Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dutch to neo-Malthusian sects: Been there, done that, got the t-shirt

It looks as though somebody missed the memo: the idea is to ratchet up the hysteria, not speak rationally about it:

The Netherlands is warming up twice as fast as the rest of the world, but the Dutch meteorological institute sees no reason to adapt its scenarios for the future.

There is no reason to panic. Despite last year's finding that the Netherlands and Western Europe are warming up twice as fast as the rest of the world, there is no need revise the climate change scenarios that the Dutchmeteorological institute (KNMI) drew up three years ago to help the Netherlands deal with climate change. In other words: there is no need to make the dikes twice as high.

That is the reassuring message of a new KNMI report published on Wednesday.

In 2006, the KNMI envisioned four possible scenarios for the Netherlands in 2050, based on different degrees of global warming. All four scenarios started from the premise that the Netherlands will continue to warm up, its winters will get wetter and the sea level will continue to rise.

Since then a lot has been said about climate change: from theories that it is just a lot of scaremongering to the prediction that the central Dutch town of Amersfoort will soon have a beach, as in Al Gore's climate change movie. As a result, the KNMI was being asked more and more often by local authorities, water boards and architects if its 2006 predictions were still up to date. Wasn't it time to raise thedikes, widen the sewers, start building heat-resistant buildings?

"There was a need to make an intermediary assessment, to look at the recent research and to judge it as part of one vision for the Netherlands," says KNMI researcher Albert Klein Tank. "That's what we're there for."

The KNMI's conclusion is that the existing scenarios are still a good foundation to base policy on.

Yes, the Netherlands and Western Europe are warming up twice as fast as the rest of the world; storms are more intense than was predicted three years ago, and international research shows that the polar caps of Western Antarctica and Greenland are melting faster, which may have an impact on the Netherlands.

But, the KNMI says, our scenarios still stand. "The changes are still within the margins of the scenarios."

I wonder what the 100-monther 89-monther sect thinks about such blasé talk from officialdom?

Note the graphic 23 seconds into the clip

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