Are you selfish – or are we bad journalists ?

UPDATE: Below is Mark’s original blog post about why we can not seem to interest people in the topic of climate change.

But the reactions to the stolen and leaked e-mails from The University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit shows there’s perhaps another reason:

* They don’t believe that humans are to blame for global warming or are climate change sceptics

These private emails and documents allegedly exchanged between some of the world’s leading climate scientists, are being used by some as evidence of climate change lies.

Here is a link to the e-mails, see what you think.

So, is it hard to engage people in a debate over what to do about climate change simply because they believe that climate change is a conspiracy?

Whenever we go to a conference and ask the audience to decide an issue, global warming will be high on the agenda.

I looked at some soon-to-be-released research the BBC has done about what issues you think are important, and there’s climate change in the top two or three in whichever country you care to name.

 Or  maybe there’s another explanation.

Whatever we do, whatever debate we come up with, we can’t seem to interest you in the issue of climate change.

So when we ask questions based on what we think you want to talk about, why is the issue what i might call “box office death” ?

We discussed it at the meeting today – we already had a programme half-fixed on Copenhagen.

At the time of the meeting we had about twelve comments on the debate.

So here’s what we thought could be the reasons :

* We’re not doing our job properly : we’re not reflecting the conversations you’re having, we aren’t framing the debates in a way you want to engage with..

* It’s too big and complicated and overwhelming an issue for us to “get our heads round”..

* People – and that means all of us i suppose – are selfish. We don’t think it will affect us, we just don’t care enough…

* We are disillusioned with the the people and politicians who can make a difference…

* We want to make a difference, really we do, we just don’t know how…

So on Friday we are going to discuss it. Guests include :

– Kushal Yadav from the Centre for Science and Environment in Delhi..

–  Mark Kenber from the Climate Group in London..

Daniel C. Esty from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental studies…

We’ll ask whether the Copenhagen summit should go ahead….and you can tell us what debate you want to hear that will engage you..

108 Responses to “Are you selfish – or are we bad journalists ?”

  1. 1 Julie P
    November 17, 2009 at 19:44

    Climate change may poll near to the top for important issues of our time, but could a real reason for having low response to it as a topic of debate is that people may mean it when they say it, but when push comes down to shove they don’t? It could that it’s a chic issue, both pro and con, but it’s fad whose time has past?

  2. 2 rob z.
    November 17, 2009 at 19:55

    Well in the US,it’s a combination of left vs.right,good science vs. bad science.
    Industry vs. activism.
    It’s like lung cancer,yes thise who smoke are more likely to develope cancer than those who don’t;but non-smokers develope lung cancer also.
    You also have those who say,(The weather is fine in my area,it’s just a cycle)at the same time there is a drought in China and flooding in Montana.

  3. 3 Gary Paudler
    November 17, 2009 at 20:20

    I was one of those 12 responders. “Should the plug be pulled on Copenhagen?”
    clever invoking, as it did, energy, wasn’t very alluring since the notion that the COP15 would be cancelled is a non-starter. AND we are unbelievably selfish.
    Here in the US, very close to none of the conversation about the environment includes a notion of personal responsibility. Somebody else; the government, inventors, God, will solve the problem so that I don’t have to drive less or consume less. We’d rather have mountains of nuclear waste to deal with by some, as yet unknown, method than consolidate trips to Mega Low Mart. We credulously believe that hydrogen or geo-engineering or some other violation of the laws of physics will save our butts (where we keep our heads) and I believe that government deliberately de-emphasizes scientific (or any other) literacy so that we remain pliable and unquestioning. Cap and Trade, a highly-tuned invitation to graft and corruption, is touted as a response to the problem and, once again, it requires no commitment from “consumers” who don’t recognize it as yet another shoveling of taxpayers’ money, and multi-generational foreign debt, at big business.
    Shorthand: Hydrogen is baloney, Cap and Trade is baloney, Geo-engineering is baloney, Nuclear power is radio-active baloney (ask me why). The cheapest watt you’ll ever buy is the one you don’t use and conservation isn’t even part of the conversation.

    • 4 Louisa Arndt
      November 18, 2009 at 21:01

      Gary, you’ve articulated the problem concisely and accurately. I’ve concluded that people just DON’T WANT TO KNOW! I grew up in the 1930s, on a farm, so have a grounding in reusing and not wasting.
      The orgy of American consumerism began after WWII when all those factories making guns, Jeeps, tanks, aircraft and other war materials had to convert to other products. We were then sold the notion of the nuclear family, which required couples to have their own home, their own furnishings and appliances, their own everything, including baby-sitters. Women who had worked in factories through the war years moved back home, and men took their places at better wages than could be had back on the farm.
      Now those factories and their jobs are gone, agribusiness has gobbled up most of the farmland, goods and crops are transported enormous distances. There are not enough good jobs to support this system, hence a huge increase in personal and national debt, and the system requires lots of energy.
      Global warming cannot be seriously denied but, unfortunately, most Americans don’t want to accept it either. As you state, that would require a change in their consumerist lifestyle. That such a change would be refreshing and very satisfying escapes them. Stuff requires money to acquire, maintenance to keep, and space to store. Less stuff equals more time.
      There’s really just so much work that NEEDS to be done and, if shared fairly, everyone could do meaningful work, maybe on a 3 or 4-day week. We’d have time to enjoy our families and friends, engage in enjoyable physical activity, further our education, travel, and participate in the community and its governance. – to name just a few advantages.
      This of course will not happen unless and until corporations are restrained from generating profits by promoting waste OR We The People gain enough wisdom to face reality. Don’t hold your breath!
      Really excellent analysis, Gary. Trust you won’t mind if I forward your comments to my activist list.
      We are not alone!
      Louisa Arndt
      San Rafael CA

  4. November 17, 2009 at 20:59

    It is too big for most people to grasp. there are so many contributing factors to just the cause, let alon the solutions. Economic and political forces fear the changes needed to address the issue will cause their society to sacrofice. Climate knows know political boundries. We here in the states know that dumping toxi chemicals into the waters and spewing hazardous gases into the air is damaging and are repulsed by any corporation here that would do such a thing. However, we think nothing of buying a bicycle from Wal-Mart made under the same criteria.

  5. 6 Guido Schloegel
    November 17, 2009 at 21:09

    Interesting question;

    The explanation that most of us are not personally affected by climate change is not substantial. Many topics discussed on WHYS do not affect us personally, for example racism against Obama, nevertheless it is an exiting discussion.

    The topic is to complicated, may be, but the same is true for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan or the economic crises.

    In my opinion, the problem is, that the topic is discussed for several years without any changes. Most people thing the topic is important (if you ask), but hardly anybody is ready to do anything. Sad but true.

  6. 7 gary
    November 17, 2009 at 21:24

    Let me say first the WHYS programs I’ve listened to suggest your BBC team are fully competent, even sometimes quite scintillating, journalists. Secondly, I am a scientist and am very interested in listening to discussions about climate change. But, I am not a climatologist and thus beyond an understandable “I don’t think warming the globe is very good idea.” don’t have much to add to a meaningful discussion. Thirdly, refresh yourselves in the scientific method, and ruthlessly skewer any conversational deviations from it! Fourthly, just do what you folks do so well, because we will never learn unless the lesson is interesting.

  7. November 17, 2009 at 22:12

    I am 73 years old and I lived for 67 of those years in the US. I now live in Denmark.
    What I remember of the US from my childhood on is that Americans do not take things seriously until it becomes a crisis. The Hard part of it is convincing us that is a crisis. That’s very difficult because it’s hard to convince us that anything is a crisis unless it REALLY is a crisis. I think we learned this at the movies where almost anything will be solved in the last reel. Unfortunately, we may be in the last reel.
    I probably won’t be around to see what happens, but my children and grandchild will be and I guess that will be their problem. It’s too bad we have to leave it for them. Perhaps they will be smarter than we are.

  8. 9 Roy, Washington DC
    November 17, 2009 at 22:36

    Putting aside the debate on how much of a problem climate change is to begin with, mankind has other issues that will become problematic much sooner — overpopulation, dwindling resources, and economic turmoil, to name a few.

    Climate change is worth discussing (and it’s certainly worthy of a WHYS show), but in the grand scheme of things, it’s really not a top priority for people to worry about.

    • 10 Louisa Arndt
      November 18, 2009 at 21:10

      Roy, you’re right about the importance of other problems, especially that of overpopulation, which is tied directly to climate change. Even if every person were to cut his/her energy use in half, another doubling of the population will leave us where we are now.
      We need to realize that these problems are not separate and distinct from each other but rather are all related, and we would be well-advised to look at root causes rather than believing that some grand new technological fix will appear.

  9. 11 Ronald Almeida
    November 17, 2009 at 23:33

    We are selfish and don’t care enough and hope others will do what needs to be done. The problem is that everybody thinks so.

  10. November 17, 2009 at 23:41

    I’m afraid I fell under the spell of Gary Paudler’s remarks above, and almost didn’t comment today,either. That is, that everything we say about it IS baloney except the radioactive baloney of nuclear power. I didn’t comment that day because I feel totally helpless. I re-cycle, re-use and in general am a minimalist. I drive a 1987 auto that still gets 34 MPG, and consolidate my trips. Yet I am totally under the thumb of all the huge corporations that run the universe. In 1970 I noticed that corporations have all of the rights of a private individual and none of the responsibilities, and said, “This will be awful.” I was right, and now we are buried under Limited Liability Corporations (LLC). Even my family clinic is an LLC! I can’t yell “Fire” in a movie theater without paying a penalty, but corporations can, and do. They then sell you their “Crowd Pusher” ( that won’t work as advertised) so you can escape “those dangerous situations.”
    I don’t know what individuals CAN do or say to stop the “Locomotive Breath” of Global Warming on the back of our necks, but I know that canceling the global discussions on the problem is a non-starter. So the answer is B. We can’t get our head ’round it, and feel helpless discussing it.

  11. 13 Julia in Portland
    November 18, 2009 at 00:54

    Hey wait…I voted for Copenhagen as the subject of the day….LOL

    We do really need to discuss Global Warming….I think people just don’t want to face the reality of it all.

    We really need to do better.

  12. 14 T
    November 18, 2009 at 01:00

    I disagree that people aren’t interested.

    Instead, look at who’s controlling acess to the information. If you’re a talk show producer, which do you want? A lively, accurate debate about accurate information re: climate change? Or, yet another screaming heads debate because “that’s good TV/radio”?

  13. 15 T
    November 18, 2009 at 01:02

    Excluding WHYS, 99% of the MSM goes for approach #2. Why? Because the anit-climate change people are all major sponsors. Which means money comes first. And doing your job which is why you’re given the govt. broadcast license to begin with comes second.

  14. 16 T
    November 18, 2009 at 01:04

    Question: When WHYS books guests, who decides the balance? Does the staff decide? Or does BBC management?

    • November 18, 2009 at 10:12

      Hi T –

      Ben here from the WHYS team: I’m one of the show’s producers.

      We work out our potential cast of guests together as a team at our daily meeting. We aim to make sure all strands of a conversation are represented.

      Each producer gets one of those strands to work on and it’s up to them to find a speaker in that area. There’s certainly no-one higher up dictating to us! Hope that helps.

  15. 18 Bert
    November 18, 2009 at 01:09

    It seems to me that the press cannot get beyond the standard alarmist fare when it comes to climate change. It seems to me that the press continue to mouth the same tired platitudes that we have all seen 1000 times in recent years.

    The tactic is always the same. You show pictures of melting ice at the poles, and then you conclude that “we aren’t doing enough.” And then the claim is that what we should be doing is to reduce CO2 emissions, and that will change everything.

    Says who? And for example, what if humans ARE contributing to climate change, but CO2 ain’t it at all?

    If reducing CO2 emissions would have such dramatic impact, wouldn’t you in the press expect that human-generated CO2 is a large fraction of overall CO2 daily production in the ecosystem? But it’s not. The percentage is tiny. So, wouldn’t it be nice if the press could get beyond just repeating the standard fare and get into some new angles?

    Climate change is a given. Of course it happens. It always has. So melting ice would most likely be melting with or without us. On the other hand, calling CO2 a “pollutant” is ludicrous. It was nothing more than a political ploy, to allow the EPA to set limits on it. So, why not put this in perspective, just for starters? It might make for interesting reporting.

    And yes, for sure people are also selfish. How many out there who consider themselves environmentally concerned take public transportation to work daily? So perhaps these people have finally understood that they can’t be mouthing nice-sounding words about “climate,” and then not even lift a finger to make the changes THEY think are necessary.

    Sorry, BBC, but to me “climate change” sounds oh so similar to “family values.” And I don’t mean that in a good way.

  16. 19 Tan Boon Tee
    November 18, 2009 at 04:22

    The failure at Copenhagen is a foregone conclusion.

    World leaders are all politically oriented and often selfish. How many of them do really comprehend the severity of the climate change and its disastrous impact on human lives if no appropriate and concerted action taken immediately?

    Sadly, yet most probably, they only think of their own political future and how to hang on to power as long as possible.

    If that is not pitiable, what else is?

  17. 20 Tom K in Mpls
    November 18, 2009 at 07:39

    Most people are looking to comment on clear opposing points. On the issue of climate, nothing is clear. Well actually one thing is clear, no matter the length of time you choose to examine, the climate has always changed. Now we have people trying to convince others that actions need to be taken when nobody can prove anything either way. Nobody is willing to pay for any action unless there is proof of a need.

    If the ‘stop the warming’ people want to get something done, they need to focus on small, economically practical steps unless they can come up with proof. Even then they would face a fight. The ‘save this critter’ ploy won’t work. There is far too much proof that nature has caused the extinction of far more species in the past than exists today. It will happen continually no matter what we do.

  18. 21 scmehta
    November 18, 2009 at 09:10

    Yeah; a few decades back it was a selfish world, but now it’s an extremely selfish and terribly manipulative world; sometimes, even the justice is manipulative at the behest of the powers/influences to be. People, especially the politicians & co., wriggle out of murder-charges; they flout laws, make a mockery of the financial regulations, play with national wealth to promote their own and their loved ones’ vested interests etc. They even have the power or audacity to transform a wrong into right and vice-versa; anything can be got done from them for a price. Hence, no issue is overwhelming or complicated for them, provided their own vested interests, directly or indirectly, are involved in it.
    Then why worry? They can thrash out this issue, provided they have the will; but then, the problem is that it does not involve anybody’s personal interests! And that is why, this grave and urgent global problem of the climate change is not getting the right kind/manner of media-presentation; Also there appear to be no takers or big-business sponsors for advertising on this issue, because they don’t stand to gain anything from the sponsored i.e. the God himself, in this case.

  19. November 18, 2009 at 09:32

    We have trashed the planet in a couple of hundred years. We have fouled the air, filled the oceans with garbage, and cut down all of the old forests. And we threaten thousands of animal species with extinction. Now some scientists are saying that the polar ice caps are melting and the planet is getting warmer, and we should all do something?

    Most people in the world have too many personal worries to give this new weather anxiety a minutes consideration.

    But good governments certainly must work hard at cleaning up our environment, and seach and support renewable, clean energy.

  20. 23 Ibrahim in UK
    November 18, 2009 at 11:11

    We have been convinced that Global warming is happening and Global warming is bad, but:

    *Global warming is a debate for scientists. Very few of us understand or can scientifically prove Global warming if someone challenges the theory.

    *It’s something that affects future generations, there’s no deadline for action

    * It’s a global problem, one country can’t do it on their own and no one wants to step forward alone and put the interests of the planet ahead of national and personal interests.

    * As individuals in this world, we feel powerless to make a change. We know our governments are slaves to capitalism and will put short term benefit ahead of the lives of our children.

    It is high on the agenda … destroying the world is generally not seen as a good thing and we want it stopped as a priority. But we’re not interested in boring details.

  21. 24 Mark Sandell
    November 18, 2009 at 13:14

    Thanks for these comments – so it’s clear you are engaged (though feeling a bit powerless) and we can do a bit better in framing questions – and in the guests we invite to take part.

    I’ve talked to colleagues in other media organisations and they say they face the same issues :
    so : should we travel a bit more to look at the issue ? and should we do a regular show- regardless of the news agenda – say, once a month where we get you to host and invite the guests ?

  22. 25 piscator
    November 18, 2009 at 13:49

    Of course climate change is real and important, and is going to destroy human society, if not the World within a century or so.

    However I get the smell of a stalking horse from the whole debate. Here is a vaguely contestable subject, which can only be solved by the participation of every country in the World – immediately and with whole hearted agreement. My contribution of switching off a few standby televisions, or wearing a sweater are not going to make a bit of difference. Neither is tinkering with carbon quotas, or much else that no-one can agree on.

    There are too many elephants in the room. Soil depletion, energy depletion, pollution and food and water shortages are all growing, whether there is GW or not. GW is just a symptom, not the disease.

    There are twin drivers of the entire global crisis – over population and production for personal profit. You can do nothing about of the Worlds problems if population continues to grow, and you cannot slow population growth when economic systems require it.

    People know this in their hearts, that’s why they don’t comment. If the media want us to consider GW, then they are going to have to tell the truth about the entire business, are they not?

  23. 26 patti in cape coral
    November 18, 2009 at 14:07

    Frankly, I just get tired of the subject. No matter how many recommendations we follow in our lives to help remedy the situation, all we still hear is the impending doom of it. Also, climate change (for me, anyways) seems to make a religion of science. Scientific concepts I don’t fully understand are simply taken on faith because I’m assumming bigger brains than mine have thought this out. But I dont’ really have a grip on how it really works, and what I can do about it.

    I don’t think you guys are bad journalists. And on this subject anyways, I don’t think I am selfish, just bewildered, and feeling powerless, as Mark Sandell states above.

  24. 29 Maccus Germanis
    November 18, 2009 at 14:58

    Clearly bad journalists for even posing the question. You’re essentially asking, how might we frame our propaganda, so that you think as we’d like? Your ministry of truth is trying a bit hard and in this piece, showing it’s bias. Will any of your guests be skeptics, or even proponents of adaptative rather than preventative solutions?

    While I don’t even expect you to invite any skeptics, you might put a fig leaf on your propaganda by inviting an adaptation proponent.

  25. 30 Miriam in SLC, UT
    November 18, 2009 at 15:00

    I am embarrassed I did not reply.

    Normally, I am one of the least apathetic people I know. However, there are SO many important issues, I just get exhausted.

    The problem is, and has always been, that people generally are apathetic, until it’s almost too late. If something isn’t immediately affecting you, why should you care.

    Hitler, Rwanda, Somalia, America.

  26. 31 Tim Dean
    November 18, 2009 at 15:00

    The subject is a downer and people tend to want to avoid dealing with anything unpleasant, unless thrust upon them – so frame it in postives. Less doom and gloom and more promising alternatives. Wave energy, windmills, nuclear, etc.,

  27. 32 Dan in Massachusetts
    November 18, 2009 at 15:04

    I think this is a case of the media (especially in Europe) finding a story far more fascinating than the general public. Speaking for myself, while I do believe that climate change is occurring, I don’t believe that it is primarily caused by humans. Rather, it is a natural event that has happened repeatedly over time. We certainly need to deal with the effects (rising sea levels; hurricanes; etc.), but I don’t believe we can either “reverse” the changes that have already occurred or prevent further change from happening. Conservation, green technology and finding alternatives to oil are all good and necessary things in and of themselves, independent of the issue of climate change.

  28. 33 Peter Gizzi UK
    November 18, 2009 at 15:13

    I also commented on the intial blog about Copenhagen. While I accept we should try to reduce our consumption generally. What bugs me is politicians do not practice what they preach!

    After one of the coldest winters we’ve had for some years in The UK I did my carbon footprint on the directgov web site. The average carbon footprint for The UK is 4.35 tonnes per annum. Mine came out at 2.09 with my target set at 1.09 meaning I’m nearly there? This is mainly because I do not have a car.

    I feel all poloticians should publicise their owm personal footprints then the rest of us would have something with which to compare. While I’m at it would the WHYs team and contributers consider doing the same? A reasonable request? I know I’m a stirer but cannot change sorry.

  29. 34 Eileen in Virginia
    November 18, 2009 at 15:20

    When I first moved to the United States five years ago I thought I was the only person in the country concerned about Climate Change. New Scientist magazine alerted me in the early nineties but in America it wasn’t even an issue. Now that has changed and most people have an opinion, although a large proportion think it is just media hype.
    For me it’s the most pressing problem the world faces and I fear for the quality of life of my grandchildren’s generation. I feel helpless to make much difference. One cannot function without a car in America, there are not even pavements (sidewalks) to walk along and most of us can’t leave home without a car. When the Chinese and Indians can afford cars on this scale the consequences to the climate will be horrendous.
    Most people, faced with this scenario, bury their heads in the sand, and who can blame them? But Governments and Corporations HAVE to address the issues. As the measures prove unpopular and expensive, the people will resist.

    This is not ‘a fad’ or ‘a chic issue’ as Julie P describes it. It’s the future and it’s frightening. Fortunately a lot of innovators are addressing the issue, but governments everywhere need to be more proactive. Legislation has to be the first step to changing behaviour. You are not poor journalists but we are all selfish.

    • 35 Bert
      November 18, 2009 at 22:55

      What? No sidewalks in the US? I live here too, and there are sidewalks everywhere, unless you live in rural areas or the so-called ex-urbs (very distant suburbs).

      People can make choices. Pealple can choose to live closer to work even if it means you can only afford a smaller house. People are the problem, but that may or may not have anything to do with global warming.

  30. November 18, 2009 at 15:24

    As an individual, i can, and do, make adjustments to my daily life such as turning off lights and turning down the heat when I’m not home, composting, and using public transportation when i am able, but transformative and impactful change has to be made through regulation. The largest emmissions of harmful c02 comes from industry, and the governtment. If there is to be true course correction in this matter is has to come through regulation of car emmisions, regulation of business, and the cooperation of nations – on the whole, not just through individuals.

    I am extremely concerned about the issue but I can acknowledge that my contribution, though meaningful, is less important than regulation and reform. That is why I do not engage in heady debate about the issue on a regular basis, not because there are bad journalists, or because i do not care, but because I can not make the changes necessary, with regard to an issue so much bigger than myself, to make the kind of impact that is going to make a real difference.

    • 37 India Montrose in North Carolina
      November 18, 2009 at 20:08

      It is not true that you can do nothing. There are hundreds of things you can do. It is the cumlative effect of individuals making the small changes that makes the big ones. You can affect governments by votes, by online petitions, by emails, letters, or phone calls to your own representatives or by participating in marches and demonstrations when they are organized. Many of these things take minutes. You can affect corporations in many of the same ways as well as, most importantly, your buying decisions. Lowering their profits by not buying their products always gets their attention if enough people do it. No great thing that has ever happened in this world would have if people had said to themselves that one person doesn’t matter!

  31. 38 Justin in Iowa
    November 18, 2009 at 15:25

    Sorry guys, I’ve been away from WHYS for a few weeks, but… what would another discussion on climate change really serve? We all know this issue, there isn’t anything we can do about it is the problem. The facts and discussion points have been hashed back and forth in innumerable debates here and in other venues.

    What is going on is not in question. Perhaps a more interesting debate than ‘what’ – which we already know – would be ‘how’ – how do we effectively utilize our power as citizens to put pressures on our governments. How do we get other people to take this issue seriously? How do we prepare for the possibility that changes are never made until too late, and even greater changes in the world start to be felt?

    The problem has been beaten like a dead horse, lets talk solutions and responses instead.

  32. 39 Lydia in California
    November 18, 2009 at 15:26

    Some of your questions are framed in such a way as to make me wonder what there is to discuss? The dichotomies set up don’t always work, particularly with this one: Are you selfish or are we bad journalists doesn’t even parse well. Couldn’t tell what you were asking, and it wasn’t even structured well enough to make me curious.

  33. November 18, 2009 at 15:28

    We humans think we’re so intelligent. Remember when the world was flat? And earth was the “Center of the Universe?
    I am an engineer and amateur scientist and I watch shows on the “Universe” which provoke questions on Climate Change.
    We’re a little pea in the Universe. It’s well understood that the Universe is rapidly expanding and our sun is dying a slow death. How can we be sure of the “Cause of Climate Change” or if it’s not just the normal cycle of change?
    If you believe prophesies for 2012, we won’t be around to worry about it!

  34. 41 Justin in Iowa
    November 18, 2009 at 15:32

    I hadn’t read through all the responses thorougly before I posted… Piscator probably brings up the best point – Global Warming is a symptom, not the disease itself. Overpopulation and apathy are the diseases, and no one has ever put forward a solution to either.

    Interesting debates to me would include topics like… assuming we can’t “fix” population growth and apathy, what options do we have? Expansion into space, expansion into the oceans, massively boosting aid to high population undeveloped areas, massively cutting that aid, etc etc.

  35. 42 Roberto
    November 18, 2009 at 15:34

    RE “” why is the issue what i might call “box office death” ? “”

    ——— Global warming is as bewildering as alchemy and about as relevant as bellybutton lint to the average self-serving, short term oriented person.

    The big whistleblower orgs, Greenpeace, National Sierra Club, ect, have become marketing spammers no different from junk mail circulators, credit card companies and political campaigns.

    The Fat King Albert might as well be telling his subjects that they need to go on a diet.

  36. 43 No such thing
    November 18, 2009 at 15:40

    The climate has always changed, does the BBC wish it to remain static?

  37. November 18, 2009 at 15:49

    I am so sick, sore and tired of hearing about the Great Global Warming Swindle!

    Global warming is nothing more than an enormous worldwide money-grabbing, tax-raising scam and Al Gore and others of his ilk are getting incredibly rich out of it, (Gore has made around $100,000,000 out of it so far), while the rest of us are bullied and coerced into donning hair shirts. The planet has, in fact, been cooling for the last twenty years so you’ve probably noticed that we stopped talking about global warming and it became “climate change”. So – having softened us up with that title for a while, Gore has now decided, (with some help), in time for Copenhagen and the launch of his book, that the time is ripe to ratchet the title up some more so it has become “climate crisis”!

    “Fifty days to save the world” someone said recently – that all seems to have gone a bit quiet since Obama said that there would be no deal!

    This kind of climate cycle has happened over and over again – it happened before humans evolved and it will happen again and again after humans are extinct. How truly and typically arrogant to suppose that we even have the technology to do anything about it – we do not, (and those running the scam surely know that) – in the grand scheme of things we are nothing – nothing at all!

    Thanks to Lord Monckton, we are finally to have a full and public debate on the subject – perhaps it will put an end to people’s parroting of received wisdom from politicians with a vested interest in ” green” industries and heavy taxation.

  38. November 18, 2009 at 16:07

    Tragedy of the commons.

    Corporations are happy to make problems that people “downstream” pay for.

    If 100 people in a hotel ballroom are smoking and one quits, it does not make a bit of difference.


    People might pull together if there were something to pull on.

    Without a world authority to make rules applicable to everyone, the situation looks hopeless.

  39. 46 Dan
    November 18, 2009 at 16:23

    The subject is not relevant as do we deal in fantasy or reality.
    Are we as humans arrogant to believe we can control the planet’s climate?
    Global Warming and going green was an attempt started by Al Gore whose only only vision of green is the green in our pockets.
    The better question to ask is: “What changes have you made and can we individually make to do our part to better utilize our natural resources in a more efficient fashion”.
    “What incentives can Government give us to be more energy efficient”?
    Otherwise you are just in a useless debate where hysterical people have their panties in a bunch because they are running around like Henny Penny screaming that the planet is about to die, polar bears are drowing, sea levels will rise 247′ and even worse catastrophies are going to happen next week.

    By the way, if you want to talk about fantasy, let’s talk about the new Mickey Mouse Disney is about to introduce. There is more substance to that issue than “Global Warming”

    • 47 Gary Paudler
      November 18, 2009 at 16:55

      Please show me the peer-reviewed literature that says the planet will die, sea levels will rise 247′ or my panties are in a bunch. How did Al Gore convince the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and every serious scientist on the planet to go along with his evil scheme to take our money…How? This sort of unsubstantiatable blather plays directly into the hands of the cynical entities who profit from mindless business as usual. It is not balance or serious skepticism or reasonable doubt.

  40. 48 Richard in Mpls
    November 18, 2009 at 16:38

    Climate change IS extremely important. The larger public has heard about it since “An Inconvenient Truth” and wants real action on it. In spite of this, each and every meeting the media tells us about results in about the same thing, “no meaningful action this time.” So, what’s newsworthy in hearing in advance that nothing will happen again, this time in Copenhagen? With no action expected, what’s to discuss?

  41. 49 Gary Paudler
    November 18, 2009 at 16:45

    With no evidence, people are willing to believe 2012 prophecies and that there’s an invisible man who cares whether their football team wins but when thousands of highly-credentialed scientists use well-established scientific methods and, in peer-reviewed literature agree unanimously that human activity is increasing concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere causing changes in the climate that would not otherwise be occurring and that are causing mass extinctions of plant and animal species, near-universal habitat disruption, un-precedented (in human history) meteorogical events and untold human suffering, everybody (the majority in the US) is a skeptic. Informed by nothing more than selfish convenience they obstruct and insist upon their right to drive us into a smoking hole.
    Yes, overpopulation is a problem, but primarily a social and political rather than global environmental problem. Most of the people mindlessly breeding have virtually zero effect on the climate. One childless couple in London or Los Angeles consumes far more resources and produces many times more climate-changing waste than an Afghan or Ethiopian family of 14 but if we in the West attribute all our problems to overpopulation then we are relieved of any responsibility; Oh well, it’s those brown people, what can you do?

  42. 50 Roberto
    November 18, 2009 at 16:58

    RE “” Global warming is nothing more than an enormous worldwide money-grabbing, tax-raising scam and Al Gore and others of his ilk “”

    ———- Gobal Warming is what the global industrialists and financial derivatives market spawned in their fraudulent quest to cube their profits.

    Perhaps you feel threatened that “Al Gore and others of his ilk” are now partaking from the pie of “You and others of your ilk,” so you holler about your just deserts.

  43. 52 Dan
    November 18, 2009 at 17:04

    @Richard in Mpls
    The “JUNK SCIENCE” used by Al Gore in an Inconvenient truth was blown to the trash that it is by my 9 yr old nephew.
    Please tell me that you did not belive Gore’s junk “science”.

  44. 53 Alan in Arizona
    November 18, 2009 at 17:17

    I think we are just fed up with listening to what our stupid governments should be doing about it. It seems we are just acting as citizens of the world and doing what needs to be done on a personal basis and are just blowing our governments off because we they will get little done!

  45. 54 Matthew Houston
    November 18, 2009 at 17:19

    The climate change issue is so incredibly politically-charged that I’m sure it repels most people. World leaders, actors, and even former politicians use it as a reset button to prove to the world that they’re still caring, in-touch and relevant. Scientists use it to gain quick notoriety, because there’s a sea of ready and waiting advocates, frothing at the mouth for another excuse to prove just how right and advanced they are.

    It’s become morally reprehensible to do anything but laud the champion knights battling climate change. What’s the point debating it? I think it’s even become inadvisable for media to seriously question the tenets.

    But seriously, ice melts. It does. And it melts at an increasing rate … always. What concerns me is that the scientists seem to have assumed that the polar ice caps are permanent.

    How is their data even possible? What is the ice measured relative to? What’s the constant? How long has ice data been available? Isn’t it strange that in every progressive photograph, the ice is shrinking? Could it be that it’s just melting, it’s going to melt and there’s nothing we can do to stop it aside from pummeling the earth with another huge meteorite?

  46. 55 Phil
    November 18, 2009 at 17:44

    If the Earth were a little warmer England could grow more food. Vast areas of Russia and Canada would become arable instead of frozen wastelands. What’s your problem? Global warming? I’m all for it! Bring it on!

  47. 56 Wintergreen
    November 18, 2009 at 17:47

    I think most people have realised by now, so called “man made global warming” is a myth put out by governments in order to raise taxes and take more money from us all in the name of the enviroment.
    If you want me to use clean energy it is up to the power companies to provide it, dont tax me heavily for using the energy and lay the blame at my feet.
    If you want me to use recycleable products tell the manufacturers to make things which can be recycled, dont tax me for using things that you supply.

  48. 57 brinda
    November 18, 2009 at 17:49

    I don’t think good or bad journalism has anything to do with creating interest in climate change.

    As a ordinary person , i do not have the powers to change anything globally.

    All i can do is not waste water,,drive less walk more,, and use hybrid cars, conserve energy in all forms etc etc .

    When the climate issue goes out of my house , there is not much i can do about it. Nor do i have the time and energy to do it.

    Globally, its a game of who is benefiting from what,,who exploited the environment earlier for development ,, who is now doing the same ,,, etc etc.

    Its all just a dance. Nothing major is going to happen unless there is a major calamity.

  49. November 18, 2009 at 18:19

    I will start with a quote from professor Karl Popper,”No scientist or adding machine can predict the future”.And yet they are trying very hard to do just that.I believe it started off at 150yrs,before doomsday would arrive,it has now dwindled down to 50,except for Prince Charles,who managed to get it down to a decade!Please forward further offers to:- Al Gore. Climate is very,very complex,yet we have got it down to a single cause.

  50. 59 Livia Varju
    November 18, 2009 at 18:34

    No, no, it’s not you. You do an excellent job. But now I see that I am not participating in the right way. I am very busy usually and so I only look in my list of Incoming messages at the topic for discussion chosen for the evening. If the WHYS question mentioned in the title interests me or I want to say something important about it, I open your message. I don’t remember climate change and global warming being in the title lately. So this teaches me that I should open your message from time to time to see what topics have been suggested.
    Climate change is THE most important issue of our times, on which our Earth’s future and our lives depend. I can’t imagine the reasons for some people not being interested or not believing in it.
    So I will act differently from now on, and open your message every couple days at least to see what’s there. Sorry about my mistake. All best, Livia

  51. 60 Ana M
    November 18, 2009 at 18:37

    I seriously believe that the problem is ignored, at times even by me, because it is a frightening prospect and requires a drastic change in our personal and societal behavior. In many outlets the tone of jouralistic pieces fit the problem’s urgency, but at the same time we have allowed the media to distract us with fudder, when things become scarry. On 9/11 everyone in Manhattan got drunk, although understandable, it shows how we deal with our fears. We run away. You might think that there was nothing to do on that date and we can do a lot for climate change, I truly believe it is descriptive. And don’t get me wrong, I was amongst them. Maybe adding a tone of “we can do it” might help, a worldwide media effort, showing the positive impact of current measures and a bit of embarassment of the countries who are doing nothing might help. In the tone of ” Bolivia dies more for Climate Change than the USA. It is time to change” a reality TV show in which the people who waste less win a price, something that fits the sad current media landscape…

  52. 61 nrg
    November 18, 2009 at 18:46

    Climate Change is a myth pushed by leftists eco-goons, scientists on the make, and bad journalists such as yourself.

    This blog, a journalist browbeating readers because they refuse to be interested in what you tell them is morally questionable.

    Polls suggesting it is a real world issue are warped because they are conducted by people looking for an outcome and often amongst self selecting audiences.

    The stone age ended not because we ran out of stone but because something better came along (bronze).

    The oil age will end when we get a better alternative. No because the BBC, the EU and Al Gore says “thou shalt not,”

  53. 62 T
    November 18, 2009 at 18:47

    I’m sorry to hear that this won’t be talked about. If we do a write-in campign to the BBC re: this, would that help?

  54. 63 Robert Bellah
    November 18, 2009 at 18:47

    Like some of the previous responses, I agree that its NOT the WHYS team. I believe that it may be more in line in “what is happening now in my life” not a future focus that is hard to understand or justify. Personally, I do not subscribe to the theory of Global Warming. I believe that current climate issues are based on normal cyclic occurrences. Should we have a meeting on fixing something that is probably just a part of the norm?

    In regard to the “what is happening in my life” is the basic economic status of everyday Americans if not the world. How much will this cost (and cost it will) and who will pay for it? And do I or anyone else have the monies to support this?

    Thanks for all you do!

  55. November 18, 2009 at 18:59

    We had a debate recently on journalists,and as far as I remember they did not come out of it very well.But I am quite happy with the WHYS team,questions are nearly always relevant,and I have not found you out in any untruths or distortions.Once a month,or even every two,is not a bad idea,considering the complexity of climate.

    Your last four questions would all have a validation,especially no.4.I would be selfish,as you put it because,I am in the natural phenomena camp.

  56. 65 India Montrose in North Carolina
    November 18, 2009 at 19:53

    I do not think you (the BBC) are at fault for this phenomena. I’m sure it is a combination of things, selfishness included, but mostly short-term thinking.
    I am at a loss every day in trying to understand the mindset of any human being who thinks that anything, ANYTHING!, can be more important than the health and continued well-being of the planet that supports our very lives (and those of every other living thing as well)!
    Short-termist thinking is the surest recipe for the extinction of our species. Perhaps if women had more power in the world instead of the tiny percentage they have, especially in government, the overall functional view would be longer.

  57. 66 Chad in New York
    November 18, 2009 at 19:54

    I would be interested in discussions that focused on HOW to address problems caused by climate change – I am not interested in a “debate” involving people who have no idea what they’re talking about and refuse to join us in reality.

    There are a lot of interesting topics you could cover: what we can do individually to fight climate change; what governments can do; what will happen if we do nothing (where will there be flooding? where drought?); ethical questions about who should pay for carbon-mitigation technology, etc.

    But it is not interesting or worthwhile to pretend that there is still any ‘debate’ about whether climate change is happening. I – and most sane people – have no tolerance for listening to that kind of nonsense.

  58. November 18, 2009 at 20:14

    I for one get tired with climate change deniers, armed with their talking points, who inevitably try to shout down any serious discussion. Every time someone does that, we go back to square 1 to try and clarify the science for them and others, which takes forever and eventually nothing gets done. It’s tiring.

  59. 68 Tom D Ford
    November 18, 2009 at 20:29

    I think it has to to with feeling powerless in the face of massive Climate Change Denial Propaganda campaigns from Giant Global Fossil Fuel Corporations like Exxon-Mobil and the owners and operators of Big Coal that have more money than God to throw around spreading FUD, Fear, Uncertainty , and Doubt about climate change.

    If you have any questions about their monopolistic influence over the Energy Industries I invite you to read The Prize by Daniel Yergin, or watch the TV series if you can find it on DVD. Most recent Wars have been fought about and for Oil and Coal.

    The Science is clear but the Fossil Fuels Corporations are in full battle gear trying to make it look unclear.

    Those Corporations have made a massive economic money bet on fossil fuels and they stand to lose some profits if we all convert to Clean Energy in the form of Wind, Water, and Solar. Frankly I think that they will just have to extend their Return On Investment, ROI, horizon a lot farther into the future, after all, Oil and Coal will still be used as the chemical feed stocks for an awful lot of consumer goods that are manufactured from the chemicals in Coal and Oil, and the fertilizers that are made from natural gas.

    The Fossil Fuels owners and operators just have to stop spewing their polluting sewage into our air and the sooner the better. They are going to have to take a short term loss so that mankind can take a long term win.

    Mark, I’d recommend trying to get the two authors of the Nov 2009 Scientific American magazine article “A Path To Sustainable Energy; by 2030”, Mark Z Jacobson and Mark A Delucchi as guests on a show. That is a very encouraging article about the beneficial economics of cleaning up humanities act concerning the burning of Fossil Fuels.

  60. 69 gary
    November 18, 2009 at 21:42

    Mr. Sandell,
    I once owned a copy of a book titled “Rules of Thumb” and while I don’t remember the exact relevant numerical data, the author asserted, “No dinner party will be successful if more than nineteen percent of the invited guests are economists.” I don’t give such parties and thus don’t know if this is accurate. However, it seems a similar rule of thumb might apply to your intended climate change program. Too many scientists may result in boredom, to many skeptics and true believers may result in much noise and no substance. Maybe the more formalized debate or discussion fora on BBC radio or TV might be used as a springboard for a reasonably serious WHYS program criticizing the results. Once again, you folks aren’t at fault. This is an issue in which the well-funded communicators are on the “against” side, many avid supporters suffer from the “cried wolf once too often” syndrome, the scientists are more comfortable in the narrow confines of their own specialty, and the great masses are like deer caught in headlights, or so burnt-out by the so-called controversy they’ve completely tuned out. As a scientist (not a climatologist) I know there isn’t much (any) question about needed (and needed very rapidly) change. Indeed, if most people but had the world view (literally) of a common migratory water fowl, they too would believe. Sadly, I’m also fairly certain it may be impossible to change their minds’ rapidly enough to save many, many people.
    I apologize for this missive’s length. It needn’t be published as I’m just attempting to help.

  61. 70 Bram
    November 18, 2009 at 23:28

    Indeed, you have not been doing your jobs as journalists. In the main, those of you in the mainstream media have shred even the faintest pretense of objectivity and impartiality, no matter how hard these may be to attain. You have gone for the listeners’ jugular and (excuse the twisted metaphor here) have been relentlessly ramming the Climate Change Mantra down their throats. That is what has left listeners curiously underwhelmed. If climate change is such an urgent issue, why this desperate hammering on and on and on about it? Who needs convincing by this wall-to-wall coverage? Ask yourselves why your usual professional skepticism goes out the window when dealing with a specific range of issues, climate change being one of them…

  62. 71 Peter, Portland, OR, USA
    November 18, 2009 at 23:32

    One of the primary causes of global warming is our vaporization of fossil fuels, which really refers to our USE of fossil fuels (coal, oil, natural gas, biomass) as the primary cause. And, our fossil fuel rates of consumption are reaching a point beyond which such fuels can be supplied in sufficient quantities to meet demand. And, continued economic growth is fully dependent upon sufficient energy being available to fuel that economic growth. And, economic growth is currently the model of prosperity in the developed and developing world. And current methods to obtain and use energy are patently unsustainable.

    The solutions needed to mitigate the risks of global warming, energy supply, and economic prosperity all lie in a single focus — a massive and immediate alteration in the way we use energy, and how/where we obtain that energy. But our governments and media aren’t making that connection public enough, or urgent enough. Global warming and energy and the economy are all being talked about as separate issues when, in fact, they are all fully interdependent, and all rooted in the energy conundrum.

    Why aren’t governments and the media being forthright about this connection?

  63. 72 Linda from Italy
    November 19, 2009 at 00:10

    I think the root of the problem is that we all feel so powerless to do anything while self-seeking politicians bicker with the sole aim of not upsetting their own particular audience and thus keeping them in power.
    I feel deeply depressed about the future. As someone born in 1950, despite the Cold War and the threat of nuclear annihilation (MAD), there was a feeling in the 60s that we could change the world, OK forget all the marijuana-induced peace-and-love bit, there was at least some optimism fuelled by a sense of altruism (too many –isms?).
    Ironically, the “victory” of rampant capitalism over any other ideology, except perhaps religious fundamentalism of all kinds, although in the case of the US, capitalism has been irrevocably enmeshed with a twisted sort of “Christianity”, is tolling the funeral bell for the rest of the world.
    This is nothing to do with bad journalism, but maybe more to do with too much news at the expense of more imaginative content – something that the BBC WS squeezed budget is suffering from – that neglects anything but “facts”.
    I really don’t see how WHYS can initiate a productive debate because, along with all those ostriches in complete denial, there is simply nothing we can do.
    I would just recommend people to the novels of the late JG Ballard – art can sometimes work more magic that spurious reality.

  64. 73 Mr B
    November 19, 2009 at 00:59

    People are starting to realise climate change or global warming is a con. I use to believe the hype but started to notice there are holes in the science.

    As Al gore said follow the money. yup, follow the Carbon credits companies that are going to make Billions from this scam.

    BBC, the public are not fooled anymore about the Carbon Con.

  65. November 19, 2009 at 04:17

    The problem is that the “green house” issue has been blowing up our skirts for the past 10 or so years without any changes to weather patterns that have not happened in the past. We cry wolf all too often and as a consequence the debate has been hijacked by political spin to gain favour with the public.
    Has the earth become more polluted? Maybe? I remember in London 50 years ago with coal fires, steam trains and “pea souper fog” were you could not see a foot in front of your face. It surly has got better since then. So what’s all the fuss? Good journalism, bad topic.
    Kell Walker
    Southport, Sunny Queensland blue clear skies 26 c and slight breeze at 9 k from NE

  66. 75 Crispo, Uganda
    November 19, 2009 at 05:05

    To be sincere with you, I didn’t look at it important to give my contribution on climate change no matter what you say. I simply want to say I never got the interest to comment.

  67. 76 Timothea in Washington State
    November 19, 2009 at 06:06

    I do think most people care, but are unwilling or unable to make major changes in their lives (myself included) until it is not a choice but a necessity. I try to live my life carefully, consuming less, reusing more etc, but those little changes don’t feel like they make any real difference to combat global warming, so it is easy to zone out, feel powerless. Reading
    shows the people who are most affected right now are the poor rural women of the world. They are not making global policy. We all need to do our individual lifestyle choice parts, but mostly push our governments to make the bigger commitment to change.

  68. November 19, 2009 at 06:24

    1. Only a small percentage of your listeners comment and I wonder if there is any survey evidence that they are representative.
    2. Your programmes appear professional but the BBC is failing to read and comment on the latest science especially that of the NASA team (Hansen et al 2008). Why cannot you analyse that paper and the tens of other scientifc papers that show our situation is dire. You could interview James Hansen for half an hour. At the same time it is important that you discuss the latest strategies for reducing net emissions and green house gas concentrations.

    Readers may like to look at my website

    It outlines the earth system feedbacks and irreversibility that we are facing, makes the case that behavioural change must come before new technology, argues for crash courses in climate change, for the powerful especially, and lifetime emission analysis. It also puts forward two new strategies for change: a hierarchical strategy and a people’s web strategy, to add to the 17 or more strategies in use.

  69. 78 Mark
    November 19, 2009 at 10:33

    Putting aside a reasonable doubt that the global climate change agenda is just a scam, there might be one more reason for such ignorance. We – the half-chromosome smarter chimpanzees – are not “programmed” to really care about future. On the other hand, we are unconsciously submissive to authorities/media, so the difference between what we think and what we know we ought to be thinking can be an explanation.

    Or, maybe some of us are smart enough to know that any effort is just plain pointless (CO2 related consumption rises across EU despite the actual drop in CO2 production – all the chimneys just moved to China or India, which makes Copenhagen look ridiculous at least).

    Or, there are more imminent and/or personal problems around everyone of us, but we do not show them when somebody approaches us with microphone…

  70. 79 Julien M
    November 19, 2009 at 10:58

    It’s you, being the bad journalists. In fact the climate-problem is dead-easy and cheap to be solved. The answer lays in a rock that composes over 10% of our earth shell, named olivine. When grinded to 0,1 mm (as big as sand-grains) and exposed to CO2 in a humid atmosphere, the olivine will decompose to a sind-like silicate, and have it’s metal-component bind the CO2 to eather calcium- or magnesium-
    carbonate. Olivine can be found in many places. All that needs to be done is extracting it out of the earth, grind it and spread it to a CO2- and water-rich environment. The forests in tropical areas (where leaves decompose on the soil) are ideal for this: hot and humid. The proces is explained in a one-page document one can obtain at

  71. 80 Julien M
    November 19, 2009 at 11:05

    To be added to “It’s you, bad journalists”: a few weeks ago (3 nov) I sent a contribution that there was no real need for a Copenhagen conference, because the solution is cheap and easy. As far as I can see you did not put it in the log, and did not give it attention. May I ask you why not?
    Thank you.

  72. 81 Amanda Thomas
    November 19, 2009 at 11:22

    Dear Ross and team,

    Sorry not to have listened properly and not taken the time to reply properly…because I was too selfish and thinking about what I wanted to say (and the wording is not right anyway, on my part).

    Yes, climate change is very important.

    Yes, it seems too big and too uncertain to know how best to help.

    Yes, you do a good job…luckily you have some very well considered and well-informed contributions now

    Yes, we should all do our bit , however infinitesimal, recycling, going as green as possible and perhaps encouraging our governments to develop the infrastructure(?) for sustainable, green public transport that meets our needs and primarily developing a network of safe cycle paths that will get us fit as well.


  73. 82 Ros Atkins
    November 19, 2009 at 11:27

    here are two emails on this that I’ve just received.

    No, I just had nothing to add at this moment after reading and watching and listening to what’s been said.
    It’s green fatigue.

    Hi! You mentioned that you cancelled one of your topics from discussion on your show about global warming. I believe that global warming is very much a critial issue that many are concerned about. I believe that maybe why people aren’t responding is that the verbage on the topic of discussion you’re using is unfamiliar to people and they may feel it’s out of their scope of knowledge or understanding.

    Also, I saw a very interesting documentary show on PBS about global cooling. Many people aren’t aware of this. In fact, our planet would be at least one degree hotter if it weren’t for polution particles blocking the sun from getting through to the planet. This is very scary stuff. I think that many people feel powerless to making the changes to stop global warming and have lost hope or believe it’s too late to do anything about it. Some are very selfish and care not to alter their lifestyles of excessiveness to save our planet. Some may be in denial and would rather not think or talk about it.

    Thanks for your show. I frequently listen and enjoy it.

    Carol A. Sherman
    Fort Myers, Fl

  74. 83 Elina
    November 19, 2009 at 11:27

    I for one tend to believe that climate change is real and at least partly caused by us, the humankind. However, the debates have been ongoing for years now; the issues are vast, but not even “the facts” aren’t clear yet, at least so it seems to me. I admit I feel somewhat reluctant about discussing the subject matter at this point — and I can speak only for myself now — but it’s not about “bad journalism” but rather about my own feelings of powerlessness, insufficiency and frustration when it comes to the enormous questions of global warming and what should be done about it.

  75. 84 Rick
    November 19, 2009 at 11:59

    climate change deniers have no science to back their claims. There is no other scientific explanation for the rapid warming of the earth’s surface over the last 100 years other than an increase in the greenhouse effect due to human activity. If you are still a denier go take on NASA scientists or any of the other 600 top climate scientists in the world, show your science and have it published.
    Man made global warming is proven in the same manor that evolution is proven and its time to move on to solutions and stop giving deniers a platform to spew their nonsense.
    The solution lies in sustainable consumption. Unfortunately, greed is mans most powerful motivator and nobody, or not enough of us, wants to give up anything for the common good.

  76. 85 tom
    November 19, 2009 at 12:32

    Maybe the point is that the public are, in fact, better journalists than you are. That is, taking a balnced view of the evidence for climate change and for man’s role in it. This makes us fully able to reject the screeching cries of doom and gloom from the climate change camp.

    • 86 VworriedUK
      November 23, 2009 at 14:02

      Couldnt agree more! Just look at the response from msm to the leaked CRU emails. The news didnt even make it on to the front page while it has been raging through the internet. BBC enviroment analyst Roger Harrabin plays it down and just quotes from his sourses at CRU. He gives the impression that he has`nt even read the material. Some analyst! This is the greatest scandal of the century. These emails are proof of criminal activity amongst top scientists who influence world opinion on the subject of global warming!
      We are not selfish or stupid. It is clear to most sane people now, that we have been spun a crock of lies by self serving Eco fascists in the scientific community and the msm have been found sorely wanting in the journalistic sense.
      Our friends at the `Climate Rewrite Unit` have shown what a load of woo their computer models and methods are and those in government who have based their policies on their `esoteric`findings should be ashamed!
      The real worry is not the cynical internal censorship of the scientific community but the widespread political censorship of the msm.
      Does anyone still think we are living in a democracy?
      Thank god for the Internet

  77. 87 Jim
    November 19, 2009 at 20:09

    It is very easy to imagine that scientists have it right: man’s role in Climate change is accumulating. We daily produce 90 million tons of CO2, 1/4 is absorbed by the oceans. We are seeing the effect of the acidification of the oceans. 4 out of the last 5 mass extinctions are from biological extreme conditions. We are in a time of mass extinction mostly from habitat loss: losing 1000 species a month. As a person who loves the outdoors witnesses. Even if its not as bad as the experts predict: 70% of species gone this century, how much are we willing to put up with? 6 billion people (soon to be more) do have an impact on the planet. As more people want to consume as much as I do this can only compound the problems. The right wing emotional response that scientists are wrong is absurd, There is no immediate pay-off to being pro-environmental. Worrying about hurting economic progress seems crazy selfish. We are the richest humans in all of history.

  78. 88 wintergreen
    November 20, 2009 at 14:31

    The cat is out of the proverbial bag. Climate change is a con and the leaked doccuments from University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit prove this.

    Read here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/19/breaking-news-story-hadley-cru-has-apparently-been-hacked-hundreds-of-files-released/

    or here: http://briefingroom.typepad.com/the_briefing_room/2009/11/hadleycru-says-leaked-data-is-real.html

  79. 89 gary
    November 20, 2009 at 16:44

    Maybe it is time for the Copenhagen participants (or WHYS) to initiate a really large manhunt for the “Dissenting Scientists” (and their energy industry money sources) the US conservative folks are always citing. None of the skeptics could have objection to this (unless they already know their scientists are actually well-paid public relations folks). Nothing is better than sunshine for removing shadows.

  80. 90 Anthony
    November 20, 2009 at 17:03

    For me, it’s because I don’t feel that there is enough proof to show it’s man caused. So if it’s not, then all the talks are useless.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  81. 91 Roberto
    November 20, 2009 at 17:06

    RE “” Climate change is a con “”

    ——— Climate change is a daily fact of life for as far back as recorded history goes.

    The awareness of mankind produced pollution and now global warming continues to grow in public awareness and no amount of sham science produced by the oil & coal lobby and global expansionists can prevent it, which is why they desperately buy up as many alternative energy solutions as possible to maintain their illicit monopoly.

    I could suggest you heat your closed home this winter with charcol grills to prove what happens in a closed system when fuel is burned, but that wouldn’t be cricket now would it?

    The earth is as closed a system that exists that sustains biological diversity including human life. Nothing else we know of exists, or if it does, it’s millions of light years away.

    You’re on the wrong side of history my friend.

  82. 93 archibald
    November 20, 2009 at 17:24

    Yes, the cycle of climate change has happened throughout the life of this planet, but, saying that we are not responsible for the degradation of our natural infrastructure, (ie. pollution, overpopulation, and deforestation), which affects the overall impact of the climate on all species contained within the biosphere, is simple selfish ignorance. Denial allows people to disregard environmental concerns and continue their use of this planet as a garbage dump, solely to support their luxuries. Entitlement is a disgusting disease which will bring us all into squalor, if it is not countered by the outrage it deserves.

  83. November 20, 2009 at 20:23

    After the oil cartel initiated shortage of the 1970’s, prices went up and investment in energy conservation was made. Reagan’s administration distinguished itself politically from democrat Carter as it removed solar panels from White House,halted funding in alternative energy, and didn’t tax fuel like Europe which continued to invest in energy conservation. I suspect that US attitudes diverge from the rest of the world from this time as minority politics attempt to overide majority science. So global warming raises a mixture of concerns, not so much a like a cake as a stink.
    P.S. Why does capturing tidal energy with concomitant loss of energy for ocean circulation capture the imagination? To me, it sounds dangerously like throwing a spanner in the gears. Waving might work.

  84. 95 Keith
    November 20, 2009 at 22:12

    I don’t care about climate change, it has a lot of variables to it and I don’t like that. I do care about deforrestation though and I suppose if you take care of the deforrestaton issue the result would be that climate change is taken care of.

  85. 96 Nick D
    November 21, 2009 at 05:21

    I think that it is not just a case of whether people care about climate change; it seems to be more towards the case that people are unwilling to let go of material comforts and desires, possibly because people are, and have been for the last few decades, used to them and are hence dependent on their alleged provisions. It has been mentioned by philosophers that ‘human beings will never be fully satisfied’, which gives the implication that Man will continue to feed its desire despite any, if not all, change in the environment around them. The journalists, along with activists and environmentalists, have all done a more than sufficient job in conveying the issue of climate change, but whether it will overpower human desire is yet another obstacle that need to be overcome if this effort is to be worthwhile.

  86. November 21, 2009 at 14:46

    The matter can be reduced to a single question. Can the internal combustion engine be eliminated according to a strict timetable by all the relevant global producers? The answer is emphatically No. The ICE has been redundant technologically for decades. Yet even today when electrically engined cars are planned and produced in pitifully tiny quantities the stock market gives the companies concerned the thumbs down. Unless business and world leaders can end their addiction to ICE and its fuel what can the ordinary person in the street do but become blase?

  87. 98 Tom D Ford
    November 21, 2009 at 19:28

    I keep reminding myself that most Conservative Republicans pray for what they call “The Rapture”, in which their “God” kills everyone and everything on the planet but raises Conservative Republicans up to some imagined “Heaven” unharmed. They actually welcome such a Religious planetary suicide.

    But of course they would argue that the current events are caused by their “God”, and not humans because if humans are causing our current climate change problems then we humans can take responsibility and take steps to correct the problems.

    It is hard for a Realist to suss out the “logic” of Religionists because they look so crazy, but they really do have a variation of logic to their belief systems, even though dangerously wrong, especially to themselves.

    And Conservative Republicans have no need for Science because their interpretation of the Bible explains everything to them, including that their “God” created and runs the entire Universe, leaving no need for scientists to study and try to understand things. And so they are anti-science.

  88. November 23, 2009 at 11:00

    I used to write about climate change as a science editor for a bunch of Dutch regional newspapers for over 15 years but in the end my job was deemed superfluous by our editor-in-chief (whose main interest was our local football club, PSV.) My objections to this attitude in the end led to my being sacked from my job. The judge who had to decide my financial future was told by the lawyer for my employer that climate change was my ‘personal hobby’, irrelevant to the paper and its readers because it didn’t generate any advertizing income.
    You can’t really blame people for not participating in this discussion because after all the measures required to confront it are in complete contrast to the message of consumerism that is being shoved down their throats 24/7 through that very same advertizing. The BBC itself, though free of advertizing pressures, spends hours on reporting on something completely irrelevant and uninteresting like ‘Strictly Come Dancing.’ Can you really blame the people?

  89. November 23, 2009 at 11:36

    Bit confused by the system, which is different to other BBC blogs.

    I have submitted a post, I think Sunday 22 that was, for a while, logged but ‘being moderated’, but now even this advice has simply vanished. I guess it may yet appear.

    Is this how it works?

    I do note that the order of release does not seem sequential:

    November 20, 2009 at 17:06

    Maccus Germanis
    November 21, 2009 at 03:35

    November 20, 2009 at 17:24

    It might be part of the reply facility, but it is hard to judge when it is a reply or a new post.

  90. 101 guykaks.nairobi
    November 23, 2009 at 11:53

    I see this things a complete evolution of the universe..the topic about global warming abig mystery!

  91. 102 Roberto
    November 23, 2009 at 12:10

    I keep reminding myself that most Conservative Republicans pray for what they call “The Rapture”, in which their “God” kills everyone and everything on the planet

    ——- Mr. Tom is a reminder that in America, Republicans and Democrats have been locked in loggerheads against each other in an ever increasing race to the bottom of humanity.

    Just looking at their election marketing, it’s all about “the other” being a crook, a dolt and otherwise arrogant do nothing who deserve to be kicked out of office. That’s it in a nutshell in their own words.

    The environment, the average American, and the world has been poorly served by these self professed n’er do wells.

    One important point never brought up in environmental policy is that China and the US should be combined when measuring who spews what pollutants since China has become a defacto plantation for manufactured goods flooding US markets.

    Their negative environmental impact on the world has been a joint effort that other global power brokers are striving to emulate.

  92. 103 Nigel
    November 23, 2009 at 12:32

    “………you’d better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a changing!!”

    November 23, 2009 at 13:07

    i think the journalist need report on climate change to education the public about this problem thank you

  94. 105 steve
    November 23, 2009 at 14:18

    Both the extreme left and extreme right are very dishonest on climate change. The left completely blames climate change on humans, and the right denies humans have any impact on the climate. The earth has gone in and out of ice ages of many millenia before humans ever existed, so to say climate change wouldn’t be happening without humans is an outright lie… However, the evidence still shows that while humans don’t cause climate change, we contribute to it and help speed it up..

    Europe and North America used to be mostly covered with glaciers. Obviously the world warmed up at some point before there were even people. It’s gotten warmer, then colder, then warmer.. And will keep on doing that regardless of whether we are here polluting or not.

  95. 106 Dave Hoohah
    November 23, 2009 at 15:09

    Things will have to get a lot worse before CC is taken seriously, if ever –
    course, by then, it’ll be to late to do anything meaningful to prevent it and all effort will be directed to living with it., but that’s evolution baby!

  96. November 23, 2009 at 17:32

    I don’t believe a word of climate change comming from any of our politicians , the Chancelor has already told us he just added TAX on our airline tickets for money he need in shortfall taxes and nothing to do with climate change as stated !
    This is all a smoke screen to grab money off us and nothing more, the Climate is changing and we all know that, but I think it has to change, it’s natures way of doing things, they have proved that the romans had grown wine in the UK hundreds of years ago and the UK was a hot place then, it all just goes around and around as far as I am concerned and nothing of this crap we read about and hear these useless politicians harping on about. Even AlGore had his heated pool and Air conditioning blasting away when he was telling us all to loose them ! bloody nonsence.

  97. 108 Marty in Texas
    November 23, 2009 at 22:51

    Just follow the money. Whether it’s a third world country trying to enrich its coffers, or Al Gore trying to enrich his investments, this scam has come into a life of its own. Climate continues to change, not just temporily but geographically. That’s why some areas are warmer, while others are colder than before. And there is nothing we can do to change it. Many companies in the U.S. have already reduced carbon emissions–on their own. But still, the liberals here and abroad will not give up. What do they all want? Follow the money.

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