Attempting to reduce the damages associated with extreme weather in the 21st century by reducing greenhouse gas emissions is very misguided IMO, and misses important opportunities to focus on better weather forecasting, better emergency management practices, and reducing infrastructure vulnerability.
First - it's hardly misguided to mitigate global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Second - what does reducing emissions have to do with weather forecasting, emergency management and reduction of infrastructure vulnerability? It's not an either-or choice. We need to do all these things and people are doing all these things.
Third - if we don't reduce emissions we leave ourselves much more vulnerable to climate change. Infrastructure replacement will be much more costly if we don't reduce emissions. Floods, fire and heat can destroy infrastructure. If we can slow down global warming we can spread the cost of infrastructure replacement over a longer period. As for emergency management, it is already stretched to the limit when it's most needed. I can vouch for that when a few years ago, a fire got away here because all the local firefighters were fighting a blaze two valleys away. It ended up burning a huge area. (Indulge me - climate change can be very personal, not simply something that might affect other unlucky people. The first lot of photos were taken outside my home and the later ones from the pond just down the road. This was just one of three major fires in our region since 2003. )
Risk management? Pffft! says Judith Curry
Judith seems to be against risk management, writing about David Titley's testimony:
I don’t find Titley’s testimony to be effective. He didn’t sell hard the AGW-extreme weather link, rather his main argument was ‘absence of evidence is not evidence of absence’. With his deck of cards analogy, he discounts the possibility of AGW removing an Ace from the deck. He then brings in a risk management approach, and his final recommendation seems to be moving away from carbon energy sources. IMO, none of these seems effectively targeted (either logically or policy wise) at the issue of the relationship between climate change and extreme weather.’
And Judith isn't in favour of governments around the world asking for scientists to cooperate across international borders and inform them about what we are doing to the earth system. John Christy included a paper written by Judith at the back of his written testimony to the US House Subcommittee on the Environment:
The diagnosis of paradigm paralysis seems fatal in the case of the IPCC, given the widespread nature of the infection and intrinsic motivated reasoning. We need to put down the IPCC as soon as possible – not to protect the patient who seems to be thriving in its own little cocoon, but for the sake of the rest of us whom it is trying to infect with its disease. Fortunately much of the population seems to be immune, but some governments seem highly susceptible to the disease. However, the precautionary principle demands that we not take any risks here, and hence the IPCC should be put down.
Misleading the US Government? "As temperatures have declined"
She said she was going to present that paper at a US House Committee hearing that was cancelled. In other words she was going to mislead the US Government, writing (my bold italics):
Seven years later, with the release of the IPCC AR5, we find ourselves between the metaphorical rock and a hard place with regards to climate science and policy:
- as temperatures have declined and climate models have failed to predict this decline, the IPCC has gained confidence in catastrophic warming and dismisses the pause as unpredictable climate variability
Judith Curry was willing to testify to the United States Government that global surface temperatures have declined! Even knowing Judith wishes the world would hurtle faster towards a climate no human has ever ever experienced, battling metres of sea level rise, heat extremes, fires, floods and droughts like we've never seen - I'm still surprised to read that.