Articles Tagged "Opposing Views"
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Sunday, March 10th 2013, 10:33 AM EDT
The right-wing press is attempting to fool the public into believing that its opposition to green policies is based on robust evidence, rather than dogmatic ideology.
One of the most important findings of the Leveson inquiry was that some newspapers publish intentionally inaccurate and misleading articles when promoting a political agenda. Nowhere is this betrayal of the public interest more glaringly obvious than in the coverage of climate change policy.
In his final report, Leveson stated: "I have come to the conclusion that there does exist a cultural strand or tendency within a section of the press to practice journalism which on occasion is deliberately, recklessly or negligently inaccurate".
He also pointed out that "there can be no objection to agenda journalism (which necessarily involves the fusion of fact and comment), but that cannot trump a requirement to report stories accurately". Leveson added: "Particularly in the context of reporting on issues of political interest, the press have a responsibility to ensure that the public are accurately informed so that they can engage in the democratic process".
It is unclear whether the new regulatory regime for the press that is eventually introduced as a response to the inquiry will put an end to these deliberate distortions and misrepresentations. Meanwhile, some newspapers continue to exploit the weakness of the existing self-imposed rules.
Sunday, March 3rd 2013, 2:18 PM EST
One of Britain's leading polar explorers has told Sky News that decades of campaign efforts to get people engaged with climate change have failed.
Robert Swan, who was the first man to walk to both the North and South poles, was speaking in Argentina on the eve of the launch of his latest expedition to Antarctica - one which he hopes will help turn the tide of public apathy towards green issues.
He said: "People are really sick and tired of seeing pictures of another glacier melting, another forest dying.
Thursday, February 14th 2013, 3:49 PM EST
The former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says global average temperatures could reach 5°C above their pre-industrial level.
LONDON, 14 February – The world has missed the chance to keep greenhouse gas emissions below the level needed to prevent the temperature climbing above 2°C, according to the British scientist who used to chair the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The scientist, Professor Sir Robert Watson, chaired the Panel from 1997 until 2002, when he was ousted after US pressure for his removal.
Professor Watson says there is a 50-50 chance of preventing global average temperatures rising more than 3°C above their level at the start of the industrial age, but a 5°C rise is possible. That would mean the Earth warming more than it has since the end of the last Ice Age.
He was speaking at a symposium, Preventing global non-communicable diseases through low-carbon development, held at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM).
He said: “All the promises in the world, which we’re not likely to realise anyway, will not give us a world with only a 2°C rise. All the evidence, in my opinion, suggests we’re on our way to a 3°C to 5°C world.
Friday, February 8th 2013, 5:27 PM EST
The Union of Concerned Scientists has posted an informative breakdown on the connections between the winter storm bearing down on the Northeast and the planet's changing climate.
"It’s Cold and My Car is Buried in Snow. Is Global Warming Really Happening?," notes that storms like this one -- a classic Nor'easter -- are well-known to residents along the nation's North Atlantic coast. But shifts in the climate due in large part, most scientists say, to burning fossil fuels, are likely to make such storms even more fierce and frequent.
In an emailed statement, UCS climate scientist Brenda Ekwurzel explained, citing data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):
Rising ocean surface temperatures already have increased the temperature and moisture content of the air passing over the United States, setting the stage for heavier snow and rain storms. Global warming has increased the risk of dumping heavier precipitation -- as rain or snow -- over most land regions that experience storms.
In the U.S., the region that has experienced the highest increase in heaviest precipitation is the Northeast over the last half century. According to NOAA, the Northeast saw a 74 percent increase in the amount of precipitation that fell during the heaviest rain and snow events between 1958 and 2011.
Tuesday, January 22nd 2013, 10:25 AM EST
Being a parent means you get to talk to kids to about climate change. Not your own kids, of course. With them, you're lucky if you can deduce what homework they have each night. But when their friends come over after school, that's when you get a chance. And, encouragingly enough, I've found a no-spin zone in talking with kids about climate change -- something I rarely encounter when talking with neighbors and colleagues steeped in op-ed page rhetoric. And it's in these no-spin conversations that one of the important truths about climate change comes out: global warming isn't a science problem. It's a political problem.
There is no mystery about how global warming works or how dangerous it is. Even kids grasp the basics. The carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels is heating up the atmosphere and driving increasingly costly climate disruption. The next part is a little more tricky, but still simple: once carbon pollution gets into the atmosphere it sticks there. There's no cleaning it up, no going backward. The math has been done, and it turns out that we have about 15 years on the current burn path before we permanently load the atmosphere with so much carbon pollution we risk truly catastrophic changes.
Naturally enough at this point in the conversation, the kids are pretty bummed out. But still they ask if there is anything we can do about it. And once again, the answer is pretty clear. This time it's the engineers, economists, and business consultants that have done the math. Investing in energy efficiency and switching to renewable energy is not only feasible, it often saves a lot of money. Over in Germany the government is looking at a plan to switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Right now, 25 percent of the German electrical grid is already powered by renewable energy.
Tuesday, January 22nd 2013, 9:35 AM EST
Attenborough’s claim that humanity is a plague is silly and dangerous. When natural historians use their knowledge to try to explain the human, social world and its problems, it’s almost always dangerously wrong. It is presented as a ‘scientific’, empirical approach, but is deeply ideological.
The Telegraph’s resident Gaia-botherer, Louise Gray has a short piece on neoMalthusian anti-baby campaigner, David Attenborough.
The television presenter said that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources. He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.
“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he told the Radio Times. Sir David, who is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, has spoken out before about the “frightening explosion in human numbers” and the need for investment in sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population in developing countries. “We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves — and it’s not an inhuman thing to say. It’s the case. Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a coordinated view about the planet it’s going to get worse and worse.”
Tuesday, January 22nd 2013, 9:28 AM EST
Humans are a plague on the Earth that need to be controlled by limiting population growth, according to Sir David Attenborough.
The television presenter said that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources.
He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.
“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he told the Radio Times.
Sir David, who is a patron of the Optimum Population Trust, has spoken out before about the “frightening explosion in human numbers” and the need for investment in sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population in developing countries.
“We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves — and it’s not an inhuman thing to say. It’s the case. Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a coordinated view about the planet it’s going to get worse and worse.”
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Friday, January 18th 2013, 4:02 PM EST
In his column for the BBC News website, BBC Environment Analyst Roger Harrabin assesses the fall-out from the row over Met Office decadal forecasting.
Australia burns; the US rebuilds from Sandy and counts the cost of record heat; and the UK ponders its weirdest year of weather.
The UK Chief Scientist tells me weather extremes now worry scientists as much or more than overall global warming. "If this gets worse, how are farmers going to operate?" he asks.
Yet at the same time there's a relentless spread of climate confusion in parts of the media. The Met Office, a world-leading purveyor of climate information, recently suffered reputational damage that will increase public confusion over whether climate change is important at all.
It happened after bloggers seized on a Met Office paper revising downward its decadal global temperature projection for 2017.
Scientists have been puzzling for some time over exactly what combination of factors is preventing the earth getting even warmer - maybe changes in solar activity, ocean currents or emissions of aerosol pollution.
Thursday, January 10th 2013, 4:27 PM EST
Our old friend the Telegraph blogger, one-trick wind farm whinger and Prospective Parliamentary less-than-entirely-Candidate for Corby, the far-Right-but-less-than-entirely-Honourable James Delingpole, has an article in the Mail.
The content is, at first glance, the same as his blogs, with the usual list of misrepresentations and fabrications, but this itself is misleading. This piece actually represents a complete reversal of James’s most deeply held beliefs. Whilst there was no obvious difference in his political opinions – climate change is a Marxist conspiracy organised by the Met Office on behalf of the BBC – there is a far more fundamental revision happening.
He still believes that Greenpeace is actually a long-term KGB sleeper cell dedicated to bringing about the new, communist world order. Billionaire climatologists are still sucking the national economy dry with their relentless and fraudulent demands for research grants, just as wind turbines suck electricity out of the national grid and are the greatest crime against humanity since the flood. (The original flood, that is – the recent floods were invented by the Met Office as part of their evil plot, and in fact ‘there has been nothing particularly abnormal about the recent rain’ as there were ‘two years, 1872 and 1768, wetter than the supposed record-breaking year of 2012’. In fact, the Met Office figures show that 2000 was wetter than 2012, but James is trying to prove that the UK is not getting wetter, and so ignores the actual record-breaking year due to its inconveniently recent occurrence). ‘Scientists’, environmentalists and most of all the shadowy power behind the throne, the BBC, remain the true face of evil in the world.
Wednesday, January 2nd 2013, 1:10 PM EST
Contact: Catherine Beswick, email@example.com, National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (UK)
By comparing reconstructions of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and sea level over the past 40 million years, researchers based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton have found that greenhouse gas concentrations similar to the present (almost 400 parts per million) were systematically associated with sea levels at least nine metres above current levels.
The study determined the 'natural equilibrium' sea level for CO2 concentrations ranging between ice-age values of 180 parts per million and ice-free values of more than 1,000 parts per million.
It takes many centuries for such an equilibrium to be reached, therefore whilst the study does not predict any sea level value for the coming century, it does illustrate what sea level might be expected if climate were stabilized at a certain CO2 level for several centuries.
Lead author Dr Gavin Foster, from Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton which is based at the centre, said, "A specific case of interest is one in which CO2 levels are kept at 400 to 450 parts per million, because that is the requirement for the often mentioned target of a maximum of two degrees global warming."
The researchers compiled more than two thousand pairs of CO2 and sea level data points, spanning critical periods within the last 40 million years. Some of these had climates warmer than present, some similar, and some colder. They also included periods during which global temperatures were increasing, as well as periods during which temperatures were decreasing.