Two stories in the press today illustrate magnificently the size of the mountain we still have to climb to climate change awareness, let alone decisive action. First the FT writes about the resurgence of interest in coal in the UK by Australian investors, then the Guardian writes about the Labour Party’s commitment to tighten up on the rules around fracking.
Despite the fact that both newspapers regularly report on climate change findings it’s as if the issue didn’t exist as far as these two stories are concerned. As usual neither mentioned the elephant in the room – that developing more sources of carbon may be unwise (not to say insane) when there are already considerable reserves on the energy companies’ books which are unburnable if the 2degC warming limit which world leaders are committed to is going to be remotely achievable.
The decision to invest in either coal or fracking is either bad or mad. Either the world’s leaders do nothing and the investments reap rewards now at the expense of huge disruption later (PDF) or those leaders are shocked into taking practical steps to limit carbon significantly in which case the value of those investments will likely collapse.
Either way, it’s not an investment decision to be proud of.