Talk:Avoiding dangerous climate change

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Kevin Anderson[edit]

I don't really believe:

In a July 2011 speech, climate scientist Kevin Anderson explained that for this reason, avoiding dangerous climate in conventional sense is no longer possible, because the temperature rise is already close to 1°C, with effects formerly assumed for 2°C.[14][15] Moreover, Anderson's presentation demonstrates reasons why a temperature rise of 4°C by 2060 is a likely outcome...
in the sense that while he likely said it, 4 oC by 2060 isn't a probable outcome William M. Connolley (talk) 11:05, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment, William. He did not make the remark casually, and it comes near the end of the above presentation which you can watch (it is a slide presentation with audio, see link in the article's citation). The news last week that 2010 had the highest global CO2 emissions on record bears out part of his reasoning. The particular section about 4oC is at 51:20-53:30, although the earlier portions are an important lead-in. He said, "2oC stabilization is virtually impossible under the current political framework," allowing that there is still an outside chance of achieving that with some difficult changes, but "(i)f we do not make those changes now we are heading toward 4oC and it could be as early as 2050-2070." The slide itself says, "4oC by 2050-2070 looks 'likely' (could be earlier and on the way to 6oC+)." The article merely reports what he presented, as documented afterward (with links to materials) on the website of the government agency that invited the presentation. That posting seems an indication that the work merits consideration rather than dismissal out of hand.
William, when you say you think it is unlikely, is that because you do not think climate sensitivity will take us to 4C at our current level of GHGs, that current levels will eventually take us to 4C but just not that fast, or something else? I would be interested in your thoughts about the mid pliocene as an analogue, too... and this is an honest question. I have just started doing some focused reading and have no motive for asking other than I would be interested in your view. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:42, 12 November 2011 (UTC)
Avoiding dangerous climate change (ie. staying under 1 degree warming) is still possible if there is *temporary* and responsibly controlled use of solar radiation management in addition to full efforts to cut emissions and to draw down excess CO2 from the atmosphere. Philip Sutton (talk) 12:39, 3 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't think Kevin Anderson mentioned "temporary solar radiation management" in that speech in 2011, but the trouble with referencing a speech and not a document is that I can't search it to be sure. Please give a reference to the mins/secs where he does if I'm wrong. Secondly, you're right, that reference to 'diagrams' was added in this edit in October 2011, and there never were any diagrams. I don't know where Coastwise (talk · contribs) lifted that text from, but it makes it look as if they did - without even reading it thoroughly. Thirdly, per WP:TPG, you should start new topics at the bottom of the page: adding a new comment to a 15-month-old, dead discussion is just confusing. --Nigelj (talk) 13:31, 3 February 2013 (UTC)


I have reverted a series of edits by Ed Poor (talk · contribs). You wouldn't have guessed it from the edit summaries, but the net effects of the edits were as follows:

  1. The opening sentence ended up telling us that 'preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, is a major objective of international interventions to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference in the climate system'.
  2. A link was added to Climate change. That article begins by saying, "For current and future climatological effects of human influences, see global warming." In other words, it is about every aspect of CC other than the current one. Past and finished changes are not likely still to be dangerous, are they?
  3. A link to dangerous climate change was added. That is a redirect to this article.
  4. A {main} link to Symposium on avoiding dangerous climate change was removed. OK, that's a redirect to this article too. I'll fix that in a minute ;-)
  5. A link to [[Category:Dangerous climate change]] was added. That doesn't exist.

--Nigelj (talk) 20:05, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Nigel, if I'm not making the article more clear and more accessible to the lay reader, then by all means undo my changes. I didn't intend a mishmash. I'm just not clear on what "dangerous climate change" is. Does it mean that temp increases 10 degrees F? --Uncle Ed (talk) 00:40, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
Have a read of the article. It's all explained. First of all, the question of what the dangers are likely to be is fairly well known, "to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner". Beyond that, what temperatures to allow, and at what rate of increase, is not so clear, but there seems to be agreement that 2°C is a reasonable target at present rates of rise, but definitely not 4°C (you'll have to do your own conversions to °F). There's been a symposium on all this, and they are trying to convert these targets into CO
concentrations as best they can. Figures around 450 and 400 ppm have been put forward. So, out of that we can estimate required rate of emission reductions over the next 20 years. I don't see any confusion there. It would be nice if we could go from 'safe' all the way through to 'reduction targets' without so much doubt and guesswork, but actually it's largely irrelevant, as it looks like no country is seriously planning to meet their current emission reduction targets anyway. --Nigelj (talk) 11:40, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

Remove 'merge-to' tag?[edit]

On 3 Dec. several 'merge-to' tags were merged into a comment at the top of the article. As the merge-to disucssion seems to have stalled out (as well as the rewrite discussion), is there any objection to removing the comment and any related tags? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:14, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

I may revive my proposal later but I don't have the needed time to work on it now, so I don't mind... for now. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:32, 4 January 2012 (UTC)


Wow, I just found this, and what a horrible title for an article! If it is intended as a reference to a conference title, that has got to be made clear. Is there some reason the article title isn't Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change (conference) or Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change (conference)? The present title would make a reader think it refers to an actual process (to be elaborated in the article) with the described effect of avoiding such change. LeadSongDog come howl! 04:05, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

The article is primarily about the term "avoiding dangerous climate change," which appears commonly on WP and the scientific and popular press. As commonly used, the term expresses a need not a means, and is used in the context of establishing guidelines or limits. A conference which bore that term as its title is also mentioned in a later section of the article. Coastwise (talk) 07:25, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
To my knowledge, editor Coastwise is the only who thinks the conference should be part of this article. See prior threads.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 08:08, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, whatever it is about should be obvious by the time a reader finishes the first para.LeadSongDog come howl! 15:52, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
I didn't think (and still don't think) that an article at this title could be comprehensible and not be solely about the conference — not that I'm saying there should be an article about the conference. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 20:48, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
Agree with Arthur Rubin. We can't have an article about "a term", because we are not a dictionary. We can have an article on the conference if it is notable. Itsmejudith (talk) 17:12, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
When a major political document declares its PRIMARY goal, can we have an article about that concept?
*If NO, then please consider the Preamble to the US Constitution which declares Liberty to be one of the primary objectives of that document and the founding of the USA as a nation. Are you also proposing that we delete Liberty? It is a word or phrase, after all.
*If YES, then why can't we have an article about the "main objective" of an essentially unanimous global treaty (the Charter of the UNFCC)? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:19, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I still think Judith's prior split of the conference to its own page makes sense. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:19, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Our article on Liberty is about the concept of liberty, not the word. That's why freedom in its main sense redirects to it. Climate change is about the reality of climate change, not its dictionary definition. It can be a fine line but keeping on the right side of it does help us get good quality articles on the topics readers are looking for. Itsmejudith (talk) 19:22, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
All words are mere symbols for concepts. Except for the conference, this article is about the concept on which the UNFCC was built. We could call that concept "snot", "George", or, in the words of the UNFCC Charter "Avoiding dangerous climate change". Regardless of its name, we are talking about a concept. So I consider your answer non-responsive. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:07, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes. And not just a concept, but a topic of interest. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:50, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
Then can you show that it is a topic discussed in a variety of sources, as opposed to just a phrase. Specifically, how is it different from climate change mitigation? Itsmejudith (talk) 22:33, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I can, and its what I want to be working on, except my time at the moment is being sucked up with issues on two other articles. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:57, 12 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree with NewsandEventsGuy and J.Johnson -- it is "an objective" as noted in the first paragraph, and pursuing it is a formally adopted policy, as also noted in that section. It is therefore both a concept and a topic of interest, as J. Johnson said. One or the other of the two phrases that are mentioned in the opening (of which one is also the title phrase) occur in numerous WP articles. Being able to access this article helps make readers aware that those are not just accidental phrases, and that instead they reference a particular concept and established policy. Coastwise (talk) 08:23, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
On consideration of the difference between "avoiding dangerous climate change" and "climate change mitigation": there is a distinct difference between softening and coping with an effect (mitigation), and avoiding it. Alas, I haven't had time to read both articles carefully with that distinction in mind, but it would seem a useful exercise. Also bear in mind that the avoidance is constrained to dangerous climate change. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:25, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
JJ isn't avoiding GW mitigation, and coping with it adaptation?NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 14:09, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, "avoiding" could include moving to a different globe, "preventing" would infer changing the processes or inputs so as to stop GW from happening, and "coping" or "adaptation" could involve moving elsewhere on earth or getting better air conditioning units. None of that addresses the fact that the lead para is confusing and needs to be fixed. If we need two articles, one on the concepts and another on the conference, so be it.LeadSongDog come howl! 20:38, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Avoidance of GW – which is now moot in absolute terms, but we can think of avoiding additional increments, or the more dangerous extremes – would mean not having to cope with the consequences. (Like moving to another planet, but such a move would itself be a consequence.) This is rather at the core of the IPCC AR4 WG3 definition of "mitigation" as "implementing policies to reduce GHG emissions and enhance sinks". This somewhat weakens the distinction I would make, but the general sense of "mitigation" is more on the line of reducing or moderating the severity of an effect, including adaptations (like sun shades for glaciers). ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:40, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I see LeadSongDog's point two comments above concerning the first paragraph of the article, and have reworked the the first two paragraphs to resolve that. (While at it I also smoothed other parts of the intro section.) I found that the previous first paragraph and related changes were made on December 21. I think I understand why those changes were made, and bore that in mind while making my changes tonight. Also, in the last paragraph of the intro I have made a connection to the topic of the conference that occurs later in the article, showing why it fits the topic of this article. I hope these changes will satisfy at least some of the concerns that have been expressed here. Best regards to all. Coastwise (talk) 07:04, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Thank you for that attempt, but I'm not sure it has solved the problem. The lead now indicates that the article is about the phrase (and its equivalents). If that were in fact the subject, a reader would expect to see sourced discussion of the history of the specific wording, rather than discussion of avoidance, mitigation, or prevention strategies and measures. LeadSongDog come howl! 14:44, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I don't like it either, and I have partially changed my mind. To be notable, IMO this article needs to have as its main focus and subject the core objective of the UNFCC. This would make it a sub article with UNFCC as the main article, its title should be tweaked to more closely match UNFCC verbiage quoted in the lead. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:29, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
  It seems to me that the this topic's notability is because it is more than a mere subtopic of UNFCCC. Rather like AR4 WG1 being more than the report of an obscure Working Group. I am also feeling some slight inclination towards this being a subtopic of Climate change mitigation. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:06, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
This subject
(A) begins with a science part, which should be merged to Effects of global warming, and
(B) the subject ends with options for implementing mitigation policies, which should be merged to Climate change mitigation.
(C) Inbetween the beginning and the end is the process of deciding what threshold of change would be considered "dangerous". There are a few different articles where that could be included, or maybe that is a good specific focus for an article.
IMO, the only way something like this article has notability is by tracking the history of the UNFCC core goal, from long before the charter, and continuing thru today, including policy attempts with a background of evolving science, as a sub text under UNFCC. If someone thinks some other focus can have notability carved out and separated from these other articles, then please elaborate beyond WP:ILIKEIT and provide your three best supporting RSs . NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:41, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I just made changes to the first paragraph, simplifying it to focus on the core objective. (Thanks for pointing to the need for better focus, in early comments today.) I agree with JJ that this is more than about the UNFCCC, and I can provide some brief additional text and references in a few days.
Concerning the comment immediately above, this article is about a distinct, notable topic. The topic is frequently referenced in science and in policy development. It in turn frequently comes into play in many different concerns (e.g. efforts to mitigate climate change), but is not exclusive to any of them.
I'll come back to that. For now, I'm thinking about the conference. Coast, so far as I am aware, you are the only one who thinks the conference was notable enough to cover. Were you there? Did you present a poster or something? I just ran thru the various points at WP:EVENT and for the life of me I can not shoehorn the conference into compliance with the inclusion criteria. By citation to the specific criteria, can you provide an explanation, with RSs, to explain how the conference meets the notability criteria for events? Bear in mind whatever you write needs to be about this conference, not something generic that could equally well apply to any climate change conference (for example, "Four Degrees and Beyond" NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 02:06, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── News&EventsGuy, here is my response:

FIRST, you have removed the last paragraph of my previous comment, including my signature. (See:[1]). Here is that comment in its entirety, as originally published:

I just made changes to the first paragraph, simplifying it to focus on the core objective. (Thanks for pointing to the need for better focus, in early comments today.) I agree with JJ that this is more than about the UNFCCC, and I can provide some brief additional text and references in a few days.
Concerning the comment immediately above, this article is about a distinct, notable topic. The topic is frequently referenced in science and in policy development. It in turn frequently comes into play in many different concerns (e.g. efforts to mitigate climate change), but is not exclusive to any of them.
I do not believe (A), (B) and (C) are a fair characterization of the article. The beginning is about both science and policy. The second section is about how the concept is evolving in science. An important addition would be a similar section concerning how it is used and evolving in the policy realm. And the article does not end with (or deal with at all) implementing mitigation policies. It ends with a discussion about a scientific conference on the topic. This is a notable topic in its own right. Coastwise (talk) 23:18, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

SECOND, The title of your second to last post (see: [2]), asked a question: "Title: the conference happened, yes indeed. But (((((((why)))))))))) of (((((((all)))))))))) the conferences on climate change is this one so special?"

The conference is included in the article because it is specifically about the article's topic, and even used as its title a phrase that is commonly used to express the topic the article is about.

THIRD, you ask: "Were you there? Did you present a poster or something?"

No, I did not attend the conference, present anything there, or have any connection at all with the conference. Some time ago I stumbled on this article which at the time was solely about the conference, having clicked on a link for "avoiding dangerous climate change" that was a general reference to the concept, and not about the conference. That was the first I had heard of the conference. I ended up here several more times from similar links, and recognized that the article should be expanded to focus on the concept, and make the conference secondary to that.

BTW, I found the story about the conference to be of interest when I landed here, and I am sure many others who read the article do as well.

FOURTH, you say, "I just ran thru the various points at WP:EVENT and for the life of me I can not shoehorn the conference into compliance with the inclusion criteria. ... can you provide an explanation, with RSs, to explain how the conference meets the notability criteria for events?"

You are misapplying this policy. It is about whether a stand-alone article should be created for an event:

"... not every incident that gains media coverage will have or should have a Wikipedia article. A rule of thumb for creating a Wikipedia article is whether the event is ..." (Emph. added)

Moreover, this article complies with the recommended solution in WP:Event for when the notability of an event in a stand-alone article is in question, since in essence I have already applied that principle here by broadening this article to include the main topic and not just its original content of the conference alone:

"If the notability of an event is in question but it is primarily associated with a particular person, company or organization, or can be covered as part of a wider topic, it may preferable to describe the event within a preexisting article ..." (Emph. added)

FINALLY, my perception is that for some time on this page you have been grasping at any and every straw you can find to justify dismantling the article. When a good answer is given or an edit is made to address one of your complaints, then you find yet another straw to grasp, toward that end. If I'm wrong about your intent, my apology, but that is my frank perception. Coastwise (talk) 08:23, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

I am truly sorry about deleting that paragraph, Coast. I don't know what happened, unless I got some "help" from my 3 year old who was in my office at the time. It was not done on purpose. And I grant your point about WP:EVENT steering us away from the separate article idea. Moving on to a new issuee, nearly all the links in the conference section are dead, and another one has failed verification. Can you fix the link rot? I looked a little bit in case the pages just moved to a new hosting url but failed to find them. Unless you or someone else can restore them, or come up with alternatives, the conference section will be left with no sources, and will be deletable on that basis. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 08:51, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks Kim... I see that you fixed one of the links; I called the redirect link a dead link; you called it not dead; but the important thing is that was fixed.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 12:54, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Since we already have an article on climate change mitigation, I've changed the focus of this article to be on the symposium. Otherwise, the scope of the two articles would be essentially the same. I also support changing the title of the article to something like "Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change (conference)" so that it is less confusing. Kaldari (talk) 07:35, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

If I assume you read the various points made in this thread, then I'm irked you just went ahead and did that without even attempting to discuss the various points made in this thread. This article could be tightened up and better coordinated with the other perhaps. If you care strongly enough, how about tagging both with the appropriate merge templates, starting a new thread to discuss changes to both; and then adding a pinpoint link to that thread to both templates? That way, eds at the other article will also know about the discussion and you can make your case for everyone. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 11:19, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
@NewsAndEventsGuy: There is no reason for us to have two articles with the exact same subject. Climate change mitigation is 2 years older and has far more content, so it gets priority for the scope. You can't have 2 articles with the same scope. I don't need to "make a case" for that. It is common sense and a core organizing principle of the encyclopedia. If you want to move any material from this article to the other one, be my guest, but there is no reason to restore such material here. Kaldari (talk) 19:02, 29 June 2013 (UTC)
The scopes of the two articles are adequately distinguished from each other. Coastwise (talk) 04:03, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
How exactly are they distinguished? The titles mean the same thing. What is the difference between "avoiding dangerous climate change" and "climate change mitigation"? Please explain the difference to me. Kaldari (talk) 00:46, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
The present article concerns the scientific and agreed policy imperatives to avoid damaging climate change, which is a topic unto itself, and the title comes from a commonly used phrase that is of interest to readers. The other article, as stated in its first line, concerns the different topic of "the actions being taken," and the title of that one too is a common phrase that is of interest to readers. Both articles are sufficiently detailed and distinct that they are appropriate as stand-alone articles. Of course, as is the case among the many sets of articles within WP that are related to each other, they should be interlinked. Following the title of the present article (preceding the body of the article) is a prominent "See also: Climate change mitigation". I note however that the other article is no longer well-linked to this one and that should be remedied. Coastwise (talk) 08:25, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Reaction to the symposium section[edit]

Kim, Coastwise, others.... if the part about the Brits taking action were in a section about the evolving ideas (or whatever) about the subject, that would be fine with me. I'd like to see the article review the evolving thinking about climate change, danger, and should we avoid any of it? And the Brits action could certainly be a point on the timeline. So could a couple sentences about the conference. However right now we have a bit of WP:OR creating the bridge between the symposium and whatever the committee in Britain told the govt a couple years later, and the Brits' action seems to be there to imply that the conference was a hugely notable thing, instead of being there because the Brits action itself was a very notable thing. I agree the conference probably played a role in the Brits action but (A) we don't have a source that says so without us supplying a bit of [{WP:OR]] or WP:SYN or something like that, and (B) mention of the Brits act as propping up the symposium's import takes away from the import of the Brits act itself. I'll leave it unchanged for now in case you or someone can supply a direct, explicit bridge between the conference and the Brit's governments action, instead of the implicit one we have now. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:24, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Merge into Climate change mitigation[edit]

This entire article is a POV fork of Climate change mitigation, and I see no reason to keep it, as the title is biased, and if you were to reword it, it would be a how to guide on how to avoid climate change (if you were to call it "Avoiding climate change". Even if you were to make the case that "Avoiding climate change" doesn't imply WP:HOWTO, you still can't ignore that this article is redundant to Climate change mitigation. Why do we have a separate article on avoiding climate change, if climate change mitigation is basically the exact same title? Why isn't this merged yet? 123chess456 (talk) 02:05, 9 May 2014 (UTC)

  • Opposed This article is (or should be) about the goal - the metrics of the goal, who set it, how they set it, what people say about it. The other article is (or should be) about one of the means of achieving the goal. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 06:15, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Opposed 123Chess, I have removed your flag for POV-fork from the main article. Firstly, you should have allowed reasonable time for your concern to be discussed here. Primarily, however, neither the article nor its title are POV (see the first section of that topic's TOC). The article is compliant with all five of those bullets. You apparently take the title to be expressing opinion. It does not. The title is an imperative broadly recommended by climate scientists globally and adopted as policy by many governmental bodies worldwide, and is in fact one of the exact phrases that they use. It may be that you don't like it, but that is not sufficient reason for a merger. Regarding your final point, climate change mitigation is not "basically the exact same title" or topic, as has already been discussed above on this page. (I oppose a merger, but if there were one, the other article would logically fit as a subsection of this one, because actions taken follow the imperative that drives them.) Coastwise (talk) 06:30, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Opposed The use of this phrase and its variant by the UN and many other bodies and individuals, since 1992, is well established in the WP:LEDE, and elaborated with full citations throughout the body. It is a perfectly ordinary English phrase, but its continual use, by so many august bodies, in so many ways, for so many years, makes it WP:NOTABLE. This is not a POV dispute, it is an example that one "of the parties to the dispute did not understand either the NPOV policy, or enough about the subject matter to realize that nothing favoring one POV had actually been said" - WP:DRIVEBY. --Nigelj (talk) 13:09, 9 May 2014 (UTC)
Discussion Closed. I am closing this discussion and am removing the merge tags, since weeks have gone by and the merger is solidly opposed. Coastwise (talk) 09:37, 1 June 2014 (UTC)