accommodate 2 or more degrees of warming by adapting to it—have no foundation in the way the Earth’s climate system actually behaves. When one understands these facts, the state of political debate around the world takes on an air of unreality. Rich country policies—including cutting emissions by a few per cent and outsourcing most of the cuts to developing countries; waiting for carbon capture and storage technology to save the coal industry and continuing to pollute at high levels until that happens; planning the construction of new coal-fired power plants; and even, in Australia, entertaining the idea of exporting brown coal—are so at odds with the scale and urgency of the emission cuts demanded by the science as to be almost laughable. They reflect a child-like belief that climate change can be averted by ignoring the truth and hoping for the best, a form of wishful thinking whose costs will prove incalculable."
- Clive Hamilton
Clive Hamilton is Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics in Australia.