History was made at the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University on Monday night. President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, sparred over American policy in Libya and Iran. They traded generalities on trade with China and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and made brief mentions of renewable technology and "energy independence."
But as noted by several debate watchers, climate change was never mentioned -- not by the candidates, and not by the debate moderator, Bob Schieffer of CBS News. Given the absence of the topic at the two preceding meetings between Obama and Romney, the close of Monday night's event marked the first time in roughly a generation that climate change has failed to receive an airing at any of the presidential debates.
Nearly 25 years after NASA scientist James Hansen famously told Congress that the science behind the greenhouse effect was clear -- and after similarly long-lived efforts to raise awareness of global warming and to force the topic into the national dialog -- the meaning behind Monday's milestone is likely to be hotly debated. To some, it is a sign that climate change has become a niche issue -- and is now being treated like any other special interest. To others, the candidates are merely playing the political odds in an election in which Americans are highly focused on jobs and other more immediate concerns.
But in the hours immediately following the debate, activists and climate scientists simply expressed a mixture of anger and disillusionment.
Claims global warming stopped 15 years ago are based on "cherry-picked" data and don't account for natural fluctuations in climate, according to climate scientists responding to an article that appeared Saturday (Oct. 13) in the British newspaper, The Daily Mail.
The article cites combined global land and sea-temperature data compiled by British climate researchers, claiming that between August 1997 and August 2012, " there was no discernable rise in aggregate global temperatures."
The implication, writes the article's author David Rose, is that computer models, including those used by UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, are flawed and have made overly dire predictions.
The article appears to be based on an update to a global temperature dataset called HadCRUT4, which is compiled by the U.K.'s national weather service, known as The Met Office, and the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit.
An article by David Rose appears today in the Mail on Sunday under the title: ‘Global warming stopped 16 years ago, reveals Met Office report quietly released… and here is the chart to prove it’
It is the second article Mr Rose has written which contains some misleading information, after he wrote an article earlier this year on the same theme – you see our response to that one here.
To address some of the points in the article published today:
Firstly, the Met Office has not issued a report on this issue. We can only assume the article is referring to the completion of work to update the HadCRUT4 global temperature dataset compiled by ourselves and the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit.
We announced that this work was going on in March and it was finished this week. You can see the HadCRUT4 website here.
AS THE world's elite global warming experts begin poring over the drafts of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report this week, one leading scientist doesn't believe the process should be happening at all.
''I think it will be less successful than the last assessment, and I think it will be blander - I'm disappointed in what I've seen so far,'' said Kevin Trenberth, the head of the climate analysis section at the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research.
Professor Trenberth's misgivings are not based on doubts about the strength of the science underpinning human-induced climate change, but on frustration with the bureaucratic nature of the IPCC.
Dozens of Australian scientists are among hundreds of international experts who started reviewing the IPCC's fifth summary report this week, with the final version to be published next September. The previous report, released in 2007, declared global warming ''unequivocal'' and said it was ''very likely'' to be being driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases.
When the economy is suffering, no one wants to hear about an impending environmental catastrophe.
Was it really just six years ago when a documentary about climate change -- Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth -- could draw $24 million at the U.S. box office? That was back when the words "housing bubble" were just entering the average American's lexicon, back before the liquidation of Lehman Brothers, back when we would voluntarily fork over cash to sit in a dark room while a former vice president told us that we're all boiling ourselves to death.
There was, for a brief period then, a sort of optimism about what the United States could accomplish on climate change. President George W. Bush, already on his way out the door in April 2008, affirmed that human activity was causing global warming and vowed that the "ingenuity and enterprise of the American people" would help us overcome it. Barack Obama won the White House later that year with the promise that the next four years would be remembered as the time "when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal" (a pledge that became a punch line for his Republican challenger this time around).
Since then, the United States has failed to do anything significant about climate change. The issue has disappeared from the national radar, even as the scientific evidence has piled up. Political leaders no longer care about it, outside the occasional obligatory mention, in large part because voters don't either. Internationally, the situation isn't much better. Despite all the hype about the 2009 United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen, there's still no binding international accord that sets emission limits for both the United States and China. And this past June, a conference held on the 20th anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit -- billed as a "once-in-a-generation chance" to set out a vision for a sustainable future -- was similarly disappointing, concluding with a flimsy political statement.
GREENS HAVE LOST THE PLOT: The green movement discuss their recent failures in the press, and search for answers. They admit they have become mainstream and that climate scare stories don't sell anymore.
A picture of a disgruntled, suited gentleman snapping a hockey stick over his knee decorated the screen in a Texas A&M lecture hall Thursday night. Though one hockey stick had been broken, dozens more lay in wait behind the politician.
Michael E. Mann, from the department of meteorology and geosciences at Penn State University, took the podium to share with the approximately 250 listeners his research on climate change, and to promote and sign his book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.
Mann used the political cartoon to emphasize his research that the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible, regardless of those who try to refute it.
Mann said the hockey stick has come to represent the drastic change in climate since the 1950s. Early on, he said, a relatively flat line — the handle of the hockey stick — prevailed when temperatures were relatively mild. Over the past 50 years, a steep increase in temperatures has turned climate graphs from flat, or steadily increasing lines, into hockey sticks.
“Over the past 10 years, many people have reconstructed the evidence that had already been published,” Mann said. “Now we've got a hockey league rather than just a hockey stick.”
There have been several of these "How to argue with a climate sceptic" articles, but this one takes the view that only "climate scientists" have the answer and therefore they know best. James could not have understood or read the emails regarding "climategate" to think "climate scientists" have all the answers and indeed there is no mention of "climategate" in this essay. Here is an extract as to what he wants business leaders to say to us, thats assuming ALL business leaders share HIS views, and yes James also reverts to name calling, this time we are "climate reckless".
James Murray argues business leaders must step up to the mark and start pushing back against "climate reckless" arguments.
The next step is to properly name the problem. As numerous commentators have pointed out climate scepticism is a completely inadequate term. All proper climate scientists are climate sceptics, taking a sceptical, dispassionate, and questioning approach to the evidence in front of them and then drawing conclusions from that evidence. "Climate sceptics" are not proper sceptics. Moreover, the term has been made doubly problematic by the shift in climate sceptic arguments from questioning climate science to questioning the efficacy and cost effectiveness of green technologies and policies.