Uncertainty and climate change

Written by  //  November 21, 2011  //  Cleo Paskal, Climate Change, Natural Disasters  //  No comments

Climate change on Wednesday-Night.com
The Vulnerability of Energy Infrastructure to Environmental Change
Chatham House Briefing Paper
Cleo Paskal, July 2009
A joint publication of Chatham House and Global EESE. The paper was originally published in April 2009 but was reissued in July 2009 with additions.
* Much energy infrastructure lies in areas that are predicted to become increasingly physically unstable owing to changes in the environment.
* Already there have been environment-related disruptions to hydroelectric installations, offshore oil and gas production, pipelines, electrical transmission and nuclear power generation.
* As a result of scheduled decommissioning, revised environmental standards, stimulus spending and new development, there is likely to be substantial investment in new energy infrastructure.
* It is critical that new and existing infrastructure be designed or retrofitted for changing environmental conditions.
* It is no longer sufficient only to assess our impact on the environment; now we must also assess the impact of a changing environment on us.
Munk Debates 2009: Climate change is mankind’s defining crisis, and demands a commensurate response.
December 2009 Munk Debate on Climate Change “Be it resolved: climate change is mankind’s defining crisis, and demands a commensurate response.” George Monbiot and Elizabeth May took the affirmative; Bjørn Lomborg and Lord Nigel Lawson the negative. [Watch the debate]
Lomborg v. Monbiot: liveblogging the Munk debate on climate change
Uncertainty as Information: Narrowing the Science-policy Gap
Conflict and indecision are hallmarks of environmental policy formulation. Some argue that the requisite information and certainty fall short of scientific standards for decision making; others argue that science is not the issue and that indecisiveness reflects a lack of political willpower. One of the most difficult aspects of translating science into policy is scientific uncertainty. Whereas scientists are familiar with uncertainty and complexity, the public and policy makers often seek certainty and deterministic solutions. We assert that environmental policy is most effective if scientific uncertainty is incorporated into a rigorous decision – theoretic framework as knowledge, not ignorance. The policies that best utilize scientific findings are defined here as those that accommodate the full scope of scientifically based predictions. Copyright © 2000 by The Resilience Alliance


Cleo Paskal: U.S. Military Undermined By Environmental Change
(HuffPost) Across the US, critical military installations are being put at risk by environmental change. According to the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Report:
In 2008, the National Intelligence Council [NIC] judged that more than 30 US military installations were already facing elevated levels of risk from rising sea levels. DoD’s operational readiness hinges on continued access to land, air, and sea training and test space. Consequently, the Department must complete a comprehensive assessment of all installations to assess the potential impacts of climate change on its missions and adapt as required.
Sounds logical, and forward thinking, and the US military certainly has the expertise to do a proper job of it. However, there are multiple systemic barriers standing in the way ‘climate proofing’ those critical installations.
IPCC ties human activity to weather changes
Climate change associated with human activity is responsible for a portion of the extreme weather patterns unfolding across the globe and will likely intensify in the decades ahead, says a report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Increased frequency of high temperature and precipitation are among the weather patterns changes the world can expect, the report warns. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (11/18)
Developing countries meet on climate change
Officials from developing countries will call on wealthy countries to increase funding and technology transfers to aid in the battle against climate change during a forum for developing countries in Dhaka. The meeting comes two weeks ahead of the United Nations-backed summit in Durban, South Africa, where representatives from around the world will continue efforts to forge agreement on a climate change battle plan to succeed the Kyoto Treaty, which expires in 2012. AlertNet (11/11)
Poor countries are taking charge of climate response
Years after the Copenhagen climate summit, it remains unclear how developed countries will deliver on their pledge to provide developing countries with $100 billion a year to help them pay for, and adapt to, global warming. In the meantime, many of the smaller and more at-risk developing countries — especially small islands and parts of Africa — have adopted a variety of on-the-ground measures to combat climate change in the run-up to the next UN climate summit in Durban, South Africa, beginning Nov. 28. The Guardian (London) (11/7), The Economist (11/5)
1 November
Is climate science disinformation a crime against humanity?
Deeply irresponsible corporate-sponsored programmes of disinformation have potentially harsh effects upon tens of millions of people – Unfortunately this is poorly written and therefore some good points are lost in the general clumsiness of expression.
28 October
Global warming: Middle East’s vital wet winters are disappearing
(CSM) Global warming is playing a significant role in diverting much-needed wet winter weather away from the increasingly dry Mediterranean, a new study led by a NOAA scientist suggests.
21 October
Climate study, funded in part by conservative group, confirms global warming
The latest global warming results confirm those from earlier, independent studies by scientists at NASA and elsewhere that came under fire from skeptics in an episode known as ‘climategate.’
(CSM) Money for the new study, dubbed the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, came from five foundations, including one established by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and another from the Charles Koch Charitable Foundation, widely seen as a source of money for conservative organizations and initiatives that have fought efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.
20 October
Global warming study finds no grounds for climate sceptics’ concerns
Independent investigation of the key issues sceptics claim can skew global warming figures reports that they have no real effect
(The Guardian) The world is getting warmer, countering the doubts of climate change sceptics about the validity of some of the scientific evidence, according to the most comprehensive independent review of historical temperature records to date.
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, found several key issues that sceptics claim can skew global warming figures had no meaningful effect. The Berkeley Earth project compiled more than a billion temperature records dating back to the 1800s from 15 sources around the world and found that the average global land temperature has risen by around 1C since the mid-1950s.
Kyoto pact could be extended over rich-world objections
The top climate diplomat at the United Nations says negotiators will seek to extend the Kyoto Protocol during talks next December in Durban, South Africa, even if it means excluding Japan, Canada and Russia. Christiana Figueres praised the European Union for “building a bridge” between rich and poor countries, and singled out the U.S. — which has refused to recognize Kyoto, now set to expire in 2012 — for failing to meet its responsibilities as one of the world’s biggest polluters. Bloomberg Businessweek (10/11), The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/ClimateWire (10/10)
Proposed global climate pact aims to overcome divisions
A proposal being put forth by Australia and Norway aims to secure a global agreement on climate change by 2015 amid deep divisions between rich and poor countries over the ways to combat global warming. The proposal — opposed by many developing countries, which support an extension of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol — insists that countries formalize steps to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by adopting standards that span the entirety of their economies. AlertNet/Reuters (10/3), Reuters (10/2)
28 September
World’s leading climate sceptic sees his funding melt away fast
(the Independent) Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and bête noire of climate change activists around the world, has been told that the incoming Danish government will cut off his £1m a year funding.
20 June
Postponing Emissions Cuts Carries Steep Price-tag
(IPS) Stephen Leahy wraps up the progress made and stumbling blocks encountered during the United Nations Climate Change Conference from June 6 to 17 in Bonn, Germany. “It seems that few nations at these climate negotiations understand the full extent of the calamity the human species and planet face,” he laments.
UNEP report offers warming curbs
Fixing leaky gas transport lines, improving wood-burning stoves and better waste recycling are among 16 inexpensive measures that would dramatically decrease the human contributions to global warming and improve public health, the United Nations Environment Programme says in a report. Instituting the changes would help reach the international goal of limiting global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. AlertNet (6/14)
Delay over Kyoto renewal leaves enforcement gap
Even if Japan, Russia and Canada agree to new greenhouse-gas emission goals at talks in South Africa next winter, an extension of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol could not be approved in time to ensure there is not a gap in enforcement in 2012, said Christiana Figueres, the UN climate chief. A global deal on emissions that includes all major emitters is not likely until 2014 or 2015, said Artur Runge Metzger, the lead negotiator for the European Commission. Bloomberg (6/6)
Figueres: More action is needed to combat climate change

Efforts to control greenhouse-gas emissions have not produced enough results, but world governments must not lose momentum on trying to address climate change, says Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. While national governments have struggled to formulate consensus on broader action, cities including Johannesburg and Los Angeles have moved ahead with measures — such as tree planting and insulating buildings — to combat climate change and promote efficiency. The Guardian (London) (5/31), Bloomberg (5/31)
31 March
Climate change -A record-making effort
ON THURSDAY March 31st Richard Muller of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory gave evidence to the energy and commerce committee of America’s House of Representatives on the surface temperature record. … a new and methodologically interesting study, carried out by people some of whom might have been expected to take a somewhat sceptical view on the issue, seems essentially to have confirmed the results of earlier work on the rate at which the earth’s temperature is rising. This makes suggestions that this rise is an artefact of bad measurement, or indeed a conspiracy of climatologists, even less credible than they were before.
UN is ready to push climate-change measures
Climate envoys will begin work on implementing agreed measures to combat climate change — such as the Green Climate Fund — even though the future of the Kyoto Treaty remains uncertain, said Christiana Figueres, head of the United Nations climate secretariat. Governments have so far failed to agree on an extension of the Kyoto Treaty, which expires in 2012. Reuters (3/3)
UN looks to Hollywood on climate-change battle
United Nations officials are petitioning Hollywood to include story lines about global warming in movies, television shows and other outlets in a bid to build public support for the fight against climate change after disappointing efforts to forge international agreements on a plan. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has traveled to Los Angeles with other high-ranking officials to make the case to directors, writers, producers and actors. Los Angeles Times/Greenspace blog (2/21)
Ban steps back from climate negotiations
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will no longer take a hands-on role in negotiations over climate change, citing a lack of will among world leaders to reach agreement on global warming in the near future, according to senior UN officials. Instead, he will redirect his energies toward issues such as promoting clean energy and green economies in developing countries. The Guardian (London) (1/27)
12 January
Scientists see climate change link to Australian floods
(Reuters) – Climate change has likely intensified the monsoon rains that have triggered record floods in Australia’s Queensland state, scientists said on Wednesday, with several months of heavy rain and storms still to come.
But while scientists say a warmer world is predicted to lead to more intense droughts and floods, it wasn’t yet possible to say if climate change would trigger stronger La Nina and El Nino weather patterns that can cause weather chaos across the globe.
5 January
A New Ark for Humanity: Floating Hotel Could Defy Rising Sea Levels
The rising sea waters caused by global warming have inspired …  A new design by Russian architect Alexander Remizov  [that] challenges the tradition of land-based hotel living and would provide a refuge in the future — should the world face a modern-day flood of Biblical proportions. Constructing “The Ark” — which would include 14,000 square meters (151,000 square feet) of living space — would cost roughly the same as building an energy-efficient house. The self-sustaining structure would be built around a central pillar, connecting wind generators and heat pumps on its roof with the basement, where solar, wind, and thermal energy could be stored and turned into electricity.


26 December
Bundle Up, It’s Global Warming
THE earth continues to get warmer, yet it’s feeling a lot colder outside.
… How can we reconcile this? The not-so-obvious short answer is that the overall warming of the atmosphere is actually creating cold-weather extremes. … For a more detailed explanation, we must turn our attention to the snow in Siberia.
22 December
A Scientist, His Work and a Climate Reckoning
MAUNA LOA OBSERVATORY, Hawaii — Two gray machines sit inside a pair of utilitarian buildings here, sniffing the fresh breezes that blow across thousands of miles of ocean.
They make no noise. But once an hour, they spit out a number, and for decades, it has been rising relentlessly.
The first machine of this type was installed on Mauna Loa in the 1950s at the behest of Charles David Keeling, a scientist from San Diego. His resulting discovery, of the increasing level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, transformed the scientific understanding of humanity’s relationship with the earth. A graph of his findings is inscribed on a wall in Washington as one of the great achievements of modern science.
Yet, five years after Dr. Keeling’s death, his discovery is a focus not of celebration but of conflict. It has become the touchstone of a worldwide political debate over global warming.
28 November
Bjorn Lomborg wants us to cool it
Bjorn Lomborg is an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business school and the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming. He opposes the use of emissions targets such as those contained in the Kyoto Protocol and being discussed at next week’s United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Cancun, Mexico, as a way to tackle global warming, instead recommending heavy investment in the research and development of non-carbon emitting technologies. Interview with Wendy Mesley
27 November
Margaret Wente: Can environmentalism be saved from itself?
“How high a price must the world pay for green folly?” asked the thinker Walter Russell Mead. “How many years will be lost, how much credibility forfeited, how much money wasted before we have an environmental movement that has the intellectual rigour, political wisdom and mature, sober judgment needed to address the great issues we face?”
26 November
Jeffrey Simpson: In Australian politics, climate change equals grief
Australia, very much like Canada, has a poor record on curbing greenhouse gas emissions. The country, again like Canada, is an energy hog, with vast distances, an unforgiving climate in some areas, big cars, suburban sprawl and huge coal deposits. Canada and Australia are exporters of uranium, but whereas Canada has nuclear power, Australia won’t think of it.
A little over three years ago, an Australian task force under a former cabinet secretary produced a superb report on how to create a carbon emissions trading scheme. It appeared that report would become the template for serious action, with an eventual price on carbon.
Since then, nothing. The issue has ruined politicians, divided parties, and now befuddles another government. The weather has changed; the tricky politics of climate change have not.
World is growing warmer, but pace slows
A report by the UK Meteorological Office marshals the latest data from nine indicators to show that global temperatures had risen over the past decade
25 November
Climate agency gears down as funding dries up
Organization has awarded more than 200 scientific grants
(Ottawa Citizen) The budget crunch at the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences comes on the heels of revelations that the government is leasing out the Amundsen, a coast guard icebreaker equipped to monitor climate change in the North, to a pair of fossil-fuel companies for oil exploration in the region.

Johann Hari: The Next Crash Will Be Ecological — and Nature Doesn’t Do Bailouts
(HuffPost) The world’s governments are gathering next week in Cancun with no momentum and very little pressure from their own populations to stop the ecological vandalism that has caused the hottest year on record.
The scientific debate is not between deniers and those who can prove that releasing massive amounts of warming gases will make the world warmer. Every major scientific academy in the world, and all the peer-reviewed literature, says global warming denialism is a pseudo-science, on a par with Intelligent Design, homeopathy, or the claim that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. One email from one lousy scientist among tens of thousands doesn’t dent that. No: the debate is between the scientists who say the damage we are doing is a disaster, and the scientists who say it is catastrophe.
1 November
Prevention can trim disaster costs, says report
A joint report released Thursday by the United Nations and the World Bank … estimates that annual losses due to natural disasters are likely to triple over ensuing decades, and might even be greater because of climate change. AlertNet.org (11/11)
31 August
Review Finds Flaws in U.N. Climate Panel Structure
(NYT) The scientists involved in crafting the panel’s climate reports need to be more open to alternative views and more transparent, an independent review said.
The report released Monday by the panel from the InterAcademy Council, which links scientific institutions around the world, did not try to reassess the science of the climate assessment itself. It said the way the United Nations panel goes about its work has “been successful overall.”
The changes recommended by the panel include replacing the top eight officials responsible for producing the United Nations reports every seven years or so. That throws into question whether Rajendra K. Pachauri, the current chairman of the panel, called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, should remain to oversee the report due out in 2013-14.
Bjørn Lomborg: $100bn a year needed to win fight against global warming

‘Skeptical Environmentalist’ and critic of climate scientists to declare global warming a chief concern facing world today
(The Guardian) … in a new book to be published next month, Lomborg will call for tens of billions of dollars a year to be invested in tackling climate change. “Investing $100bn annually would mean that we could essentially resolve the climate change problem by the end of this century,” the book concludes.
Examining eight methods to reduce or stop global warming, Lomborg and his fellow economists recommend pouring money into researching and developing clean energy sources such as wind, wave, solar and nuclear power, and more work on climate engineering ideas such as “cloud whitening” to reflect the sun’s heat back into the outer atmosphere.
12 August
Fires and floods
How the heatwave in Russia is connected to floods in Pakistan
(The Economist) AS RUSSIA burns to a crisp, thousands of kilometres to the south-west torrential storms visit unprecedented flooding on Pakistan. Both events can be attributed to the same large-scale pattern of atmospheric circulation. They are also both the sort of thing climate scientists expect more of in a warming world.
15 July
Jonathan Kay: Bad science: Global-warming deniers are a liability to the conservative cause
Have you heard about the “growing number” of eminent scientists who reject the theory that man-made greenhouse gases are increasing the earth’s temperature? It’s one of those factoids that, for years, has been casually dropped into the opening paragraphs of conservative manifestos against climate-change treaties and legislation. Bravo, Mr. Kay and kudos for splitting from the received wisdom of the National Post and its vituperative reader/comment-makers (as opposed to serious commentators).
7 July
David Suzuki Foundation: The Skeptics
Jim Hoggan: Slamming the Climate Skeptic Scam
How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: Responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming
Andrew C. Revkin: Climate Whitewash, Blackwash and ‘Mushroom Clouds’
The reactions to the Independent Climate Change Email Review are flowing around the blogosphere, including — predictably — many shouts of “ whitewash” by critics of climate science and proclamations of vindication by the scientists and institution thrust into the spotlight after the unauthorized release of a batch of e-mail strings and files revealed the sometimes-unseemly back story behind climate research.
Dutch investigation backs IPCC efforts

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s disputed 2007 report contains no errors sufficient to cast doubt on its conclusions, but the IPCC should pursue more transparency in its operations, a Dutch investigation concludes. Critics questioned the IPCC report’s projections on glacier melt, flooding and water-scarcity issues, leading to several investigations into the soundness of the effort. The IPCC will soon begin work on an updated assessment. BBC (7/5)
George Monbiot: The climate change deniers are digging themselves an ever deeper hole over ‘Amazongate’
Study examines scientists’ ‘climate credibility’
Faced with overwhelming consensus within the scientific community regarding the reality of climate change motivated by human activity, climate denialists have challenged the practice of peer review and other fundamental aspects of science. A study suggests that there is an immense gap in the expertise and scientific acumen between the community that supports the findings of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the significantly smaller community that does not. BBC (6/22)
10 May
Scientists Decry “Assaults” On Climate Research
(Reuters/Planet Ark) More than 250 U.S. scientists on Thursday defended climate change research against “political assaults” and warned that any delay in tackling global warming heightens the risk of a planet-wide catastrophe. The scientists, all members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, targeted critics who have urged postponing any action against climate change because of alleged problems with research shown in a series of hacked e-mails that are collectively known as “climate-gate.”
UN launches climate oversight panel
Harold Shapiro, an economist who has served as president of Princeton University and the University of Michigan, will lead a 12-member panel that will oversee the work of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The move comes in the wake of the highly politicized revelation of several mistakes made by the group. The panel is tasked with drawing up recommendations to ensure that the UN IPCC correctly cites sources, considers a variety of perspectives on climate science and secures peer review for all its work. NYTimes.com/Green blog (5/3)
27 April
Al Gore: Denialists in Denial
(Al’s Journal) Much of the media has done a particularly bad job covering the climate crisis. Instead of informing the public about the facts, they have treated the issue as if the same political divisions they exuberantly cover also exist in the scientific community. They don’t.
Last week The Wall Street Journal published a ridiculous op-ed titled “Climate Science in Denial” claiming that “global warming alarmists have been discredited, but you wouldn’t know it from the rhetoric this Earth Day.”
Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic does an exceptional job dismantling this ridiculous claim: Climate Denialists in Denial
14 April
The scientists in “climategate” did not fudge the data, a report finds
(The Economist) Lord Oxburgh and his colleagues were not concerned with whether CRU’s scientific findings, which are based on records of temperature change from instruments and natural proxies, were correct. They were looking to see if the analysis had been biased and manipulated. … The panel did express considerable surprise at the fact that the unit did not collaborate closely with professional statisticians. The report found that the CRU scientists would, had they been more comfortable with statistics, have done some things differently. But the panel doubted that using better methods would have materially changed their results.
1 April
‘Climategate’ scientists vindicated in investigation
(Globe & Mail) In their report, the [House of Commons’ Science and Technology] committee said that, as far as it was able to ascertain, “the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact,” adding that nothing in the more than 1,000 stolen e-mails, or the controversy kicked up by their publication, challenged scientific consensus that “global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity.”
16 March
Lord Chris Smith: It’s still real and it’s still a problem
(BBC) We cannot say for certain that these things – or indeed the intense heat recently experienced in Australia, or the droughts in Kenya – were caused by climate change.
Climate-related controversies and the outcome of the Copenhagen summit widely regarded as a failure have left a sense of hopelessness in climate policy, says Lord Chris Smith. In this week’s Green Room, he stresses the soundness of the fundamental climate science and the need to continue pushing for meaningful climate deals.
13 March
Terence Corcoran: Remember Amazongate?
(National Post) Climate scientists attached to the rickety Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change structure raise two key interchangeable arguments in their defense. The first is to deny that anything of significance has been found in the various IPCC scandals. Climategate? Nothing there but a few emails that display intemperate behaviour and typical charmless chat among scientists doing their jobs. … Glaciergate and the melting Himalayan ice? Insignificant — barely a footnote in the official IPCC reports, and a minor mistake in any case; there’s nothing here to cast doubt on the thousands of pages of good work by thousands of scientists.
The second official line of defense is to attempt to deny the very existence of any mistakes, errors or butchered science.
… Another deny-and-trivialize science issue is Amazongate. In January, Daily Telegraph writer James Delingpole described how a key alarmist section of the IPPC’s 2007 science report was another bit of dubious research from the World Wildlife Fund. It claimed that “Up to 40% of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to even a slight reduction in precipitation; this means that the tropical vegetation, hydrology and climate system in South America could change very rapidly to another steady state, not necessarily producing gradual changes between the current and the future situation.”
12 March
Climate libel chill
By Benny Peiser: Editor of CCNet and the co-editor of the journal Energy & Environment (E&E).
(FP Comment) When asked for the data behind one study ‘proving’ global warming, CRU scientists instead planned to sue. Following the release of the Climategate emails from East Anglia University`s Climatic Research Unit (CRU), the U.K.’s House of Commons Science and Technology Committee decided to investigate its implications “for the integrity of scientific research.” Benny Peiser of the Faculty of Science at Liverpool John Moores University submitted a memorandum, which appears below in edited form.
11 March
James Hansen’s climate reckoning: The case for human-caused climate change
Reading James Hansen’s Storms Of My Grandchildren makes it clear that these ballyhooed scandals [‘climategate’ and the exaggeration of the melting of the Himalayan glaciers] in no way undermine the science of human-caused climate change. Hansen is a professor of Earth and Environmental Studies and was a director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. He has been attempting to convince governments of the threat posed by carbon dioxide emissions since the 1980s. In this, his first book, he does not rely on computer models or on the integrity of particular scientists.
Hansen’s conclusions are based on the demonstrable capacity of carbon dioxide to trap heat and on paleoclimatology. The more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere the less heat radiates back into distant space. Paleoclimatology — the study of ancient ice cores and sediments — confirms that rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are consistently accompanied by rising global temperatures and rising sea levels.
More Americans say global warming exaggerated – poll
(Reuters) – A growing number of Americans, nearly half the country, think global warming worries are exaggerated and more people doubt that scientific warnings of severe environmental fallout will ever occur, according to a new Gallup poll.
Science panel to oversee UN climate-change work
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that a panel comprising top scientists from around the world will review the work of the UN climate-change panel in hopes of avoiding future blunders like the recent errors made by the panel — small mistakes that appear quite large in the politicized context of global climate-change policy. A consortium of scientists, InterAcademy Council, will name the members of the panel. The New York Times (free registration) (3/10)
UN brings in top scientists to review IPCC report on Himalayan glaciers
(Guardian) Moves aims to restore public confidence in science of global warming after mistake over melting rates of glaciers
9 March
South African tourism minister nominated for top UN climate job
(Guardian) Marthinus van Schalkwyk is a candidate to take over from United Nations climate chief Yvo de Boer, who announced his resignation last month
8 March
Lorne Gunter: The only thing heating up is the debate
Gunter’s take on the Al Gore op-ed of February 28 (see below)
28 February
Al Gore: We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change
(NYT) It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.
Of course, we would still need to deal with the national security risks of our growing dependence on a global oil market dominated by dwindling reserves in the most unstable region of the world, and the economic risks of sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas in return for that oil. And we would still trail China in the race to develop smart grids, fast trains, solar power, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources of energy — the most important sources of new jobs in the 21st century.
17 February
Lorne Gunter: They’re finally admitting the science isn’t settled
Why does Climategate matter? Who cares whether the climate data on a computer at some obscure English university has been deliberately corrupted?
There are plenty of ways in which these disclosures have been crucial, but the principal change has been the uncertainty creeping into the remarks of former True Believers. Some of those who for years have insisted the science is “settled,” are now admitting we don’t know all we need to before making trillion-dollar policy decisions.
8 February
UN climate chief weathers credibility crisis
UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change chief Rajendra Pachauri is facing scrutiny from climate denialists — and even some legitimate scientists — after revelations about the panel’s landmark 2007 report on climate change, which exaggerated the rate of melting of Himalayan glaciers. Critics also have criticized the Nobel Prize–winning scientist for profiting on work advising businesses — a claim he denies. The New York Times (2/8)
5 February
India backs embattled climate chief Pachauri
India has firmly backed climate change chief Rajendra Pachauri – who has been under attack over recent scientific errors – at UN-led talks in Delhi.
4 February
Rajendra Pachauri and the IPCC: A time for introspection
(The Economist) Increasing scrutiny of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and, in particular, its chairman, should lead to reforms
17 January 2010
World misled over Himalayan glacier meltdown
(Times online) A WARNING that climate change will melt most of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 is likely to be retracted after a series of scientific blunders by the United Nations body that issued it.
Two years ago the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a benchmark report that was claimed to incorporate the latest and most detailed research into the impact of global warming. A central claim was the world’s glaciers were melting so fast that those in the Himalayas could vanish by 2035.
In the past few days the scientists behind the warning have admitted that it was based on a news story in the New Scientist, a popular science journal, published eight years before the IPCC’s 2007 report.


1 December
Scientist in climate change data row steps down
(BBC) The research director at the centre of a row over climate change data said he would stand down from the post while there is an independent review. Professor Phil Jones, director of the Norwich-based University of East Anglia’s (UEA) Climatic Research Unit (CRU), has said he stands by his data. Sceptics claim the e-mails, leaked after a UEA server was hacked into, showed data was being manipulated.
30 November
George Monbiot Puts “Climate Gate” in Perspective
George Monbiot, science writer for the Guardian, takes on the “Climate Change Skeptics and Deniers”, pointing out that yes, the so-called “exposed” scientists made some mistakes, mainly in lack of transparency, but that the skeptics are wildly exaggerating the meaning and significance of the “compromised” sentences and phrases. Meanwhile, Monbiot picks up a few rocks and throws them at the skeptics’ own towering glass house of fraud, manipulation and obsfucation, built by the way, to a large extent with corporate money (Exxon anyone?)
25 November
George Monbiot: Pretending the climate email leak isn’t a crisis won’t make it go away
(The Guardian) Climate sceptics have lied, obscured and cheated for years. That’s why we climate rationalists must uphold the highest standards of science
24 November 2009
Climategate: What the climate scientists wrote and when they wrote it
23 November
Terence Corcoran: After Copenhagen, the end of the science
uncertainty over science existed long before the CRU emails surfaced
20 November
Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?
(Telegraph) If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka CRU) and released 61 megabytes of confidential files onto the internet.
30 July 2009
Jim Hoggan: ‘Global warming as new religion?’ Give me a break — climate change is serious

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