“Climate policy” has degenerated into ritualistic actions with no measurable objectives

I met some old friends yesterday and we were discussing development in SE Asia and  the diversion of resources from real actions with real objectives into “faith-based” actions where there were no objectives or where the objectives were not measurable.

There was no disagreement that any government policy to be characterised as policy needed proposed actions to be first tied to results and second to results which could be measured. There was no dissension from the proposition that any policy where the results could not be measured was a fundamental waste of resources.

The discussion got a little more heated when I challenged the gathering to name a single  “climate policy” action – whether proposed by any government or any environmental group or any UN organisation – which had a result on climate which was measurable. Carbon taxes, carbon footprint, renewable energy, shifting from fossil fuels and carbon emissions were all mentioned. But in not a single case could anybody find any measurable climate objective. The only measurements that were possible – and which were often quoted – were of the actions themselves – but never were any of the objectives measurable or even definable.

It soon became apparent that many governments set targets for how much energy would be generated by renewables, for example, and that this could be measured but in not a single case could a climatic effect to be achieved even defined – let alone measured.  It was the same in every case. The input could be measured but the output – the effect of the action on climate – could not be defined or measured. It was always taking actions for the sake of taking actions in the belief that there was a climate benefit. But the climate benefit was always undefinable and unmeasurable. Measuring inputs with no measurable objectives do not a policy make.

Every policy was based on the “faith”  that it would be good for climate but the benefit was unknowable and unmeasurable.

There is not a single climate policy proposed by the IPCC or by any government in the world  which has a definable and measurable climate benefit.

Hopes and faith are insufficient to convert religious rituals into rational policy.

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