December 16th, 2004

Scientific consensus proven to really be a consensus

The BBC has a well written comment piece on tackling climate change, which comes coupled with this hard hitting first paragraph:

"Human society is performing a remarkable and uncontrolled experiment on the Earth. Because of the combustion of coal, oil and gas, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are already higher than they have been for at least 430,000 years. If such activities continue, CO2 will rise to levels not seen on the Earth for 30 million years or more."

If you have a climate story, been affected by an extreme weather event, then the WWF want to know. They're looking to build a network of people with similar experiences.

The Guardian has an article on business awakening and adapting to climate change.

However, an article that closes the debate against those muddying the waters on climate change is the read of the day:

"That hypothesis was tested by analyzing 928 abstracts, published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, and listed in the ISI database with the keywords "climate change". The 928 papers were divided into six categories: explicit endorsement of the consensus position, evaluation of impacts, mitigation proposals, methods, paleoclimate analysis, and rejection of the consensus position. Of all the papers, 75% fell into the first three categories, either explicitly or implicitly accepting the consensus view; 25% dealt with methods or paleoclimate, taking no position on current anthropogenic climate change. Remarkably, none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position."

"Policy-makers and the media, particularly in the United States, frequently assert that climate science is highly uncertain. Some have used this as an argument against adopting strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For example, while discussing a major U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report on the risks of climate change, then-EPA administrator Christine Whitman argued, "As [the report] went through review, there was less consensus on the science and conclusions on climate change". Some corporations whose revenues might be adversely affected by controls on carbon dioxide emissions have also alleged major uncertainties in the science. Such statements suggest that there might be substantive disagreement in the scientific community about the reality of anthropogenic climate change. This is not the case."

I'm going to be busy for the next week or two, so there won't be any new posts for a little while. Please feel free to fill up the comment board with things relevant you'd like to say. In the meantime, you may also want to switch to a renewable electricity supplier who doesn't generate any greenhouse gases before the holidays start - for all the British readers it's only just one call away! do it now! Also, if you have a desktop (as opposed to a laptop) you may wish to install the Climate Prediction screen saver which adds your computing power to work on a Hadley model when you're not using it.

Have a very merry christmas!