Tony Blair Sees The Light (Partially at Least)

Not your usual climate mumbo-jumbo by Tony Blair in today’s International Herald Tribune: “Breaking the deadlock“.

Apparently Mr Blair amongs all his other committments, also is the leader of the “Breaking the Climate Deadlock” initiative. This is good news in the sense that somebody somewhere finally must have recognised that at the current rate of negotiation, all talk about climate change and emission reduction truly is just hot air.

Mr Blair shows more insightfulness in other statements: no politician can count on long-term visions alone; whatever is proposed about climate change must be realistic; people should be able to “enjoy the material and social benefits of growth and consumption” even if CO2 emissions are getting cut; the Kyoto protocol cannot simply be repeated; every further agreement must be flexible and open to renegotiation should circumstances change.

There isn’t even any mention of biblical catastrophes. All in all, not the usual miserabilist rant, with a hint of optimism even. I am sure that’ll make Mr Blair very, very unpopular in AGW circles.

That said, there’s still important points to disagree with:

(a) Mr Blair fears the Copenhagen December 2009 agreement will see “each country giving as little as they believe possible”. Well, that’s what happens with international agreements

(b) The goal is still to set emission targets for 2050. That’s simply way too far in the future: most political leaders of 2050 have barely learnt to read, in 2008.

Is there any chance for a break in the “climate deadlock” I think so: provided there is enough flexibility, to the point of being ready even for the case of the climate not changing after all. Otherwise, we’ll go from one Kyoto to another Son of Kyoto, literally with much ado about nothing (or less).