front page article of today's Spectator claims the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has "updated" its
position on climate change, to accept that "climate change is now a
question of adaptation".
Author Matt Ridley suggests that this is such a
departure from the UN climate panel's previous findings that its
conclusions are now in line with those of climate skeptic lobbyist
Lawson stresses "the need to adapt to climate
change, rather than throw public money at futile attempts to
prevent it", according to Ridley, a fellow skeptic campaigner.
It's worth taking this with a pinch of salt. If the
IPCC has said more about adaptation in the last week, it's because
its most recent report is specifically about adaptation. That
doesn't mean mitigation has been abandoned as Lord Lawson would
like it to be - indeed, in a week's time the IPCC will publish
another report dedicated to the mitigation he so scorns.
Heavy on adaptation
The crux of Ridley's argument is that adapting to
climate change is given more prominence in the latest IPCC
report than in past ones.
"[T]he document itself …
emphasised, again and again, the need to adapt to climate change …
Whereas the last report had two pages on adaptation, this one has
In fact, there are six chapters which specifically
mention adaptation in their titles in the new report, not four. The
previous report in 2007 had two chapters, not two pages.