Predictions of the state of the world by 2100 look as naive as 20th century prediction issued in 1900. The following are a few thoughts of a lay person about the consequences of the Crimean crisis for climate policies.
A global agreement to drastically reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide requires a level of trust among the world carbon emitters, who are simultaneously the world powers, that always seemed difficult to reach, but that now, after the spat over Crimea, looks definitively unrealistic. Russia is expelled from the G8 group, at least temporally, Nato sends jets to the Baltic countries and Poland , Japan draws clear parallelisms to their own situation in their Northern territories . So far nobody sees an immediate danger of armed conflict, but it seems a safe bet that the next time USA, Russia, China and Japan meet they are not going to discuss measures to mitigate climate change. If, for instance, USA and the West decide to strike back in Syria by more firmly backing the uprising there - something that seems plausible when Obama meets the Saudi leaders in a few weeks- any remaining trust will evaporate.
Now let us assume for the sake of the argument that projections of climate change impacts are more-or-less accurate. For instance, the increase in annual mean temperature in the Iberian Peninsula may reach 5 degrees, with a simultaneous decrease of precipitation, leaving the half south barely habitable with the present infrastructure. Yet, all climate investment there has been directed to mitigation, by subsidizing solar and wind energy to the tune of 6 billion € last year. The equivalent figure for Germany is closer to 20 billion € . Essentially, no funds have been directed to adaptation or, put in more simple terms, to increase the general resilience of the society. Let us assume further that not only Spain but all EU 27 countries could reduce tomorrow their emissions to zero. That effort will just set back the timetable of global emissions by about 6 years:
And suddenly, am unexpected geopolitical development could kick a global agreement on emissions reduction down the road by several decades. My question would be now, have those governments acted irresponsibly ?