The CEI (Competitive Enterprise Institute), America’s largest “sceptic” lobby group produced an advert in favour of CO2 : the slogan is, “Carbon is life”. They argue that CO2 is at the root of photosynthesis, and therefore, life. They also argue that CO2 production is the result of economic development that has significantly improved the population’s daily life – in the United States, at least. It is a plea in favour of the main molecule responsible for global warming.
Sceptics are thus defending the idea that global warming is not as serious as it is thought. According to them, specialists’ estimates are consistently focused on the most disastrous aspects. And the suggested solution (fighting CO2 emissions) is costing society much more (financially, in terms of production and unemployment, for example) than the evil it is supposed to be curing. This was, before the crisis. Once again, it is hard to know what tomorrow holds but this goes against all available scientific research.
For all that, the other extreme is also false : the idea that humanity’s existence could be threatened by global warming. Indeed, the worst scenarios imagine devastating social and sanitary disasters. The total number of people on Earth might decrease significantly. But the danger is not an extinction like the dinosaurs’. Even if only a few hundred thousand human beings survive, the population will be the size it was a hundred thousand years ago.
Indeed, like with all environmental problems, the most fragile populations – the poorest people – will suffer most. This is therefore a social issue : how to spread out the effects of future changes so that they will be easier to bear for the highest number of people.