On air: Are climate change deniers the greatest threat to our planet?

All last week we talked here on the blog about your attitude towards climate change.

Now we have confirmation that Kevin Rudd’s going to get heavily involved in the Copenhagen summit, and that 60 world leaders will attend.

But that’s not what you’re talking about. By far the most attention is on these leaked emails and the accusations that scientists are manipulating research to close down discussion of the the connection between us and climate change.

On the one side we have those who argue the debate over climate change’s existence and its cause is not over. On the other, we have those who are fuming that again this debate is carrying on when, they believe, we should be deciding what to do about it.

The effect climate change deniers and questioners are having, goes the argument, is stopping individuals and governments taking the necessary steps to prevent an imminent disaster for our place and our race.

Where do you stand?

Here’s one columnist arguing that the media’s must take some blame.

177 Responses to “On air: Are climate change deniers the greatest threat to our planet?”

  1. 1 Ronald Almeida
    November 23, 2009 at 15:06

    I am sorry I’ve never heard or read the words,’Chnage deniers’ what do they mean?

  2. November 23, 2009 at 15:14

    In short. No.

    The biggest threat isn’t the climate change denier. The real threat is a population who agrees we have climate change, but refuses to change even 1% of their lifestyle to help the cause.

    • 3 Kate M.
      November 23, 2009 at 16:00


    • 4 fmog
      November 24, 2009 at 10:42

      Spot on. Actually, it is the fact that something catastrophic is happening, whether natural or made made, that we by our lifestyle are contributing to that must be got across to the population. I don’t think people could possibly still be sceptical but they seem to find it impossible to acknowledge that anything they do can influence the outcome.

  3. November 23, 2009 at 15:21

    The emails certainly are damaging to the junk science movement because they show how their movement isn’t based on actual facts. Still, the behavior of Al Gore & others speaks volumes. If they thought that the planet was actually in peril, they wouldn’t keep flying around in their jets or maintaining lavish lifestyles. They wouldn’t spend 10s of thousands of dollars on heating bills.

    (BTW, nobody with half a brain thinks that Al Gore’s home is carbon neutral, just like nobody with half a brain thinks that the health care bills are deficit neutral.)

  4. 6 Mike in Seattle
    November 23, 2009 at 15:26

    I made this point during the last science-media discussion and the author of the last linked article makes it too – scientists don’t know how to communicate to the lay audience. They don’t understand how to explain the nature of a constantly refining system such as the scientific process and they cannot explain the numerous mathematical models to an audience that hasn’t taken the prerequisite mathematics.

    Because of this, science is perceived as being “unreliable” because results can never be seen as “good” and “better” but simply “right” and “wrong”. Mathematical models are discarded because they’re either “too complicated” or “anyone can put numbers into a computer and get what they want”.

    And yet journalists are complicit in this. They bring on people how are paid for a certain point of view to ask a few leading questions, usually many more than can be rebutted in the time allowed for the given television segment. The scientist tries to answer everything but then times up, “we’ll have to leave it at that” says the anchor and cut to commercial. The audience – lacking the help of a background introduction into the topic – is left to “make up their own mind”. No wonder people question Evolution and Climate Change here in the United States.

    Finally, on the issue of the leaked e-mails. It’s not good practice to try and jazz up one’s data. Sure, it’s what the skeptics and the deniers do every day, and they make up their data from whole cloth. We hold scientists to a higher standard, and what was done with a few of the graphs was not appropriate. However, it doesn’t change what is going on with our climate, and what we need to do to fix it.

  5. 7 Mike in Seattle
    November 23, 2009 at 15:30

    As a follow up, I don’t mean to be so hard on those in the journalism world. Everyone has deadlines and everyone has a quota of work to do. When you’re handed a complicated topic like Climate Change that is way outside of one’s personal experience, unless you’re given the time to learn all the math and the physics it’s hard to know who is telling the truth and what exactly to report.

    Perhaps this is a result of not having enough mathematics and science in our school curriculums. I’m curious what the journalists have to say about covering complicated scientific topics.

    • 8 patti in cape coral
      November 23, 2009 at 16:41

      Mike in Seattle – I couldn’t agree with you more. In any case, I follow as many recommendations as I can as far as helping the environment and climate, even if I’m not sure about the data. That just seems to make the most sense to me.

  6. November 23, 2009 at 15:30

    There is evidence of climate change from the melting of parts of the North Pole, frequent flooding and cyclical drought. It’s debatable if this is a natural course or man-made.

    Whether climate change is a myth or not, there is evidence that an excess in human activities can bring about disastrous effect on the environment. An excess in deforestation without adequate planting of new trees is likely to cause a change in temperature and air quality, to cite just this example.

    It is also evident that living in a polluted area is not the same as living in a place where the air is constantly fresh.

    What matters is to keep the Earth forever green instead of tarnishing it with poisonous smokes and chemicals. The earth needs excessive care and not excessive exploitation beneath and above the ground.

    • 10 fmog
      November 24, 2009 at 10:55

      The frightening thing is that the majority, whilst acknowlegding that catastrophic changes are taking place, cannot accept the fact that they themselves will suffer the effects. They make a few changes to their lifestyles here and there knowing (mistakenly) that they’ll “be alright Jack”. The whole concept of a global disaster is beyond belief to most.

  7. 11 Dan
    November 23, 2009 at 15:30

    How wonderfully arrogant of your as your question presupposes that not only that humans caused a change in the climate but that we have the power to reverse it.
    I do not think that the science of terraforming is quite that developed yet.
    The greatest threat to our civilization is the hysterical responses to problems of our day.
    I remember when “Global Cooling” was going to kill us all, “The World Would Run Out of Food”, “hysterical environmentalist told us that we would run out of oil in the 1970’s, the seas are going to rise to cover Manhattan Island, Polar Bears are dying, there will be no more fish in the oceans, DDT is killing all the birds and I can go on ad nauseum.
    Ros, this is all utter nonsense as people have used anecdotal observations and made them statistical certainties and then made a leap of illogic to Global Warming.
    sadly this was all started by Al Gore who became “green” by lining his pockets with millions American Greenbacks.
    Shame on you Ros, you should know better and certainly be more objective in your question.

    • 12 Mike in Seattle
      November 23, 2009 at 16:05

      And here we are folks, not only does this fellow deny the mountains of evidence for climate change, but he denies that DDT kills bird populations.

      Tell me Dan, do you plan on actually citing any scientific evidence for your wild claims, or are you just going to leave it there and let ignorance take it’s course?

      • 13 Leslie
        November 23, 2009 at 19:34

        That’s how this works. People claim that scientists are not trustworthy and make their own claims contrary to mountains of evidence and without any sort of analysis. And then when it turns out the scientists were right (go figure), they all turn to science to miraculously save everyone at the last moment.

        I am constantly amazed at how little most people seem to understand science. This is what we get for teaching so little science and math to the masses in school: an ignorant populace that would rather turn to faith and opinion than truth and evidence.

    • 14 Jennifer
      November 23, 2009 at 18:59

      Come on Dan; let’s laugh about this. I did. Well, it would be funny if it wasn’t so serious. People really believe this stuff!!!

      You brought up something that I think is very important to recognize. The hysterics that environmental nuts seek to impose on everyday people.

      I very much agree with you when you say:

      “this is all utter nonsense as people have used anecdotal observations and made them statistical certainties and then made a leap of illogic to Global Warming.
      sadly this was all started by Al Gore who became “green” by lining his pockets with millions American Greenbacks”

      Science is exact. Forcing your “opinions” or what you want to be true is not science.

      I’d like all these people to care more for human beings than they do for trees and etc. We’d all be so much better off!

      • 15 Leslie
        November 23, 2009 at 19:36

        Human beings cannot survive without “trees and etc.” and it’s important to fix the environmental problem in order to fix the human problem (ie, famine, drought, etc). And as a side note, it’s hard to care more about human beings when you’re always being attacked by them for your efforts to help.

    • 16 fmog
      November 24, 2009 at 11:00

      Can you really deny that climactic change is happening? Does it matter whether it is natural or man made? If we accept that fact that the West’s lifestyles are conbributing to this change, isn’t it common sense that we try to do something about it?

    • 17 arno
      December 8, 2009 at 18:07

      Danś notion of Ros’s unscientific question is correct. The question is obviously biased as problem and a likely solution are even clained without any reference to empiric research, which is harmful for the discussion. I myself believe that we have to look at who is profitiring from the solution suggested, the co2 dredit scemes. One of the institutions most probably gaining from the new commodity and its scarcity is the bank. It will thrive again with all the financial transactions in prospect. I fear this to be strategy out of the financial crisis.

  8. 18 Roy, Washington DC
    November 23, 2009 at 15:31

    Climate change deniers aren’t a threat to our planet, because our planet has much more pressing issues that are threatening it, like overpopulation and diminishing resources. These will become a major problem long before climate change does, if it does at all.

    • 19 fmog
      November 24, 2009 at 11:02

      Agreed, population is the greatest threat. But climate change is helping solve this problem very nicely thankyou. Unfortunately it is the least deserving who are paying the price.

  9. November 23, 2009 at 15:37

    Climate change is indeed happening, no one disputes that. They do dispute whether or not man has made it worse. I personally do feel that we have, but I also feel that the Earth can and will outlive us humans, and nothing that we could possibly do could truly destroy the Earth. We might indeed kill ourselves and most life if we keep it up with pollution, unending overpopulation and the like, but even in the event of a nuclear holocaust the Earth will eventually recover. I am also deeply angered at the deniers for how they go about it, using it as a political tool. I still have heard not one credible argument for doing nothing to curb humanity’s abuses of the planet. Money is always what they cite, taking too much for this or that, but to the deniers, if those who oppose you are wrong, then the worst that can be said is a bit of money could have been used elsewhere. If the deniers are wrong, however, it could spell the very quick demise of humans and much of life on this planet.

  10. 21 Chintan in Houston
    November 23, 2009 at 15:41

    Even though we understand climate change and its effects i think we can do little to reverse it or slow it down. On this show we have already discussed the Copenhagen summit on climate change where none of the developing nations are ready to get into a binding agreement imposing regulations. That is becase it seems to them the regulations are a way by the west to control their rapid economic growth and the developing countries influence in the world.

    No matter if anyone is in denial or approval of climate change we might have to just live with it!

  11. 22 Billy Wachakana
    November 23, 2009 at 15:42

    Climatic change is a reality that the whole world must face. All leaders in the world should follow Kevin Rudd’s proposals on global warming issues.

    • 23 fmog
      November 24, 2009 at 11:12

      Unfortunately our world leaders are too scared of making decisions that will affect their careers or the economies of their countries or the wealth of those with most influence. In the end, it will be down to people power and I am not sure we in the developed world have felt the effects enough to bring force to bear.

  12. November 23, 2009 at 16:01

    Nope, these climate change deniers are by no means as influential as they would have us think they are. On the other hand, those laying blame on Deniers are actually only playing the blame game, they don’t want to take action and it is convenient for them to blame the deniers.

  13. 25 Reynolds in Texas
    November 23, 2009 at 16:04

    I’m wearied, not from the debate, but from the lack of real debate on the subject. The climate nazis like Al Gore arrogantly refuse to engage in debate because they can’t defend their position from current data. They might be correct, might is the operative word. But in the realm of public issues, no one should get away with saying debate over a complex issue is over because they say it is, i.e. Al Gore. I’ll be quite content to remain a “denier” until proponents can show conclusive evidence that humankind has caused the event we are in now. And that, is not happening with the current data. If we are in a warming event, why are temperatures actually rising? Go figure that one out. Regrettably, the very wording of your question and its word choices reflect that you are totally in the tank with those promoting Anthropogenic global warming. I prefer to listen to both sides and decide then, something that Gore and Company are not doing. Having been around academia for some years I know how invested people get in their respective theories, no matter how weak and lacking in substantive support. And when proven wrong, it is amazing how they choose to go down with the ship rather than face the truth that they were wrong and have been proven such. My prediction is Gore will die still extolling the pending doom accompanying supposed Anthropogenic global warming, saying not enough time has passed yet for the effects to show up.

  14. 26 Kim Johnson
    November 23, 2009 at 16:07

    The biggest threat is the people, the idiots, who believe in climate change, who believe that humans are responsible for it. First of all, climate change is a hoax invented by liberals and fake scientists. It is a fake science. There is no climate change, and if there is any change in the weather?? The reason is nature, it is a natuaral cycle caused by the sun activities, no more. The human activities and the CO2 level do not have any affect on the weather whatsoever. The liberals of the US and of Britain are going to destrory the world economy with their idiocy.

    • 27 fmog
      November 24, 2009 at 11:19

      Does it matter whether it is natural or man made? If climatic change continues as it has for the past decade thousands of the least deserving will die. Is it wrong to treat the world with more respect by not pillaging it’s resources or being less wasteful in our daily lives and polluting our air and seas?

  15. 28 Kim Johnson
    November 23, 2009 at 16:08

    Imposing regulations is the answer to every problem! Freedom and capitalism are the real answers!

  16. November 23, 2009 at 16:15

    here are the simple facts: human climate change is fiction; solar climate change is reality. if climate change was due to human beings, why has the the planet mars also recorded climate change in the form of planetary heating, since there is no life there to change the climate? the truth is that our sun is going through a heating which is causing everything in our solar system to experience climate change.

    • 32 fmog
      November 24, 2009 at 11:21

      Does it matter which if the effects turn out to be the same?

      • 33 Tom K in Mpls
        November 24, 2009 at 18:54

        It matters very much if you are supporting strong action. If to a significant degree, it is natural, does it make sense to cripple economies to try to stop a force of nature? If you support the clear steps taken by many successful companies it doesn’t matter. We will continue to adapt and grow while diminishing our impact ( with the exception of mass consumers ).

  17. 34 Tony from Singapura
    November 23, 2009 at 16:21

    Climate Change deniers are welcome and will act as a counter wieght to the scare mongering journalists and the carreer hungry publish-or-die scientists.

    It is healthy to have their dissenting voices heard – no matter who is right or wrong.

    One day we will thank them.

  18. 35 vintner
    November 23, 2009 at 16:23

    The average consumer in the US is probably a greater threat to successful implementation of energy use changes than the deniers.. The naysayers are noisy, but small obstacles. I advise all get accustomed to their voices, because they will be the ones whining most loudly for compensations and special privileges when binding agreements are reached.

  19. 36 Guido
    November 23, 2009 at 16:23

    The deniers are not the problem. After the change in the USA every major government believes in climate change. So can we expect a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions? No, nobody will reduce his emissions until all other nations agree. This means a single nation can stop the whole process.

    This is a known problem in economics. There is no market for a “cool earth”, so nobody will pay for it. You can ask an economist. This is the classic example where the state must act, but there is no global state…

  20. November 23, 2009 at 16:28

    Climate change is an undeniable phenomenon. The earlier people realise this the more they can do to lessen the stark dangers. Poopoing the warning-signs is like an oostrich bury ing his head in the sand. We have bequeathed a wonderful planet and it is in our powers to keep it sustainable. If only we had more humility and listened to powerful voices like Al Gore earlier we would be in a much stronger position now. Procrastination is the thief of time

  21. 38 Nanci
    November 23, 2009 at 16:30

    No, climate change deniers and climate change skeptics are not the greatest threat to our planet.

    Good grief!

    It’s important to have a genuine debate and understand how much of the situation is man-made and how much is not if we are going to have good accurate solutions to the problem!!!!!

    I am so annoyed that solutions that may or may not be effective are being rammed down our throats without any real evidence to support whether or not these solutions are necessary or the best ones out there.

    There is much we can do while the debate rages. The thing is it is good to reclycle, it is good to conserve resources and energy, and where it is possible, to cut down on C02 emmissions

    I remember the whole Y2K thing and it never materialized. Scientiests think they have the best data, but as this article has shown, there is suppression of data, little transparency etc. Meanwhile the UN Climate Change treaty is asking for radical changes that minimize democracy and national sovereignty which may not be necessary.

    I am so tired of being guilted into thinking I am part of the problem just because I have legitimate questios. Fear is not the best motivator, but transparency and accurate information is. Treat us like adults if you want us to be responsible!

    • 39 Mike in Seattle
      November 23, 2009 at 16:56

      You know, I only have a four year science degree, and I get so tired of hearing this. I spent endless sleepless nights in the lab or in my room studying math and science, and I wasn’t alone. It takes years and years and years to learn this material.

      You keep asking these questions, but how much research have you put into it? How much time have you spent in the lab? How much work have you done in the field? How many sleepless nights did you spend making sense of the mathematics involved in this sort of research?

      Great, you have questions. Wonderful. What have you actually done to go out and find those answers. You claim that there isn’t any evidence, why haven’t you looked? There are reams and reams of it out there.

      The worst part is your confusion of the media and scientists. Scientists didn’t make a big deal about Y2K, the media did. Sure, some computer scientists pointed out that the Y2K issue would be a pain to fix properly but that’s it and they were right.

      • 40 Nanci
        November 23, 2009 at 18:00

        I believe it’s half and half. I am not a scientist, but I do read alot and try to understand it.

        I just said I was skeptical, not that it isn’t happening and I did not say that some of it was not man made. I think some of it is.

        I thought the point of science was to ask questions. I have an enquiring mind.

        What I don’t like is some of the fundamentalist attitudes of some scientists.

        Just be transparent and don’t hide the research—that’s what the article was about. That scientists do dispute it and that some research has been falsified. What are us lay people supposed to do. Are you all Gods???? Just asking.

      • 41 Mike in Seattle
        November 23, 2009 at 19:10

        I’m not against asking questions, I’ve said so twice already here. I’m against asking the same question over and over again and claiming that the question hasn’t been answered. It’s not fundamentalism to become irritated when people keep asking the color of the sky and seemingly refuse to look up.

        We’re not claiming that the end of the world is near, we’re claiming that the damage is on a global scale.

  22. 42 James in Portland OR
    November 23, 2009 at 16:43

    The story in the Telegraph made me very sad.

    I used to think that scientists would have no reason to lie, that they were guided by Scientific Principle, separate from their personal views.

    Then I went to school, and was taught right from the textbook that second-hand smoke was deadlier than smoking itself. And my anthropology class taught that stone-age societies were egalitarian.

    Sorry to say this, but scientists can lie.

  23. 43 T
    November 23, 2009 at 16:50

    To an extent the media are to blame. Instead of having actual rational and intelligent debate re: this, it’s only hyped for ratings and to sell papers.

  24. 44 steve/oregon
    November 23, 2009 at 16:56

    Kim Johnson to think that anything has no effect on anything else is a very limited point of view. for every action there is a equal and opposite reaction. Co2 gets high and the temp goes up.
    Eric I am very interested in this solar climate change do you have any links to some supporting information behind your claim that the sun is getting hotter?
    Climate change is real the nay sayers are not the biggest threat the biggest threat is people.

  25. 45 Mike in Seattle
    November 23, 2009 at 17:08

    Look, I didn’t go to mechanics school so if I have a good recommendation for a mechanic and she tells me that my car needs a major overhaul I’ll get a second opinion and then get the repair work done. It’s because I don’t know much about cars and I am paying good money for her experience and knowledge.

    Yet when the scientists come around, we have all these people who haven’t touched advanced mathematics or ever stepped into a lab suddenly believing that they have the expertise to throw out the work of hundreds of researchers with a “few questions”.

    Sure, you need to ask questions. Questions are great. But when you receive reams and reams of results and ignore them, you’re simply wasting everyone’s time.

    • 46 Kenn
      November 23, 2009 at 19:44


      Instead of getting irritated that people haven’t read ALL the research and are asking questions, why not admit that not all the research points to the same thing?

      Its a theory, not a law. So don’t tell everyone it is FACT when indeed it is NOT a fact, but a theory only.

      If you are indeed a ‘scientist’ as you say and have your BS degree, can you admit that even today scientists are finding data during their studies that say man isn’t the leading cause of climate change?

      I can point you to some papers if you would like.

      Regardless, we need to cut emissions and get off of burning fossil fuels for better reasons then “We might be causing the earth to heat up.”

      I am all for advances tapping renewable power, but more for my bottom dollar than for a theoretical anthropogenic global warming scare.

  26. 47 Morf
    November 23, 2009 at 17:09

    Those who “deny” climate change burden us all with their obstructionism. They have grounds to be proud, however, because they have spawned a whole subculture (if not industry) of denying the obvious. Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denialism.

    There is no issue more immediate – or more global – than climate change. Global change denial borders on a crime against humanity – and not just humanity.

  27. 48 Alan in Arizona
    November 23, 2009 at 17:17

    It’s has to be obvious that a little lack of intelligence goes along way on this subject. If anyone doubts it’s the human race causing global warming they have no real comprehension of all the chemicals that go from a liquid to a gas and into the atmosphere on a daily basis. The pollution from combustion engine is nothing compared to all the other chemicals evaporated into the air we breath. Just 1 gallon of MEK ( Methyl Ethyl Ketone, a commonly used solvent in Industrial applications, paints and foods) turns into 6.7 lbs of VOC’s ( Volatile Organic Compounds )when it evaporates. We use millions of tons every year that goes into the atmosphere that we intern breath. That’s just 1 mediocre chemical out of hundreds that effect everything in one way or another. And they all effect us.
    The deniers need to find the head Lemming. Follow it off the cliff and let the rest of the world make some intelligent decisions in starting to rectify the problem. To be honest, without more trees to replace the rain forest, it seems unlikely we will survive.

  28. 49 Dan
    November 23, 2009 at 17:17

    I hope you are seeing a common thread in the comments here.
    You might think about giving us an apology for the way the question was worded and perhaps rephrase it to ask why science and the scientific method seems to no longer being taught is schools.
    It seems that kids are no longer taught to think.but only to respond to hysteria.

    How about a freshly worded question?

  29. 50 Matthew Houston
    November 23, 2009 at 17:18

    I think the biggest threat to our planet is that we have a population which is willing to accept as fact the suggestion that ice should not melt in the sun.

    • 51 Tom K in Mpls
      November 24, 2009 at 18:57

      There is massive evidence that ice does not always melt in the sun. Look at past ice ages. How about other planets or moons? Do you deny this?

  30. 52 Gary Paudler
    November 23, 2009 at 17:23

    Can you get George Monbiot to join you on-air?

  31. 53 Matthew Houston
    November 23, 2009 at 17:28

    Let’s break down the scientists overall view of history…

    First there was Pangaea (one continent…no poles, no ice)

    Then, there was an ice age (polar ice caps at their peak)

    Now, we have ice caps, which are intended to last forever.

    Apparently, somehow the earth’s relationship to the sun was changed by that meteorite, so that it actually changed the earth’s ability to sustain ice permanently, in two super-special, sacred places.

    Does anyone disagree that starvation and thirst is a global problem? ….and that planting fruit trees and desalinating water would help with this AND with the rising oceans and CO2 levels? How much would that cost? Less than our current wars, for sure.

    Do we really need these Chicken Little stories to cause us to do the right thing?

    There was all the hub-bub about the hole in the ozone layer, so people stopped using hairspray. But no one seemed to associate the fact that we were detonating nuclear weapons in the ionosphere in that exact location at that exact time….naw, it definitely was the hairspray that did it.


  32. 54 Peter-singapore
    November 23, 2009 at 17:29

    Warren Buffet ‘s investments in the Railway is how business can contribute to lessening our carbon footprint. Infrastructure investments is the key. There is no excuse to carry on with obsolete carbon churning industries. Maybe we can revive the Zepplin for air travel. How about horse carriage taxis . Horses must wear pampers. No joke.

  33. 55 Guido
    November 23, 2009 at 17:34

    Science is very complicated, and it will not give you a proof for or against climate change. There are no eternal verities in science (except may be theology). Human made climate change is, as far as I know, a theory corresponding with the data.

    The fact that some scientist try to challenge this idea does not make it likely that the is false, it is just good science to challenge everything.

  34. 56 Anthony
    November 23, 2009 at 17:36

    I’m not a climate change denier. I just don’t believe it’s man made. The proof that I’ve been given just doesn’t add up. People seem to make funny connections… I can make funny connections too:

    Have you noticed that there are more and more broadcast/cellphone/GPS signals all around the world, and as there are more and more there seems to be climate change, therefore climate change depends on the amount of broadcast/cellphone/GPS signals.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  35. 57 Anthony
    November 23, 2009 at 17:42

    @ Morf

    This reminds me of the Salem Witch Trials. Show me some real proof before I get thrown in the water to drown.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  36. 58 James
    November 23, 2009 at 17:46

    “climate change” Real or hocks? It’s a sad commentary on the state of the world, when folks can’t even have real heart felt debate on climate change. What is happening to the world? Why can’t we work together to see who is correct and what it will take for the world to survive? Some reliable person has suggested that the planet is in trouble! Instead of working to see if it is true and what to do about it, we have taken sides and stymied the other side from coming up with a solution! If one side perishes, won’t we all perish?

  37. 59 archibald
    November 23, 2009 at 17:53

    Emphatically, YES!
    It is truly horrifying to hear the words of those who continue to seesaw between, “treat us like adults and don’t use fear to motivate”, and “the greatest threat to our civilization is hysterical response”, two sides of the same self centered, lazy argument. Change is inevitable, catastrophic global deterioration at the hands of toxic industry and human gluttony is most definitely not.
    There is a secondary factor in the climate change and global degradation debate, in the form of certain religions and their belief in armageddon, a cataclysmic end to all life as we know it at the hands of god, as a consequence for a sin filled world. Many who hold this belief would like nothing more than to have a hand in this “second coming” coming, believing that they will be spared by their faith. This fantasy is a factor to be considered when attempting to fathom the myriad, fervent denials to human impact on the planet.

    • 60 Nanci
      November 23, 2009 at 18:33

      Of course your response is free of lazy arguments and hyperbole.

      I think the way the question is worded does provoke extremes.

      But, honestly can you tell me if the UN Climate change treaty is really reflective of the best science has to offer and has the best solutions available?

      I said we should do what we can whilst we still research and find out how much climate change is man made and how much is due to other ‘natural’ causes like solar activity?

      People on both sides of the issue are being polarizing. Where is the space for genuine questions and debate then? Or is this meant to be your side wins because you think you have the more sophisticated arguments without ever having proved your own points>

  38. 61 Matthew Houston
    November 23, 2009 at 17:58

    Apparently, these pseudo-scientists seem to have forgotten about the three phases of matter.

    They talk all day about how the ice will melt and raise ocean levels.
    Won’t there also be highly-increased evaporation?

    Wouldn’t this created more rainfall, perhaps in arid locations?
    Wouldn’t this rainfall convert ocean water to fresh water?

  39. November 23, 2009 at 17:59

    A lot of people in the USA are scared of our economy but more important wish to enjoy the “good life” they had the last 20 years or more. Climate change, if they acknowledge it, will mean a huge life style change, until we get our industrial complex switched to a new cleaner level. Thus, to deny it is there out. Add to that, they see colder, not warmer, winters in the Mid West the last 10 years. Never mind that for the first time in the last 1,000 years, private sail boats have circumnavigated the American continent. So, yes, they are in denial and they will end up hurting our planet more than one can imagine. Here in the USA, they are our biggest problem…well they and our industrial complex. Hey, who wants to double the price of electricity and gasoline? Not me, but yes, I will and already our vehicle are getting triple the mileage we used to get and our electricity consumption is going down rapidly…this is my Wife and I, in our private lives that this is happening. The public opinion here is changing but way to slowly.

    • 63 Kenn
      November 23, 2009 at 19:52

      “Climate change, if they acknowledge it, will mean a huge life style change, until we get our industrial complex switched to a new cleaner level.”

      Show me the clean industrial technology? It doesn’t exist. The scale of change you are talking about can not happen because we do not have the ability to do it yet.

      Thats why instead of actually solving any problems, this new administration made cap and trade so they can all get wealthier while electricity gets more expensive and ‘dirty’ businesses have to thrown money at ‘clean’ businesses in order to run.

      Well as an IT Company I don’t make anything that goes into the air, so when can I cash in my credits to the energy companies for their money (who make the power my company depends on to survive) so that my power bill can go up and i can give it back to them?

  40. 64 Roo
    November 23, 2009 at 17:59

    It is silly to believe that humanity doesn’t have an impact upon the planet. It’s not deniers that are hurting the Climate debate, or the initiatives that are proposed, but sacrifice. Even if it could be proved unequivocally that humans cause global warming in a manner that all could accept, many would refuse to give up what they had to help resolve it.

    In western society at least, the very thing about the climate debate that is condemned as being voodoo – science – is looked to as the resolution of our problems without our having to sacrifice our current lifestyle.

    Kind regards,

  41. 65 Ros Atkins
    November 23, 2009 at 18:00

    @Dan. We’re asking a question which doesn’t mean we agree with one side or another. There’s been a strong reaction against those emails by people who feel constant quesioning of the science is stopping proper solutions emerging. So that belief is the basis of the question and of course we’ll have guests who strongly refute that claim. Discussing a belief does not mean we share that belief.

    And arrogance has got nothing to do with it.

    • 66 Nanci
      November 23, 2009 at 18:37

      Ros, I think it’s a good debate, but I think the way the question was worded did weight it in favor of those who do not question climate change in any shape or form.

      If we’re to have a genuine debate where are the spaces for skeptics. Or are we all to be banished to the cellar?

      People who question are not inherently the worst obstruction to doing anything about climate change. There are those of us who want to make sure we have the right solution to the right problem as some of the solutions being proposed by the United Nations are very drastic. THey do impinge on national soverereignty and on global democracy. I want to make sure they are the right solutions before I cave to the tyranny of climate change believers.

  42. 67 wintergreen
    November 23, 2009 at 18:02

    First it was man made global warming but people noticed it wasnt getting warmer, so they changed to man made global cooling.
    Whats next? Man made mediocre weather?
    Its all a big fraud, Governments have found another way to tax us and have brought scientists into line by refusing funding unless they say what the government of the day wants us to hear.

    • 68 Mike in Seattle
      November 23, 2009 at 18:24

      Can you name any scientists that are currently publishing papers in peer reviewed journals with evidence of “Global Cooling”?

      • 69 Kenn
        November 23, 2009 at 19:55

        No that was in the 70s and they were wrong then.

        Whats to say they are right now? Especially when the charge is being led by a lot of the same people who led the charge back then?

      • 70 U-dog
        November 23, 2009 at 21:05

        Kenn, Who were those people leading the “Global Cooling” movement back in the 70’s who are now leading the Global Warming “movement. Can you name one?

  43. 71 Shannon in Ohio
    November 23, 2009 at 18:16

    Those who wave away questions of global warming are part of a larger movement driven by fundamentalist religion, which rejects most science in general. Here in the U.S., Sarah Palin’s petroleum-loving minions chanted “Drill baby, Drill” last year at the Republican National Convention. The same people dismiss evolution, and, despite endless fossil evidence to the contrary, believe humans saddled the dinosaurs and rode them around like big reptilian ponies. How does one begin to talk to people like that?

    Alas, these folks love to appear on television and radio programs, reciting the same tirades over and over again. They routinely bully politicians into publicly denouncing climate change/evolution etc., although privately those elected representatives may have different ideas.

    Make no mistake, these folks are the world’s problem. We cannot change their minds, but each one of us can decide to work in our own individual ways to reduce our carbon footprints, and pressure our leaders to effectively address global warming on the national/international level.

  44. 72 Kevin PE
    November 23, 2009 at 18:30

    Ok let’s assume climate change is real and we humans are a big contributing factor. Our factories are pumping more and more greenhouse gases as more and more people become consumers. So what to do? a) consume less b) consume more efficiently c) continue regardless. a) sounds good, but would probably result in large scale closures and resulting economic free fall. b) even better, but what about Jevons Paradox? Hmmm that leaves c)
    This problem if supported by hard science certainly requires the brightest minds supported by an informed public. Then again, is it possible that there is no solution without collapsing the entire house of cards? For those interested here is a potentially scary scenario – http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/SecondPage.html

  45. 73 Jim (USA)
    November 23, 2009 at 18:31

    If you look at the climatological history obtained from ice cores in greenland and antarctica you will notice that the normal state of affairs for our climate is an ice age. The brief interglacial periods last roughly 12,000 years. Our current interglacial period is nearing that limit. There is a chance that our only hope of staving off massive glaciation is through the mechanism of global warming. Vast areas of canada, russia, and alaska could become temperate and the land available in these areas is far larger than those that would be lost through climate change. Technological approaches to mitigating the damage of climate change in areas most damaged, combined with a massive effort to improve ocean desalination, and the opening up of taiga areas to farming would be of great benefit to the human species and should be pursued as an alternative to weening ourselves from fossil fuels before alternative energy sources are available.

    Look up vostok ice core records on the internet for sources.

  46. 74 Alan in Arizona
    November 23, 2009 at 18:39

    Oh! Anthony! Associating cell phone signals with Global Warming is like saying a enema will make a body smell better when we know it’s the soap removing the dirt from a body that improves the smell. Or dirt making a bowl of cereal sweeter when we know it sugar that does the trick. Or cow flatulence’s increasing solar flares and the sun warming.

    It’s simply what we put into the environment and what we are doing to fix the problem or at this point what we are not doing to fix it.

  47. 75 Anthony
    November 23, 2009 at 18:45

    @ wintergreen

    And from what I’ve heard, it’s a GREAT way to keep third world countries from growing, so that we can continue to take advantage of them… of so I’ve read.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  48. 76 Kurt
    November 23, 2009 at 18:48

    If you should try to read the scientific debate (look into the journals which require subscriptions which you students at university likely have free), you will find the debate is on details of climate models. The main issue is the uncertainty of these models due to the number of factors which go into them and the relatively short timescale (relative to 4.5 billion years of earth history) for which we have climate information. The fact of a warming planet is accepted. The discourse is on how fast, how much, why, and over what timescales climate variation occurs, and how much variance there is during long-term climate change. The last point relates to the ice-core and geologic evidence which tells us about broad (millions of years) variations in climate, but we do not know what teh year-to-year variability was like during those periods. This directly relates to the fact we only have year-to-year data and are trying to extrapolate this information to thousands of years. Today, science cannot answer these question. It can only try to develop an understanding of teh process.

  49. November 23, 2009 at 18:50

    The mindset of “climate change deniers” IS the greatest threat to our planet’s health. They are like people on a high sugar diet who want to believe that their bulging waistlines are a function of their genetic make-up, or of aging’s slow-down of their metabolism rather than their choice of what and how much to eat. The question is “Will our planet be healthier if we clean up our polluting actions globally?” The answer is, “YES”. And the next question is, “Why do some people insist to question the logic / importance / necessity of a healthier planet through our healthier choices of production / consumption?” The mindset of a climate change denier would respond to this question with “I want proof…” or “Man is not the problem; this is a naturally occurring condition”… the same folks who accept their bulging waistlines and deny their susceptibility to becoming diabetic, also irreversible and looming as a world-wide epidemic.

  50. 78 patti in cape coral
    November 23, 2009 at 18:52

    Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I’ve never heard of global cooling. I still think that no matter what side of the debate you fall on, it’s just common sense to minimize our impact on the environment as much as possible. Don’t see how it could hurt.

  51. 79 archibald
    November 23, 2009 at 18:53


    It only invokes extremes if you feel that there is nothing you can do. Simple acts of contribution are enough, if everyone makes even a minimal effort to alter their overall impact on local ecosystems. It will not change the course our planet is naturally cycling through, but, it will change how extreme the impact of global climate change will be on its’ inhabitants. If you want to argue that, have fun with yourself….

    • 80 Nanci
      November 23, 2009 at 18:58

      Hey thanks Archibald for responding to me.

      I believe in doing what we can. I do believe that we should conserve energy, recycle, conserve natural resources and eliminate C02 emmisions.

      I think sometimes either position, as you say, does provoke paralysis. Gore’s work was pretty good and he did try to engage involvement, but many felt that his ‘extreme’ position that the end of the world was nigh resulted in people thinking there was nothing we could do. I liked much of what Gore wrote by the way!

  52. November 23, 2009 at 18:53

    Which is cause and which is effect? If we treat the effect it will be a total waste of money and resources.If we cannot treat the cause that is also waste.I refer,as a cause,to the Melancovitch cycles,especially obliquity,of which we are now about half way across a 41,000 year cycle,tilting towards the Sun.The Arctic circle,in its summer,gets as much sunshine as the tropics and can reach temperatures of 30 degrees celsius during daytime and frosting over at night.Melancovitch cannot be ignored,as it is proven that his cycles correspond very well to other ice ages and warmings,and long before motor cars or industry.

  53. November 23, 2009 at 19:00

    When fuel prices were high, even climate change deniers were glad to save money with a Prius.

  54. 83 Tom K in Mpls
    November 23, 2009 at 19:00

    The question, as posed, shows the problem. The problem is people that like to make a religion out of the issue. They sell sensationalism. The question is extremist in its wording. It assumes the BBC is totally correct and anyone questioning anything is wrong.

    My points on the issue are first, while most people agree temperatures do seem to be rising. But our ability to measure accurately is almost as bad as our lack of ability to understand not only what causes ( how much is us vs nature ) this but how natural systems will respond.

    Next, people insist it requires governmental action. So far a few politicians have mentioned it, but capitalistic business has been acting on obvious needs. We are seeing alternative energy companies grow, constant advancements in energy efficient items from TVs to ocean liners and new procedures in all business procedures to save energy and reduce waste. If you want to understand capitalism better, on any article you read, swap the words energy and money. It works.

  55. 84 Klem
    November 23, 2009 at 19:00

    The deniers are absolutely responsible for stopping individuals and governments from enacting Climate legislation. After years of constantly pestering the Believers to present their evidence and no evidence have come forward, the public has awakened and made up their own minds. The deniers are now in a majority position, so governments do not have support anymore, they missed their opportunity. Now they will have to force Cap&Trade, and all of the confusion and cost of living increases that go along with it, down our throats. Well good luck winning the next election after that stupid move.

  56. 85 Bert
    November 23, 2009 at 19:03

    Yesterday and today I saw perfect examples of why the media are largely to blame on this climate change noise.

    Yesterday, the guest scientist on NPR was explaining that global temperatures have not risen in the past decade, because ocean temperatures have cooled, keeping global warming temporarily at bay. He was predicting that in 20 years or so, temperatures would start rising again.

    Today, instead, big alarmist headline saying that temperatures are rising faster than previously predicted.

    Make up your minds, guys. Or at the very least, BALANCE your separate articles by explaining the apparent contraditions. You can do that, right? It’s not like reporters don’t write on this topic more than once, right? So, dredge up those other reports, and explain what has changed. Let’s not start from step zero each time.

    To answer the question, it depends who you call “climate change deniers.” Are these people who deny that humans can reverse climate change trends? Or are these people who think that climate never changes? I’d say, by far the most dangerous are those who send people scurrying off on useless and futile tasks, just to make people THINK they are doing something useful.

    Meanwhile, there is one thing everyone can agree on, I think., And that is, reducing our dependency on Middle East oil can only be a Good Thing. So let’s make that happen, with conservation and alternative sources of energy.

  57. 86 Tom D Ford
    November 23, 2009 at 19:03

    Yes, they are.

    Cui Bono? Who Benefits from keeping the ranting right-wing Conservative Republicans all O’Reilly-ed up, bending over Beck-ward, dancing the Limbaugh(Limbo), under the Melting Ice Poles.

    For those who deny that humans can affect climate, can “terraform”, I can point to the actual history of humans changing climates, the facts on the ground, and one book about that history is:

    “Civilizations: Culture, Ambition, and the Transformation of Nature”, by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto.

    One great example of how humans changed and destroyed their climate was the City of Ur. Now a barren and desolate area.

    Another is Iceland, which cut down all of their trees to create sheep pastures.

    Another is Great Britain which cut down all of their Great Oak forests to build warships at a cost of nine to ten thousand Great Oak trees per ship.

    Easter Island!

    Historical examples abound, but one has to be intellectually curious and open to learning in order to educate oneself about them.

    Nature does not excuse or make compensations for ignorance, and let us remember, Nature bats last!

  58. 87 steve
    November 23, 2009 at 19:04

    @ Patti

    “Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but I’ve never heard of global cooling.”

    The earth has gone in and out of ice ages many times, that means the earth has cooled down, as well as warmed up, all on its own, without humans. Google “snowball earth”. Scientists believe that at one point, almost the entire surface of the earth was covered by ice.

    • 88 Tom K in Mpls
      November 23, 2009 at 19:51

      The earth was also a cloud of dust and a molten ball. It is cooling and will do so until the crust is thick enough to stop quakes and volcanoes. At about this time, the sun will expand to the point that it will vaporise the earth. We will see minor fluctuations on the surface, aka the biosphere, during this process resulting in continuous and significant changes.

  59. 89 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    November 23, 2009 at 19:05

    Smogranch said, “The biggest threat isn’t the climate change denier. The real threat is a population who agrees we have climate change, but refuses to change even 1% of their lifestyle to help the cause.”

    Last year I moved from a large, energy-intense villa to a small, energy efficient apartment. I stopped driving and started taking public transport, the power for much of which is generated in non-poluting hydro-electric dams in the Alps.

    But my efforts can’t amount to a hill of beans unless EVERYBODY else makes an effort, too, including the industrial mega-polluters. Keep the pressure on, guys.

  60. 90 viola
    November 23, 2009 at 19:06

    Unfortunately, there are some phenomena whose impact only becomes obvious to everyone after the worst has happened. Surely, if the data supports the global warming scenario, the world’s leaders are obliged to understand it and lead the people toward remedies rather than wait in the hope that every mother’s sons and daughters will understand and lead them.

  61. 91 D from Indiana
    November 23, 2009 at 19:07

    The greatest threat to our planet is the lack of IRREFUTABLE evidence tying our actions to global warming.

  62. 93 Tom D Ford
    November 23, 2009 at 19:07

    “paul booked dr partick michaels from the cato institute ”

    Let’s point out that the Cato Institute is not a Science group, it is a right-wing Conservative Republican propaganda organ.

    • 94 Linda from Italy
      November 23, 2009 at 22:53

      Thanks for that Tom, exactly what I was thinking as I listened to his rantings on the programme, this has happened quite a few times on the Beeb, when “spokespersons” are invited into a dabate and the Cato looms large, no mention of their agenda is ever made.

  63. 95 Alan in Arizona
    November 23, 2009 at 19:09

    We are obviously the Cause! Negatively impacting the environment we require to live is the Effect! We need to continually decrease our negative Effect on the Environment and positively Effect the ramifications of the actions we have Caused.

    As for the Global Warming Deniers! Please volunteer to help George W Bush build his memorial and let everyone else do something useful to help the planet!

  64. 96 Sair
    November 23, 2009 at 19:11

    The issue of ‘climate change deniers’ is yet another example of human selfishness and the inability for so many of us to accept responsibility for the damage we have caused. Our lives are totally disposable – we are born, we live out our years and die away, leaving the mess for the next generation. As humans we often shy away from accountability, and change deniers are merely following this flawed philosophy. In this case Earth ends up as the victim, but what problem is that of ours? After all, we will be gone and won’t have to deal with it. Also, I think the level of degradation on the Earth is difficult to fathom for many people and thus they question the existence of climate change as a whole. Some times if you can’t see the blood immediately you question the existence of a wound.

    Vancouver, BC

  65. 97 Tom D Ford
    November 23, 2009 at 19:14

    It is a “red herring” for Prof Lindzen to conflate “Climate Change” with changing the Planet. The question is “are humans changing our climate”, not “are we changing the planet”.

    The planet will abide long after humans are gone, but how long will humans live, will we kill ourselves off before our time by acting ignorantly?

  66. 98 steve
    November 23, 2009 at 19:15

    @ Alan

    “We are obviously the Cause! Negatively impacting the environment we require to live is the Effect! We need to continually decrease our negative Effect on the Environment and positively Effect the ramifications of the actions we have Caused. ”

    Obviously the cause? I”m curious, in your view, why did the earth’s climate change before humans ever existed? You know Alan, ever seen the great lakes? They were formed when glaciers retreated north, carving into the earth, then were filled with fresh water. Not a single human being was alive when they happened.

    I ask you, if the climate has changed before humans ever existed, how are we “obviously” the cause of climate change?

    • 99 Mike in Seattle
      November 23, 2009 at 19:20

      The data are quite clear that increased carbon in the atmosphere is changing the climate at a much faster rate than is normally seen.

      I have to ask, which peer reviewed articles have you read that counter these data?

    • 100 U-dog
      November 23, 2009 at 21:42

      Actually Steve, the formation of the Great lakes happened when the last Glacier retreated 10 to 15 thousand years ago and modern humans were in fact present. They didn’t, however, cause the end of the ice age.

      On the other hand there is considerable evidence that we may have caused the extinction of the large mammals in North America (woolly mammoths etc). Our invention of projectile weapon technology (throwing spears, bows, and slings) seems to have tipped the balance. Human technology has a way of magnifying our impact on our surroundings

      Our climate is a very robust system as long as you are not invested heavily in any PARTICULAR sort of climate. It is robust but it is delicately balanced. It has swung from very warm to very cold over the eons and each of those swings was caused by something. And as long as there was no one living here who cared, it didn’t matter.

      However, we are HEAVILY invested in this current temperate version of earth’s climate. We have… what? … 8 billion human beings all of whom want to grow crops and raise animals and eat. All of which depends on a temperate climate.
      If the climate starts swinging really warm or really cold NOW those 8 billion people are screwed (and you and I are two of those 8 billion). It might be that even if we all behaved ourselves environmentally that something ELSE might cause climate to change and we would be screwed anyway. but WHY COURT DISASTER? Behaving in ways that significantly increase the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere IS COURTING DISASTER.

  67. November 23, 2009 at 19:16

    When fuel prices were high, even climate change deniers were glad to save money with a Prius. Too bad prices are a human convention. They should reflect actual costs of pollution, military costs of acquisition, development cost of sustainable alternatives, insurance cost of climate change, and opportunity cost of a better social environment.

  68. 102 jens
    November 23, 2009 at 19:18

    the point is very simple. it does not matter if it is amn made or not. the reality is that the globe is warming and that with this warming certain causes will follow. be this more rain here and less rain there, chaning water patterns, emerging infectiouse diseases, raising water levels etc etc. the case does not matter as much as how we are humans are going to cope with these events.

    it has been agreed that these events will probably not be turned around in our lifetime. what we all need to do is plan for these events, understand how this will change the face of the globe and how we will have to adapt. i quite frankly do not care too much about the cause, but rather how we will face the changes.

  69. 103 N.J.
    November 23, 2009 at 19:19

    The man’s comments are basically false. China has already done MORE to deal with the effects of climate change than the developed world. In the last year few years they have planted more new trees, in order to suck up CO2, than all the entire rest of the world put together, and is scheduled to INCREASE this planting.

    This has been reported in many, many, places.

  70. 104 Sid
    November 23, 2009 at 19:19

    I would leave aside man-made (or rather societal) aspects such as politics, economics, costs-benefits associated with attempting to cut down our emissions.

    From a purely ecological balance perspective why is it so hard to fathom this:
    Amongst the thousands of species which share the common resources available on this planet, we are perhaps the only non-sustainable species, and we simply have to change that aspect of our existence……
    Does it matter if the temp is rising or dropping!

  71. 105 Eric in France
    November 23, 2009 at 19:20

    If we agree with the theories on climate change, which I tend to think that it sounds true. So, if, within a year, we were changing our ways of behaving, our ways of producing, our ways of consuming, what would be the impact on the climate knowing the inertia of such system?

    The second point is on communication. I hear that it is for the future generations. So, that is fine, let’s those with children and making more to pay the price. Anyway, if we see a strong impact on climate by 2050 and we shall move from 6 to 9 billions (not able to feed), who should stop making kids?

    Question to the audience: If it happens as forecast, what is wrong with loosing half of the world and possibly a civilisation? I guess it happened before.

  72. 106 spectre
    November 23, 2009 at 19:21

    Bottom line
    1) If the glaciers melt, and the sea level rises, we’ll be dealing with the migration of large numbers of people regardless of whether people think man caused it or not. This will have a huge economic impact, and could very well lead to conflict, just as the panelist feels that reductions of CO2 will lead to conflict.
    2) We’re on one planet, and the panelist seems to not believe that one population can seriously impact another population – the haves should continue having, while the have nots muddle through as best they can – we need to stop this type of thinking
    3) Why is there a belief that polution reducing technology cannot lead to economic propserity?
    4) From the US standpoint, we should eliminate subsidies for gas, so that the US people can see what prices the rest of the world pays, and perhaps will have greater incentive to persue other energy sources


  73. November 23, 2009 at 19:22

    “Perhaps it is high time that the precautionary principle was applied in a way that trumps cost–benefit analysis in climate policy making.”

    A call to reason
    Nature Reports Climate Change
    Mark Charlesworth & Chukwumerije Okereke

    PS: Yes, to your opening question. In all their forms, from misled individuals to befuddled professors to bought-and-sold economists to hundred-million-dollar lobbying houses like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

  74. 108 Tracy in Portland,OR
    November 23, 2009 at 19:22

    I’m with Smogranch, population is the real problem. We cannot avoid the disaster. It’s not if, it’s when and just how bad. Our planet is in constant flux. We are either entering into or emerging from an ice age. That is natural. It just moves too slow for humans to notice. Until now. We have sped up the process. We can see the glaciers disappearing in a lifetime now. There are too many of us to shift across the surface of our planet to move to liveable climates. Forest fires, and crop failures from draught. Flooding from unstable weather and to much human created run off(like asphalt covered land). Rising ocean levels and dillited saline of the oceans. Only creatures capable of rapid change will survive. Humans will. But not all of us. Not even half of us.

    Portland OR

  75. 109 Dan
    November 23, 2009 at 19:22

    @Jodie in Virginia
    By making an ad hominim attack unsupported by data you devalue your point.
    Do you really believe the hysteria surrounding Global Wartming because of sugar overload from those that look at scientific data?

  76. 110 steve
    November 23, 2009 at 19:23

    This is pathetic, that people are trying to compare questioning climate change with denying slavery, or might I even say the holocaust? It’s just a way for people to silence opinions they don’t like. Even your most basic courses in high school you learn that the earth’s climate has always changed, regardless of whether people existed or not. It depends where the earth is in the solar system, the orbit, the amount of sunspot activity, etc… It’s really sad how people are trying to silence other people. This is like the show from Friday, where you basically can silence any critic of Obama by saying their opinion must be out of racism.

    • 111 Mike in Seattle
      November 23, 2009 at 19:32

      Come on Steve, show us the papers from peer reviewed journals supporting your point of view. Show us the data telling us that humans have nothing to do with it.

  77. 112 Tom D Ford
    November 23, 2009 at 19:26

    The Nov 2009 Scientific American magazine article “A Path To Sustainable Energy; by 2030″, Mark Z Jacobson and Mark A Delucchi is a very encouraging article about the beneficial economics of cleaning up humanities act concerning the burning of Fossil Fuels, and it will not cost what the ranting fear-mongering Deniers allege.

    The Deniers are spreading FUD, Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt.

  78. 113 Elina, Finland
    November 23, 2009 at 19:29

    I tend to think that one of the biggest threats is our own indifference. On the other hand the problems and issues seem to be so huge that they can cause feelings of powerlessness, inadequacy and frustration which then lead to apathy and inablity to care about the consequences any more. People give up as they think and feel there is so little they can do to change things for the better, after all.

  79. 114 steve
    November 23, 2009 at 19:30

    The great irony here, is the greater threat is from global cooling, as the earth is due for a large meteor or a very large volucanic eruption in the not too distant future. These are so catastrophic, that they block sunlight for years, and much of the world’s lifeforms die out due to the cooler temperatures and the lack of sunlight, which plants need to grow, and animals eat plants. While sea level rises could be negative, and will limit land area, that’s peanuts compared to a catastrophic cooling scenario, which is inevitable. Yellowstone national park is one of the largest volcanoes on earth, and it’s due to europe. When it erupts, scientists believe that over half of all living t hings in north america alone will die. Not if, but WHEN it happens. We should try to improve our space technolgoy to predict and try to deflect asteroids, or to prepare for eruptions, but climate change people would whine that rockets pollute.

  80. November 23, 2009 at 19:30

    Those who still harbor real doubts about human-caused climate change (as opposed to regional weather fluctuation), AND the risk of it’s acceleration, don’t seem to have examined the preponderance of evidence developed over the decades. But that wouldn’t include those who seek to mislead through the misrepresentation of findings. Including what the models are best at projecting and how they’re doing up to this point, and what the net costs of mitigation are. Their role is to avoid or delay coordinated action for political or ideological reasons. That to me is morally reprehensible, considering the potential impacts on so many future generations.

    We should be using our time and energies fostering the development and wide, more economical implementation of efficiency and alternative energy technologies. And that time IS limited, given the lag of “thermal inertia”, and the apparent long-term dominance of amplifying feedbacks.

  81. 116 CJ McAuley
    November 23, 2009 at 19:33

    Let us all assume that the planet Earth is 4 billion years old. Do we honestly believe that the human species, with barely 2 thousand years of “recorded” history, is now having a lethal effect on the earth based on industrial activity over the last hundred years or so?! Context is everything, as always.

  82. 117 Dan
    November 23, 2009 at 19:35

    We are wasting out time and polarizing people trying to decide who is responsible , if anyone, for whatever is happening with the Global Climate.
    I believe the answer is how to deal with the effects of what is happening to the climate.
    If though you truly believe that human cause all of the recent climate ills you must also accept that Human behavior can more easily be modified through incentives and NOT new taxes.

  83. November 23, 2009 at 19:36

    Just what might a ‘climate change denier’ actually be? The term makes zero sense. Who denies the climate changes? It just seems to be a pet term for some to try to lob about to pigeon hole those who have a few questions on the ‘solely man made orthodoxy’ currently under some scrutiny, which I rather thought a national broadcaster committed to ‘watertight oversight’ might feel is rather pejorative to use in balanced, objective reporting and moderated debate.

    This potentially corrupted input from one (though ’til now major and oft quoted source) is a hard to swallow that does not a summer make, but the defensive knee-jerk from some quarters – especially the BBC’s science and climate-related teams – is hard to fathom. And only leads to further questions.

    We have blogs going up and down here like yo-yos, and prim hands-off justifications oddly not applied very consistently on most other occasions. What is going n?

    I have to say the net result is that when I now hear that ‘the science is settled’ or ‘it’s OK because it’s peer reviewed’, my eyebrow will from now on be cranked even higher than currently.

    That these terms are the ones used most often by government ministers and BBC ‘reporter/editor/analysts’ is more than a worry.

  84. 119 Joost van Keulen
    November 23, 2009 at 19:37

    reaction to Mr. Cristopher:
    why do you want to make dikes?
    You keep highering them, and if there will exist a gap, the problems will be even bigger.

    Joost from the Netherlands

  85. 120 Charles
    November 23, 2009 at 19:39

    All of your guests who believe deniers are helpful are all making claims about the financial impact of doing anything about the environment. The suggestion that we build dikes to stop flooding shows how short sighted these people are. Everything that we do as nations requires capital but it’s passed time we stopped looking at our immediate preoccupations and started thinking about the future. If all we worry about is economic prosperity we will never address any of the global social issues that we face.

  86. November 23, 2009 at 19:39

    My question is, where’s the mainstream climate expert in the discussion today? Seems like the guests today are either non-experts or fossil-funded contrarians with a record of misrepresenting the facts. What gives?

  87. 122 Wil in Oregon
    November 23, 2009 at 19:42

    One of the guests is saying that we can just adapt to climate change instead of trying to reverse it. I must ask: what about those who cannot adapt? What about the poor who are suffering from drought, or from flooding? And what about the ecosystems that will be destroyed by global warming? What about polar bears?

  88. 123 Francisco, from Huelva - Spain
    November 23, 2009 at 19:42

    Hi, I’m not scientist but I’ve read that in the past the Earth’s temperature has changed several times for natural causes during million years. In my opinion is clear the blame on polution, CO2 and so on to this current global warming, but scientist who think the contrary has the right to be heard without being considered as a threat.

    • 124 Wil in Oregon
      November 23, 2009 at 19:45

      I wasn’t aware that these “scientists” were being deemed a threat. They are not a threat because the majority of scientists have found global warming to be a sound theory and there has been no contradiction of it.

  89. 125 nik_from_Russia
    November 23, 2009 at 19:45

    even if we aren’t cause of climate changes we should try to change this tend. If we are not sure about whether we are cause or not but by the time we find out it for sure it can be late to take any action. So we have to make our best in order to reduce our influence on the environment reduce pollution and even if we afterward find out the we wasnt cause and climate would changes despite of our efforts so at least we will be sure that we had done everything what we could.

  90. 126 John in Salem
    November 23, 2009 at 19:45

    Mike in Seattle~
    You’re wasting your breath. 1 person in 10,000 might know what the scientific method is and how it works and the rest aren’t interested in learning. They were taught by an either/or, true-or-false Industrial Revolution model of education that is only now beginning to grasp it’s irrelevancy and you can’t expect them to go back to square one.
    Personally I think we passed the tipping point some time ago and we’re already seeing the start of a cascade effect. Where it goes from here is anybody’s guess – evolution doesn’t lend itself to prediction.

  91. November 23, 2009 at 19:46

    The claim that the recent temperature trend is downward is false. It has been disproven repeatedly in scientific publications.

    Those who reassert that false claim of declining temperatures are climate change deniers, pure and simple. That’s definitional. When they don’t admit as much, like some of your guests today, they are not just deniers, but deceptive deniers.

    We are not tired of the “hype” around climate change.

    We are tired of time wasted in good shows such as this going around in boring circles with Cato Institute professional market fundamentalists, professional propagandists for the fossil fuels industries.

    Let’s discuss what to do about climate change! We need to get to work on this planet!

  92. 128 Frank
    November 23, 2009 at 19:48

    Al Gore has made tens of millions of dollars in carbon-tax-credit business consulting fees. Goldman Sachs is ramping up the financial machinery to reap profits from this latest financial scam. Global warming is a scheme for perpetuating US financial hegemony. Let’s invest in bettering the lives of the poor and disenfranchised, rather than pumping yet more investment into the pockets of the already wealthy.

  93. 129 tekkooo
    November 23, 2009 at 19:50

    If we were to destroy our mother earth due to climate change. I just wonder, who is to lose the rich or the poor? Proportionately, the rich would definitely lose more. Anyway, the poor are in no way be able to do anything about the in coming disaster. So, please leave Africa out of it.

  94. 130 ben in indy
    November 23, 2009 at 19:51

    who are these idiots that need things explained?

    simple experiment; light a fire in the middle of a room with the windows open – you can live that way but it could be cleaner.
    now in the same room close the windows and light 20 more fires.

    how hard is it to wrap your head around that?

  95. 131 Kate M.
    November 23, 2009 at 19:51

    I know this is off topic and I have not read all the comments so I don’t know if anyone else brought this up…Whether or not humans are causing climate change shouldn’t we take steps to cause less damage to the earth? I’ve always had the opinion that climate change or not we need to preserve what we have.

  96. November 23, 2009 at 19:52

    What I see both in this blog and elsewhere on the web is fundamental misunderstanding of the issue. This is about the risk of rapid climate change during the biodiverse, populous holocene interglacial, and it’s impacts on today’s ecology and societies. Cumulative human pressures are accelerating that change toward something inherently difficult and costly to keep up with.

    See this:

  97. 133 Wil in Oregon
    November 23, 2009 at 19:54

    One of the claims is that measures to mitigate climate change will cost the world trillions of dollars. Does this account for the kickback of renewable energy and the billions saved avoiding costly hurricanes like Katrina? Renewable energy will replace conventional energy, and eventually the costs will be made back up – like a solar panel on your house costing 600 dollars to put up, but repaying itself over a span of a few years.

    • 134 Kenn
      November 23, 2009 at 20:31

      You’re not going to stop a hurricane by not pumping out CO2, thats ridiculous.

      There has ALWAYS been powerful hurricanes and there always will be. They just wont all HAPPEN to run into a city below sea level that stripped away all their protective natural wetlands and didn’t maintain their levies to code.

  98. 135 Will, British Columbia
    November 23, 2009 at 19:54

    good debate today, I am of the opinion that we can find a middle of the road solution to our problems, both sides have there extremists but they both have something to say. Living in northern bc for almost thirty years I can tell you that we have felt the effects of climate change, milder winters, beatle infestations in our forests, flooding, salmon stocks in decline, glaciers I saw as a child that continue to recede. Its a shame our government is reminisent of the the old bush era thinking at the moment.

  99. 136 Tom D Ford
    November 23, 2009 at 19:54

    That guest is dissembling about wiping out economies by going clean. Going clean will boost long term sustainable economies.

    The three ways of lying are Deletions, Distortions, and Generalizations.

  100. 137 mers in Oregon
    November 23, 2009 at 19:55

    I am a climate change scientist. I can attest that there is NO question among the science community on whether humans are affecting Earth’s climate. The rate at which the climate is changing is the evidence. No natural process changes the climate as fast as we are witnessing and has the correlation to CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions. The debates that exist among us in the scientific community is how fast the climate will respond in the future to mitigation efforts on the part of mankind. What I mean by this is, if we stopped all CO2 emissions tomorrow, it is certain that temperatures will keep rising until a new climatic equilibrium is established. How long and by what magnitude? Since we know that we will not be ceasing emissions tomorrow, how do we model changes in emissions and their affect in the long term?

  101. 138 Alex
    November 23, 2009 at 19:56

    I live in Bucharest, Romania. When I was little, in the 1990s, there was snow from early December to early March. Since around the year 2000, there has been little to no snow. Please tell me that climate change is not real.

    For those who don’t think climate change is real, I give them 3 facts: Larsen B, melting permafrost, the melting Greenland ice sheet.

  102. 139 David Waln
    November 23, 2009 at 19:58

    Science is about our best attempt at not fooling our selves in all the usual human ways.

    The problem we have with our current concerns about CO2 emissions and possible catastrophes, is very much like our concerns with Saddams nuclear capabilities. We can’t know enough to prove anything for certain. And, we don’t want to err on the wrong side of a potentially catastrophic unknown.

    So, while a ‘consensus of scientists’, about something that cannot be proved, should be an oxymoron, it may be the best we humans can do when confronted with a potentially dangerous unknown…., at least for now.

    Lets keep doing science and encouraging the discovery of more knowledge about climate systems.

  103. 140 jens
    November 23, 2009 at 19:58


    there is absolutly no evidence that katrina was due to global warming. this is the kind of nonsense and fake scientific claim that discredits the real debate.

  104. November 23, 2009 at 20:01

    Kevin, you’re absolutely right. Only if you cherry-pick a single base year, 1998 (in the Arctic-omitting CRU data), can you claim slight cooling or a “pause” in global warming. 1998, of course, was biased to the upside by a strong el niño (a source of cyclical variability related to ocean-atmosphere heat exchange), for now making it a good starting point for climate contrarians. It’s fine to include 1998 in a multi-decadal baseline, but since climate (vs. weather) is about averages over more than a decade, it’s scientifically invalid to use that single year as a basis for comparison. Just as it would be invalid to start with a cool la niña year to assess a temperature trend.

    It’s also interesting that at least two of the guests want to abolish the IPCC. How convenient it would be to eliminate the organization responsible for hashing out an international consensus based on the peer-reviewed and re-assessed literature (as watered down as the language can be when all international delegates must sign on).

  105. 142 Alan in Arizona
    November 23, 2009 at 20:03

    @ Steve!

    Yes! It’s proven that climate change has happened before. I doubt man has had much of an effect in previous climate changes. Brontosaurus Land Mines probably had a greater effect. But it should be obvious that we are effecting this current change at a greatly increased rate compared to the past. The temperature changes that have been recorded in the past 50 years have taken 100 of years in previous occurences. No one was dumping millions of tons of evaporated Chemicals from paints, solvents, cleaners, oxidizers, catalysts, strippers, glues, fumes and particulates from plastic processing, fuel burning, food processing, metal smelting, and cows burping in previous climate changes. Now we are!, and we need to be thinking about the increased effect it will have. We don’t have hundreds of years to fix the slow change. We have only decades to fix an escalated dumping of pollution in to a fragile environment. We don’t have to be smarter than a Fifth Grader to realize that.

  106. 143 Josh in Woodburn, OR USA
    November 23, 2009 at 20:05

    I just don’t buy the idea that there is a conspiracy of some scientists to skew data. What would their motivation possibly be?
    On the other hand, the motivation of those who wish to deny climate change and any related reforms is quite clear: money. Always follow the money.

  107. 144 Alan in Arizona
    November 23, 2009 at 20:06

    @ Ben

    I love your analogy! They should use that experiment on the Copenhagen attendees! Lock them all in until they all have a light bulb glowing over their heads!

  108. November 23, 2009 at 20:11

    “Question to the audience: If it happens as forecast, what is wrong with loosing half of the world and possibly a civilisation? I guess it happened before.”

    Not quite like this.

    If we don’t get serious and start meeting strong targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, we’re looking at a worldwide environmental disaster and extinction event comparable to the asteroid impact that wiped out the big dinosaurs.

    Civilizations have collapsed before. We look back and wonder how they let it happen.

    But this time the environmental disaster is not just regional or even continental. By digging up millions of years worth of stored carbon and putting it into the atmosphere in just a couple of centuries, our global industrial system has set in motion the possibility of the first truly global collapse of civilization.

    We can still prevent it if we focus, but we have got to get to work and meet strong carbon reductions targets – starting now and going on for generations. This is the nature of the new world we have created.

  109. 146 Tom D Ford
    November 23, 2009 at 20:13

    WHYS, you undermine your own credibility when you have on blatant political propaganda groups like the long discredited CATO Institute.

    At least Lindzen is a scientist, with knowledge of the scientific method and with Critical Thinking Skills, and who can come up with reasonable questions.

    If you are going to debate science, please invite on scientists, not CATO political ideologues. There are plenty of dissenting scientists.

    Yeesh, what a disaster of a show, this one was.

  110. November 23, 2009 at 20:14

    In the week after 9/11/2001 with all air traffice shutdown around the world, there was a noticeable change in the temperature around the world and the reflectivity of the atmosphere. That week proved in a dramatic way that we do indeed effect climate.

    Listening to the show it is astonishing that the debate was not really about climate but almost a debate about the world views of Aristotle vs. Descartes. You actually had one of your guests say that “Mother Nature will take care of the problem.” That’s the pre-1660s world of things having inherent qualities. Tables have table-ness, rocks rock-ness.

    This is a failure of education and teaching scientific reasoning.

    The glaciers of Greenland are melting, the snows of Kilimanjaro are almost gone and the rates of melt exceed any “naturally” expected rates. This is observable and real and large effects.

    If someone sitting on his couch in the Midlands or at MIT decides that all this doesn’t matter because they don’t think it is real they are, pardon the expression, blowing out their asses.

    It is not a debate when one side has data and experiment and statistical predication and the otehr side has navel gazing.

    It is a tragedy.

  111. 148 Jerry
    November 23, 2009 at 20:22

    Regarding Professor Lindzen:

    His beliefs regarding the origins of global warming aside, he once again proved himself to be below a standard of academia that remains open to mitigating evidence, instead making pronouncements as if he knows all. At the very least, a gentleman would have given the Kenyan gentleman the time to finish his statement.

    Furthermore, his inability or unwillingness to recognize that cultures have historically been able to make educated weather forecasts based upon the current conditions they lived in, albeit neither perfect nor complete, denies the very foundation of the science that he practices. He missed an opportunity to make a contribution to the dialog by his insolence. Too bad. He seems pretty smart.

    The most disturbing phenomenon being demonstrated by the global warming dialog is the understanding maintained by so many people that economics trump everything. The developed world, as a whole, seems to live so far beyond the concerns of meeting our essential life requirements that it wrongly values everything that comes from prosperity. If a large percentage the developed world struggled to eat due to weather induced food shortages, the debate would change.

    Jerry in Ohio

  112. 149 Adam - NYC
    November 23, 2009 at 20:28

    I understand the need for those so called specialist on this program to make a case against “fix climate change” movement. If you can’t bring about change or make something of yourself in a process – join the opposition. Not original, but it will get the egomaniacs what they are looking for – attention. With that said, no – we should not pay attention to these people.

    On important matter – the way we go through natural resources and produce waste must be stopped, and the only way you get people to obey by it is through taxes.
    Once people see money flowing out of their pockets, maybe they will think twice before using water hose to remove leaves from sidewalk etc.

    Only putting real value on these resources will give it real value.

    …and one more thing – even if we can’t reverse climate changes, just think what if:
    no more oil spills killing coastline life
    no more supporting terrorists every time we refill our cars
    less kids born with respiratory complications and asthma
    more rain in regions of Africa and other where the presence of CO2 particles in the atmosphere prevents rain from actually falling etc etc etc.

    • 151 Bert
      November 23, 2009 at 21:13

      Specifically, toward the middle, in the Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide section, look at the contribution of human activity to the total global CO2 exchange. The number 8 gigatons of carbon is quoted in many places as the human contribution, so I am reasonably confident that it’s a good estimate. What makes it interesting is that in the above document, they compare that number with all other CO2 exchanged on an annual basis.

      Which, of course, is the only reasonable thing to do with a number.

  113. 152 Jennifer
    November 23, 2009 at 20:45

    After listening to the program today, I was ashamed by the lack of professionalism displayed by the professor from MIT. He may very well be a respected scientist; however, he is an extraordinarily poor communicator. As a professor of rhetoric, I was dismayed to hear someone who has advanced degrees from our most prestigious universities be absolutely unable or unwilling to communicate his own perspective. Rather than explaining his points or perspective, he resorted to name calling, and even hung-up the phone when he found himself frustrated at his own inability to engage in reasoned debate. This speaks volumes about the arrogance and hubris of some scientists, and also speaks to the problem mentioned by an earlier poster who noted the consistent inability of science to communicate the results of the studies that they deem oh-so-important for “progress” (whatever that may mean). What I heard on the program today was mere dogma – I wish that you had a participant who could actually engage others and explain a position without resorting to the embarrassing ad hominem so prevenlent in the program today.

  114. 153 Guillermo
    November 23, 2009 at 20:57

    The petroleum companies must know something of this. In the North Atlantic the melting of ice and icebergs is a reality. The Gulf Stream is warming up and eventually creating the warming of the atmosphere. The norwegians have been extracting oil from the sea because the ice is melting and uncovering this fields of oil. The scientists have been researching from some years ago.
    The G-8 have this vital information but they don´t loose the news. An Ice Age could be the result of this. An Europe is the target. If they are going to make a discussion on this theme, that would be wrong. They must show the facts and the possibilities that something worse will happen if the G-8, especially USA don´t take the right measures.

  115. 154 U-dog
    November 23, 2009 at 22:01

    Ros, could you please post the names, Institutions, and other info about your guests today? and everyday?

  116. 155 Phil Jones
    November 23, 2009 at 22:42

    Global population is by far the greatest obstacle to a fulfilling future.

    Either humanity can figure out how to reduce population or mother nature will do the job herself.

    The UN IPPC plan is all about wealth redistribution. They are also aiming at a scenario where only a small elite proportion of the world’s population will even travel by air — because taxes on fuel will make it too expensive.

    The world’s resources do not share very well with a population increasing through 7 billion. It was only 150 years ago that the world’s population was just one billion.

    Remember also that sea level has risen approximately 120 metres over the last 18,000 years — and it’s still rising.

    People who live on river deltas and flood plains are going to have difficulty staying dry.

  117. 156 Laurie, OR USA
    November 23, 2009 at 22:48

    Something like 95% of active climate researchers conclude that a significant fraction of 20th century warming was due to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, and that by 2100 the human contribution will be totally dominant if we don’t change our energy production methods.

    So, why do shows like WHYS today provide a forum for two of the world’s most prominent deniers, and only have two (weak) proponents of the consensus view? If you want the public to know what scientists really think, you should have had 19 scientists from the “AGW” camp for each denier.

    So, the media are keeping the “debate” alive by skewing the talk show guest lists towards “fair and balanced”. I don’t have any problem with Professor Lindzen publishing research that challenges the current paradigm, but giving his view equal or higher weight to the “AGW” scientists is irresponsible.

  118. November 23, 2009 at 22:49

    It is little wonder that the general public are scepticle. They are badly informed by both the scientists wishing to hang onto there grants, the uninformed media and government self interest in leaving things as they are.
    I have sent press releases to the BBC for one and never got an acknowlegement. All our latest work is on our website and although I have thousands of visitors it seems to me that nobody in the media or government really wants to read anything that doesn’t agree with their own preconcieved ideas.
    Almost free energy is available and has been for some years now but any news of it is being smothered by both the oil industries and the government who make a fortune on the taxes they impose on the current polluting energy sources..
    Tony Palfrey

  119. 158 Peter
    November 23, 2009 at 23:18

    As a Professor of rhetoric? Missed out on logic then. So what is it, media studies?
    It would be comic if it weren’t for the fact you’re clearly American and that country has in many ways the best and the worst of academic standards.

  120. 159 Linda from Italy
    November 23, 2009 at 23:21

    It seems pure common sense that if you pump vast quantities of a particular substance (CO2) into a complex system, it is going to have an effect. The CO2 comes from the activities of the human race so why is anyone surprised at the effect in question and the cause of that effect?
    Leaving aside the warming question, the early 20th century saw massive pollution in London, the famous smog, that the Clean Air Act did away with through limiting coal-fired emissions. California seems to be waking up to the smog problem, just as Athens is (eventually). I seem to remember the Chinese govt. going into panic mode to save their precious Olympics when the air pollution levels threatened to persuade top athletes, and many potential visitors to pull out. Pollution, which what we used to talk about in the 70s/80s was actually perceived as a problem as it was nasty and affected people directly.
    Then there is deforestation causing desertification, the list is endless – American dustbowl anyone?
    The fact that so many people seem to lack the sheer imagination to be able to make the more abstract, intangible connections and visualise the consequences is depressing in the extreme. However, as all those gainsayers like to claim, the whole thing is cyclical, this must spell the end of the particularly unfortunate cycle that was once the human race, who will go down screaming that their ideology was right, as they await the coming of whatever ET they think will carry them off to heaven, while the rest of us, capable of rational thought, will be conveyed to the fiery furnace – ironic really when we were trying to stop the fire.

  121. 160 John Sylvester
    November 23, 2009 at 23:24

    There is no scientific proof that climate change is due to CO2, it is all scientific prediction and computer models. The climate is changing, but it always has.

    Any change in climate is a natural phomenon and well beyond the power of man to influence it. This should not be confused as many people do with the conservation of natural resources.

    If any agreement is made in Copenhagen, the only sure thing is, it will cost us more in taxes.

    • 161 Laurie, OR USA
      November 24, 2009 at 17:42

      Really simple physics, understood for well over a century, says that increasing CO2 increases the Greenhouse Effect. For the amount of CO2 that human activity has put into the atmosphere since industrialization, we expect (and see) a significant increase in global averaged temperature.

      The onus is on the deniers to prove that the really simple, well understood physics of low-wave radiation absorption and re-emission by greenhouse molecules is wrong. And any time you say “well beyond the power of man to influence it”, you need to provide proof.

  122. 162 claudine
    November 24, 2009 at 01:35

    Right, but who can do anything against those nations who think:

    Better to be rich now. Who cares about the future generations?

  123. November 24, 2009 at 04:19


    I am Philip from Mumbai in India.

    The Government here advocates climate change BUT the various political parties down play this by permitting their part supportors by encouraging them to denude the country side and the urban areas where they encroach on open spaces by cutting down trees, blocking water ways and building on water transmission sources such as main water pipes and other ways.

    So does India subscribe to Climate change, then the answer is NO.


  124. November 24, 2009 at 05:39

    Hello, I feel an attempt is being made to side line the importance of scientific data.
    Okay, some scientists tried to manipulate things. That doesn’t imply that all the scientific proof is incorrect. We still have to deal with climate change & environmental degradation of our globe.
    This is turning into a dual between industry friendly & environment friendly peoples.
    Everybody is trying to prove he or she is the only person who is right. Isn’t there a middle ground where we can all meet?
    When I go out I have to breathe toxins & feel awful. I will have to drink smelly water that makes me sick. People who are fighting, let me tell you if you keep fighting, all the Human beings will have to suffer. Please stop fighting whether some data is correct or not. Please do something about the air I breathe & the water I drink.
    Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa

  125. 165 Tan Boon Tee
    November 24, 2009 at 09:34

    Not necessarily so. These deniers do not really constitute the greatest threat to our planet.

    The worst are the ones who preach one thing and do exactly the opposite. Just look around, they are all over the place, especially in the rich nations.

  126. 166 Heli-Skier
    November 24, 2009 at 18:11

    How about 35 BBC staff flying to Copenhagen next month ?

    Yes f-f-flying. Then partying.

  127. 168 SIMONinRio
    November 24, 2009 at 23:42

    For those of you who have not yet heard one credible argument against doing something, here it is. We will all be dead in 100 years and what happens after our death doesn´t matter. it is not actually my opinion, but someone has to say it. I firmly believe that everyone will follow their own perceived self interest and do nothing and let nature take its course. It´s easier to persuade people to evacuate the world´s cities as they become repeatedly flooded than it is to persuade them to cut their lifestyles. Yes, they will talk and make agreements, but it won´t make much difference. We would really need to go back to 1890 levels of emissions and i doubt that 1990 is even on the table. Prepasre for the worst. When a major event kills say 35 million somewhere in Asia after failed monsoons, then perhaps another world summit will be convened. Sure, climate-change deniers use dodgy science and take full advantage of the huge unknowns in climate prediction, but they argue this way because the argument “we should carry on as usual and *&$# the consequences if millions of our competitors die – they´re producing more CO2 than us anyway” is not politically acceptable, but that´s what they really mean. Please forgive me for playing the devil´s advocate here, but I suspect human nature will win the day.

  128. 169 SIMONinRio
    November 25, 2009 at 00:47

    OK let´s think outside the box. cap carbon emissions and make it a crime under international law to ship fossil fuels to countries which are above their cap. Abolish fishing quotas for 10 years but prohibit engines (yes, go back to sails). Abolish international tourism by air.

  129. 170 Heli-Skier
    November 25, 2009 at 13:43

    Yeah – change the lightbulbs or we’re all gonna die….

  130. 171 BOB RYAN
    November 26, 2009 at 17:00

    I think greedy – power hungry people are the biggest concern personally…

    Money created from no-where to pay bankers whilst our fellow human beings starve and live in rubbish dumps….we all need to have a word with ourselves. Its embarrassing.

    I think the mass media blackout in the UK, with the exception of the Mail, on the story of the ”Leaked emails” shows that this topic is very one sided and the ”Deniers” are not having an equal platform to voice their data.

    No one can deny that humans are polluting the earth in certain places, but anyone who has ever travelled around the world can tell you that this planet is not over populated at all. Of course there are areas that are but if you travel in Australia or the US, or even through Scandinavia, for instance, you can drive for days and not see another person. Sea water could be pumped via De-salination plants as they use in Dubai, to help populate many corners of the world….

    There will always be an air of suspicion when it appears anyone is making a profit and taking advantage of a situation..Al Gore?

    The BBC should film two 1 hour presentations in seperate studios – run live on BBC 1 and 2 and then repeated so you could see the one you missed, featuring the top people from each camp – Pro man made vs Anti man made. Scientists could then take the data and peer review it and the public could then debate it properly. . . it would be a start.

  131. 172 SteveinLondon
    November 26, 2009 at 19:49

    What Africa needs is free trade not AGW propaganda. Shame on the BBC for their bias in support of the warmists. It is very sad that the people who believe in man made global warming (AGW) are also mostly the ones who support the EU and vote for governments who do not believe in freedom and free enterprise thus making everyone poorer as a result.

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  132. November 28, 2009 at 20:18

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  133. December 13, 2009 at 09:35

    If the predictions by climatologists that ice-melts wiil see coastal inundation of low lying continental plains, then we have irrefutable science that the masses of fresh water will stop the Gulf Stream circulation of warm currents leading to a mini ice-age in the North Atlantic.

    Henry Casson

  134. 175 tariely
    January 16, 2010 at 20:32

    Climate will chnge after million million year even a factory cannot change it to quikle!!!

  135. 176 Paul
    January 18, 2010 at 17:52

    Deniers are not a problem. Nor are skeptics. We should all be skeptics. Many would have us believe that climate change and AGW are the same thing. They are not. And “Climategate” suggests AGW might be a hoax.
    Climate is about science, not belief…or consensus.
    Climate is changing. Science doesn’t know why. Any other presentation is distortion for political ends.
    Regarding that, I recommend the “Open Letter To Chairman Pachauri by Lord Christopher Monckton,” a recent open letter to the head of the IPCC. It exposes distortion of data by the IPCC in their climate presentations and astonishing conflict of interest at the IPCC.
    I also recommend all interested in this topic read Jo Nova’s “The Skeptics Handgbook.”

  136. 177 Loknath Chugh
    January 19, 2010 at 19:45

    First of all stop thinking so much and so deeply. If it is changing then accept it and don’t be worried. When first word came into existence the foundation of religion was laid down and then politics,countries, money,racisim, science, technology,planner,researcher,politician,rich,poor,religious priest,astrologer,economist,scientist,professionist,recession,law practioner and so on. Whether anyone has ever given a thought to this the words are most strongest weapons than anything else. As they first came into existence so it doesn’t mean that we know much about everything and all things. We all know very little but we boost up too much. The death and birth are two picture which we think are different but it is not. They are represented by different words it doesn’t make them separate. We all are made of nature, for nature and act as directed by natural force. We are occupying very small place in the heart of nature. Nature is to be worried about its health and it knows how to make its health prefectly well. It cries and express anger when it is not happy. The recent example is an earthquake in Haiti and Tsunami. But one thing which we all should remember the use of words should be limited as they disturb nature peace than anything else. It shall be wrong to state that we have made so many things and gave a peaceful life to the people(Nature). If we can’t solve our minor issues related to people of the World then how we can focus on this big issue and perhaps nature may not allow us to do this.

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