Coches, bombas y cambio climático

COPENHAGUE – Durante la mayor parte del decenio, he disgustado a muchos activistas del clima al señalar que hay formas mucho mejores de detener el calentamiento planetario que la de intentar persuadir a los gobiernos para que obliguen o sobornen a sus ciudadanos a fin de que reduzcan drásticamente su dependencia de los combustibles que emiten dióxido de carbono. Lo que molesta en particular a mis críticos es la idea de que la reducción del carbono es una cura que resulta peor que la enfermedad o –dicho en términos económicos– que costaría mucho más que el problema que ha de resolver. “¿Cómo puede ser eso cierto?”, preguntan. “Al fin y al cabo, estamos hablando del fin del mundo. ¿Qué podría ser peor –o más costoso– que eso?”

No dejan de tener algo de razón. Si de verdad afrontamos, como ha dicho Al Gore recientemente, “una inimaginable calamidad que requiere medidas preventivas en gran escala para proteger la civilización humana, tal como la conocemos”, ningún precio sería demasiado alto para detener el calentamiento planetario en seco, pero, ¿de verdad hay tanto en juego?

La respuesta es que no. Incluso las conjeturas más graves propuestas por las corrientes principales de científicos del clima –y que superan con mucho lo que predicen los modelos del clima sobre los que existe consenso– no son tan malos como Gore quiere hacernos creer. Por ejemplo, un aumento del nivel del mar de cinco metros –más de ocho veces lo que espera el Grupo Intergubernamental sobre el Cambio Climático de las Naciones Unidas y más del doble de lo que probablemente sea físicamente posible– no inundaría a toda ni a la mayoría siquiera de la Humanidad.

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