The dangerous delusion of optimal global warming

Modelled estimates of adverse impacts are incapable of capturing the risk that global warming could be self-reinforcing, creating a non-trivial risk of catastrophic threats to human life on Earth

Further warming could be 'rapid and uncontrollable'. Pic: iStock

The United Kingdom is now legally committed to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. Opponents in Parliament argued for more cost-benefit analysis before making such a commitment; and Nobel laureate economist William Nordhaus argues that such analysis shows a much slower optimal pace of reduction.

The 2015 Paris climate agreement seeks to limit global warming to “well below 2°C” above pre-industrial levels, while the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommended in ...