Dos grados de tergiversación

COPENHAGUE – La conferencia sobre cambio climático dirigida por las Naciones Unidas en Bali será recordada menos por la “hoja de ruta” que al final estableció que por la revuelta colisión entre Estados Unidos y gran parte del resto del mundo que mantuvo fascinados a los espectadores. Los activistas del medio ambiente denostaron a Estados Unidos por resistirse a la presión de la Unión Europea para comprometerse de antemano a alcanzar metas específicas de temperatura –a saber, que el calentamiento global debe limitarse a no más de 2°C por encima de las temperaturas preindustriales.

Esta meta se ha convertido en un auténtico mandamiento para los activistas desde que la UE la adoptó en 1996. Los medios frecuentemente hacen referencia a ella, y a veces dicen que, a menos que se cumpla, el cambio climático será muy peligroso para la humanidad. De hecho, esa meta no tiene un respaldo científico, y la afirmación de que podríamos alcanzarla es completamente improbable.

Evitar que las temperaturas se eleven más de 2°C requeriría reducciones draconianas e instantáneas de las emisiones –para la OCDE, las reducciones tendrían que ser de entre el 40% y el 50% por debajo de lo previsto en apenas 12 años. Aun si se pudiera lograr un consenso político, el costo sería enorme: según un modelo, el costo global total sería de alrededor de 84 billones de dólares, mientras que los beneficios económicos alcanzarían apenas una séptima parte de esa cifra.

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