The virtue of unintended Lomborgianism
If you think about the proposition that we should win the battle of SOx, NOx, Hg, O3, etc. pollution first before dealing with climate change, it is not a bad idea, because among other things you get
- huge reductions in CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions
- observable and immediate local improvements
First because diffuse sources such as automobiles and home furnaces will have to become more efficient to meet such requirements. Second because coal will become a much less used fuel as the cost of cleaning up the emissions rises..
Thus the virtue of unintended Lomborgianism.
There is an apples and oranges issue though which is often missed. SOx, NOx, Hg, O3 have short residence times in the atmosphere. The effect of any particular packet of emissions only lasts for a few years . Adding excess CO2 to the atmosphere now(and yes it is a pollutant in large enough doses) has effects that lasts for centuries.
If you want a medical analogy, the former are poisons, the latter causes cancer.
(Reposted and enhanced from the bunny's clever sayings at Science and Politics of Global Climate Change)