We need a new debate on climate change

Roger Harrabin is the BBC’s environment analyst. This is an email he sent around to BBC News journalists and with his permission we’re republishing it here. He’ll be on this show to discuss why the whole climate change debate needs to be reset if any sort of construction conversation is to be held.

Commenting on climate change for the popular media is a miserable business – especially when it involves attempting to convey subtle and complex information whilst being interviewed live.

Sometimes I pity those scientists, politicians and climate sceptics who try to make their case on the airwaves. And I am more convinced than ever about the new for a new language of climate change, based not on scientific certainty but on uncertainty, risk and values.

Because the inquisitorial style of media interrogation based on the “Battle for the Scientific Truth” or the “Search for Right and Wrong” regularly forces commentators into statements that are not quite accurate and often not helpful.

In one recent broadcast, for instance, I found myself uttering the words: “So climate science has not changed, but public opinion is changing.” Now, this statement is at once right and toe-curlingly wrong. I’ll explain how we got to it.

We started the 2-way (in the BBC that’s what we call an interview with a correspondent) skipping through the news about the latest deadline for announcing controls greenhouse gas emissions. So far, so straightforward.

Then we delved into the scientific controversies that have dominated headlines – the embarrassing Climategate, the inexplicable Glaciergate and the inconsequential false alarm over Amazongate (which I discussed in my last column).

Then to the broadcast words I regret in my upsum for this list of scientific factoids: I declaimed that despite the media frenzy recently, climate science hasn’t changed – but the battle for public opinion is changing.

On one level that’s correct, on another it’s nonsense. Studying the climate is the most complicated systems science ever attempted, and in all sorts of ways the science is changing all the time.

There were, for instance, two important scientific advances last week – or at least, they look important from the point in understanding that we’re at now. Both of them narrow bands of uncertainty.

One shows how the oceans and forests conspire to increase man-made warming, but by not nearly as much as previously believed. The other shows that shifts in water vapour in the atmosphere have contributed to recent temperature changes.

Based on past evidence, both studies suggest that the high extremes of climate projections may not be realised. This is good news (although some scientists warn that the climate may be much more volatile in the future).

The bad news is that the authors of both studies insist that increasing levels of CO2 are stressing the planet beyond its capacity for self-regulation. And CO2 emissions are booming and will continue to do so, the way global politics is going.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t plenty of uncertainties about what will happen. The trouble is that the climate debate has become so febrile that the people who govern us, and thus our emissions, are loath to mention the U-word.

You have to survey the history of the debate to see why: from the early days when climate science was emerging, the fossil fuel industry funded multi-million dollar campaigns promoting uncertainty to delay action to control emissions.

Climate scientists have grown used to reacting in a predictably defensive way, and that bunker mentality partly underlies the refusal of UEA to release raw data to be picked apart by people they have come to regard as the enemy.

The polarisation has left casualties on both sides, with some of the individuals questioning climate science with a properly sceptical mind – and they are almost all individuals rather institutions – accused of being lackeys of Exxon Mobil, or of being climate change “deniers”, a divisive and insulting term which simply inflames the situation.

The politicians are casualties too. Imagine the hypothetical broadcast interview:

Minister: “Of course, there are still uncertainties over how exactly the climate will change, but…”

Presenter interrupts: “Sorry, minister, did I hear you say there are uncertainties, with people’s fuel bills rising. Are you telling us you are not 100% certain about all the science???”

Now you can see where this is heading, and in a spin-savvy world most politicians have decided that this is not a profitable route to follow. But in my view their tactic of declaring war on sceptics and denying that debate exists is also almost certainly counter-productive, as well as being wrong.

What we need is a new discourse which acknowledges the majority view on climate science, accepts uncertainties and encourages debate among scientists over their observations of the world – a debate framed in the language of risk and uncertainty in which economics and societal values play a central role.

Will we see such a debate? Don’t bet on it. It’s much more journalistic fun to have combatants throwing bricks at each other. The pity is that it’s public understanding of climate change that’s being damaged, and maybe the planet as well.

45 Responses to “We need a new debate on climate change”

  1. 1 patti in cape coral
    February 1, 2010 at 14:28

    As I said elsewhere in the blog, I like hearing reports from people actually in the arctic, and in particular, people who have been studying it for a long time and can tell you what has changed. I guess this isn’t hard science, maybe it’s strictly anecdotal, but it is the kind of story that is more convincing and easy to believe, because you are hearing from someone who is actually there, living it. It’s hard to relate to the science sometimes because scientists with opposing views often both have “evidence” to back up their claims, and both sound plausible.

  2. 2 username
    February 1, 2010 at 14:59

    Of course no presenter would ever ask those sort of tough questions, as they all buy into the climate change myth

  3. 3 Roberto
    February 1, 2010 at 15:05

    RE “” The pity is that it’s public understanding of climate change that’s being damaged, and maybe the planet as well. “”

    ——— The public don’t understand most of what their governments already do or don’t care, so why should climate change be any different?

    The public just wants the governments to get on with “it,” whatever it is that is to be done. The impasse is that the pols and bureaucrats don’t understand science and the scientists are a poorly organized and untrustworthy bunch incapable of building trust.

  4. 4 Martyn
    February 1, 2010 at 15:23

    A better understanding of science would be a great help. To a scientist, “uncertainty” is something to be measured and reduced as far as possible – but there will always be some and scientists are comfortable with it. To the average member of the public however, uncertainty can simply mean there is no point doing anything – which is a huge misunderstanding.

    I’m puzzled as to whether people accept uncertainty in som areas, but not in others. When a doctor warns someone their relative is gravely ill and perhaps has only 6 months to live, how many people respond by saying “Are you sure its six months? Not five months, or 8? Oh, so you can’t be sure? Well why should I believe you at all then?”

    Or when people put money in an investment policy or pension, they don’t insist their financial advisor knows nothing because he can’t exactly predict the yield.

    I suspect it is because in those positions people have little choice but to trust the doctor or advisor. With the climate, they can decide to believe someone else and avoid making changes

  5. 5 Guido, Vienna
    February 1, 2010 at 16:11

    A main problem is trust in science. Most of us, including myself, do not understand the reasoning of climate scientists. Nevertheless many of us challenge the results of scientists.

    The proposed new debate should be based on scientific results and focus on what to do about climate change.

  6. 6 audre
    February 1, 2010 at 16:20

    There are only two things to consider. One the climate is changing and two we are polluting the planet.

    Whether the climate is changing because of man’s actions makes not one whit of difference to how we should behave with respect to the wholesale damage we are doing to the place we call home.

    Does it matter what we believe? There is no doubt we should change our ways, is there?

    • 7 Kate M.
      February 1, 2010 at 17:14

      Exactly! I think we get caught up in the politics of it. Whether we are to blame for the changes or not, I want to drink clean water and breathe clean air. Pollution is making that harder and harder to do.

      • 8 patti in cape coral
        February 1, 2010 at 19:45

        I agree with Audre and Kate. We might as well change our ways while we sort it all out, couldn’t hurt, could it?

      • 9 TomK in Mpls
        February 2, 2010 at 04:20

        I agree to all this. Now what about those that want to totally overturn political structures (global laws enforceable by what?) and entire industries to reduce pollution/inefficiencies. Personally I’ m not ready to embrace a new world order or new economics conceived in haste and totally untested. Once industry recognized the benefits of efficiency on every level, they have exceeded every governmental guideline. As a serious question, how can you out perform those driven by profit?

  7. 10 Jagjit Singh Mukandpuri
    February 1, 2010 at 17:07

    Debates for the betterment of humanity should be after some time and be updated, by ingnoring hows & whys.

  8. 11 John in Salem
    February 1, 2010 at 17:11

    Einstein once said that no amount of experiments could prove his theory of relativity but that one experiment could disprove it.
    Because of the general lack of understanding of the scientific method the average person hears a statement like this and concludes that science is just a guessing game, even when surrounded by a world built of scientific achievements. People who are hostile to the concept of evolution seize on the idea that it’s “only a theory”, without understanding that in science a theory is a working model – not simple speculation as the word is used in literature.
    We’re able to send spacecraft to Mars based on theories of planetary movement and build hydrogen bombs based on atomic theory and people accept these things without any understanding of the mechanics involved, but when a concept is something they don’t like the sound of it’s suddenly just an idea. People are told that scientists have agendas and that they set out to prove things – things which no reputable scientist would ever do – but controversy sells air time and truth is usually the first thing to go out the window.
    The solution to the problem of global warming requires real changes and real sacrifices. Knowing that by the time warming has become undeniably obvious and that people will still be denying the causes, I’m finding it impossible not to be pessimistic about the future.

  9. 12 bjay
    February 1, 2010 at 17:29

    YE !
    We have people more concern for the near future;
    job, mortgage payment, etc,etc.
    Humanity, the ‘average Joe’ doesn’t care for twenty years down the rode.
    WHAT’S NOW the concept, good old capitalisim.com?


  10. 13 TomK in Mpls
    February 1, 2010 at 17:59

    I think the problem is people that think the idea has to be sold via the popular media. It is a baseless assumption. I know the scare is big business. But keep in mind, for every big oil company without parallel alternative energy ventures, that is looking to ‘hold power’, there are dozens looking to make money knowing oil will not last forever. Oil is going away, though slowly now.

    As alternatives are made practical, they will sell. Most people want them. This is the hope for the future. The rest is ego masturbation.

  11. 14 Alan in Arizona
    February 1, 2010 at 18:42

    I think what would help people understand regarding a new discussion, would be a visual guide.

    Something simple like the food pyramid they use to have. Shouldn’t be to hard.

    Have groups for various sources. Don’t forget a group for the average person who pollutes. It would be to difficult to list all of the chemicals that we blast into the atmosphere, so you could reference them by type and list them in a separate document.

    There are so many chemical constituents they we emit. The only people who see them are the individuals in a company that reports them, the government employee that briefly reviews them and the scientist or researcher that references them, but just can’t get anyone to listen to how much is really out there.

    We only hear about carbon foot prints, and credits and a whole bunch of technocratic gobbledegook that 99.9% of the world does not have the technical knowledge to comprehend. We need a good basic guide for the average person, so they can understand just how serious the situation really is.

    Maybe what would help is to take the Biosphere here in Arizona and convert it for an experiment on the effects of the poluttion over a period of time. Add all the chemicals we use today in approximate rates that they are used. Run the experimental model at an excellerated rate, so we can watch the effects of what earth will be like in 50 years. We have the technology.

    Do we have the foresight to really deal with the problem before we can’t?

  12. 15 Gary Paudler
    February 1, 2010 at 19:00

    There can be endless debate and many people are more comfortable with debate than with action, even precautionary action. What is the purpose of debate? Is it really necessary that a majority of the scientifically illiterate public understand and agree? The debate will be fun and stimulating and immensely complex and nuanced – a very rewarding activity in itself, but there is more than adequate consensus among the vast majority of serious, qualified scientists that the climate is changing and we can alter our activities to slow or reverse the change and that failure to do so now will likely make it impossible to do it later. There is no “Gate” to climate, glacier or Amazon. No conspiracy to alter perception or outcome, only human weakness and the individual, ill-directed impulse of a statistically insignificant few. If the media pounced on every instance of deliberate disingenuity on the part of bought-and-sold “skeptics” the way they do on the vanishingly few short-cutting or inarticulate scientists who are the subjects of hysterical “Gates”, then the “debate” would be revealed and understood by the public to be a fabrication of interests vested in the climate-destructive status quo. How is it that the leaders of most countries in the world are able to lead their people to address this most urgent crisis while the leaders of the countries with the economies most dependent on profligate consumption of climate-changing resources, and industries with out-sized influence on their political processes still dither and dissemble and accept and support scientifically disprovable obfuscation?

    February 1, 2010 at 19:01

    I often come here to bring my own ideas sometimes naively believing that they will influence a change for the betterment of life in our subuniverse called the earth. Sometimes I am shocked by truth as it relates to us. But truth, as I have come to discover has many shades depending on how we are formatted by the market of ideas.
    In this debate, it is much like the debates about the wars and other shenanigans of mankind. What I am talking about is the fact that there is debates and there is reality too. It pays sometimes to be a fence sitter like I want to do right now about it – switch of the radio and the telly because I fear that sometimes we want to be bombarded with more ideas as if there is not enough every 24 hrs. Luckily I still hold the switch to allow this or not. Like the scientist, the politician, the skeptic – I too have private life to appraise – its now my debate; it is ours and I think I must give others time to enjoy themselves. I have no blue blood I tell you – I will be obliged.

  14. 17 Chintan in Houston
    February 1, 2010 at 19:38

    This is dead conversation, the two sides are so polarized that people you believe in it want something done and who don’t want the status quo.

    More than 95% of scientisists around the world believe in it and a very small number don’t. People might be believers, non-believers and skeptics but they are not experts.
    Too much airtime and print media has given importance to ones that want to refute the claim even though they are so small in number.

  15. 18 Jack
    February 1, 2010 at 19:45

    There’s no debate; I’ve seen the cores (ice and pollen) and climate change is incontrovertible. The problem is with scale and affluence: there are six billion people on the planet and a global economy, largely dependent energy harvested from heat produced from burning fuels.

    Whose population has to decline? Which peoples are denied the trappings of affluence, such as automobiles, plasma TVs and other heat-producing instruments? And who gets to give all of that up?

    Press the reset button on the debate, if you like, but the above questions will be asked–and answered–soon enough.

  16. 19 Marley in the Everglades
    February 1, 2010 at 19:49

    This is why I don’t participate in climate change discussions: the topic has become too polarized.

    If I offer my opinion, I will either find people who agree with me or people who will immediately leap to personal attacks. I have no need to have a discussion with people who agree with me. What can they give me to think about? And I won’t talk with people who feel the need to insult me because of my opinion. There’s nothing productive in that.

  17. 20 jim biddle
    February 1, 2010 at 19:50

    The debate on emissions and climate change seems very silly in many respects

    Climate is going to change, it will get warmer, it will get colder, that appears to be the lesson of the last five billion years or so.

    Should not the debate center on what humanity is willing to do to adapt to climate change as a concept, warm or cold, rather that hyping a single input in a period of time that is trivial in the scale of Earths climate history?

    What if, it actually gets colder and we wasted all our efforts on the single minded belief that it was carbon and we decimate our economic base, and then find out we guessed in the wrong direction? Seems at this point despite the science, no one really truly gets what causes climate swings on this planet, no?

  18. 21 A.J.
    February 1, 2010 at 19:51

    We must discuss global warming in the most simple terms, emphasizing the factual impacts it is having and will have on the average person, simple solutions we can all work toward by making easy adjustments in our daily lives, not blaming others, but taking personal responsibility for ones own contribution to the problem. We cannot continue to beat people over the head with the facts that are constantly being challenged regardless of the overwhelming scientific evidence. Deniers must begin to accept, reluctantly or not, that it IS happening and that we ALL must come together to find solutions. I never thought it might really be getting too late, but that is becoming a real fear.

  19. 22 Skeptic UK
    February 1, 2010 at 19:53

    So we’re all to stuipid to understand the science and so we turn off or get angry. No one denies climate change, they deny the impact of man made Co2 on global warming. The climate ‘changes’ all the time, how could anyone deny this. The only answer to reducing Co2 significantly is mass inflicted poverty or a new breakthrough technology. Cap n trade is a scam.

    • 23 Jim Wood
      February 3, 2010 at 00:53

      Skeptic UK appears to be one of the people who accept the possibility of climate change but deny that mankind is largely responsible. This seems to be the most dangerous attitude to combat……..people who accept climate change but deny responsibilityy. However; there are examples of significant changes directly attributable to uncontrolled agricultural practises that seemed fine to the people at the time. The Sahara desert was once the bread basket of the Roman Empire.
      The early American settlers were directly responsible for the Dust Bowls of the mid-west. The uncontrolled felling of trees is known to have led to run off of rain water causing loss of top soil and catastrophic flooding in places like Bangladesh. Ask the Israels where and why the Dead Sea is going. The industrial revolution poisoned thousands using what were thought to be harmless materials such as lead and asbestos. There are dozens of similar examples all over the planet – all attributable to we humans.
      The time has come for us to play safe. We simply dare not risk ignoring the warnings.

  20. 24 khan sahab
    February 1, 2010 at 19:55

    I think too much power is vested with two few people at UN. The power to make decision regarding acceptance of responsibility should vest with individual citizens. All that infrastructure owners do is facilitate environment friendly decisions in cost efffective way.

    February 1, 2010 at 19:56

    The scientists and politicians alongside with sckeptics want to just have empty debated. The rest of us want to do away with inaction and lethergy – just talk talk. They even want to reinvent journalism – we have a right to ignore them and tell them to be confined to their labs.

    That guy talks about what gets him angry. He is not even a good debator.

  22. February 1, 2010 at 19:58

    Is there anyone out there conducting research which is unbiased? Open minded just trying to discover what is going on

  23. 27 piscator
    February 1, 2010 at 20:06

    Climate change is a subset of overpopulation. That is too difficult to be discussed. So it isn’t.

    • 28 Gary Paudler
      February 2, 2010 at 07:39

      Actually, it’s not. The most populous countries, with the highest birth rates, only produce a fraction of the climate-changing emissions per-person that countries with low birth rates, like the US, Canada, the UK and Australia, do. Overpopulation causes many political, social and environmental problems and absolutely must be addressed, but it does not correlate directly with climate change. I’m sure that it was not your intention, but blaming overpopulation for climate change has been used as a device for shifting responsibility for the problem from developed nations with the greatest ability to address the issue, and the greatest historical and current responsibility for creating the problem, to the poorest countries that have exploding populations but little responsibility for the climate crisis and very limited ability to solve it.

  24. 29 RyanT
    February 1, 2010 at 20:14

    On that first bit, I didn’t mean to suggest that Harrabin was part of that effort to over-emphasize uncertainty, but those are two studies that are already being latched on by dedicated climate contrarians. And some journalists seem to add fuel by propagating an assumption that is most likely wrong, at least in case of the water vapor issue. There is still no strong evidence that WV is a climate FORCING factor, excepting small amounts in the stratosphere derived from methane decomposition. The vast majority, in the troposphere, is an amplifying EFFECT of surface warming.

  25. 30 gary indiana
    February 1, 2010 at 20:27

    The fact that a definitive debate about global climate change is needed does not mean all of us need be part of it. The fact that we have been so, along with the fact that it is easy to voice great regard for human life without actually having such regard, are the reasons so little progress has been made both in curbing carbon appetites and in addressing problems whose solutions are not so trivial. I can suggest only this: “If one actually cares enough to help people, then the precise reasons for their distress are unimportant.” Or another way, “If one doesn’t give a damn if people die because of climate change, then please honestly so state.”

  26. 31 KevinPE
    February 1, 2010 at 20:39

    @Gary Paudler

    Firstly since when was science based on “consensus”? This is probably the most deluded form of learning – True science is by nature skeptical and must stand the test of scrutiny. Also whether the scrutiny is coming from a statically small minority is irrelevant. Where would science be today if the “consensus” of The Church was not challenged by the “statistically minor” Galileo? Again It is nuisance to propagate the idea that all “deniers” are funded by “big oil – big tobacco” – while their hand is surely present, it is also ridiculous to think that they are not also highly present in the control of “alternate energies”. Just do some research and one can follow the money trail, with some surprising results. Instead of fighting one another let us use all our talents in finding real alternatives based on honest, open, transparent and practical solutions – not money making scams.

  27. 32 Idris Dangalan
    February 1, 2010 at 21:05

    Here in Africa or Nigeria we have’nt to experience any climate changing, since I was I in secondary-school our Geography master used tought us the type of climate in Nigeria: am in Kano (it is Sunny) nothern part of Nigeria while Lagos (it is rainy througt-out the year) western part. World’s climate need an emergency focus.

  28. 33 Snairad
    February 1, 2010 at 21:56

    There is one force at work and that is the consumption of energy. Once humanity has gotten the taste of the modern lifestyle; there is no going back. We are artificially supporting a growing and hungry population that wants to live like the average American or European. We are going to keep growing and consuming until all resources and energy sources are used up. Even non-polluting “green energy” could be problematic. We’ll solve the climate problem but that is only part of the problem. Green energy is a step in the right direction, but it will still fuel our consumption and growing problem. The real question is: Can we regulate our global population, economies, and governments to coexist with a healthy planet or will we overstretch ourselves and completely use up every last resource?

  29. 34 Bert
    February 1, 2010 at 22:21

    I’m so gratified to see that the discourse has changed from one of “religious belief” to one of “do the safe thing.”

    As several bloggers have already said, whether or not human-generated CO2 causes global climate change, it makes sense reduce the effects of human activity on the planet. Certainly can’t hurt to do so. Just let’s get away from the tunnel vision of human CO2 production being to do-all and end-all.

  30. 35 Guillermo
    February 1, 2010 at 23:26

    Roger, roger, the second is to say that I am in your mood. I asked some days ago to Ros Atkins, why nobody has spoken about the Maya prophecies. I told him not in the Hollywood style of the picture. But in the scientific pose of research. Surely the Mayas and other civilizations new about this “climate changes”. What they meant is that there are cycles in the life of Earth and that this things occur certain number of years. Also that the CO2, the green house effect and other “scientific” matters do not apply to the life of Earth. To consider the Earth as a living entity is not a new approach. The civilizations that sprouted along this years knew about the theme. Certainly from the view of Science is nonsense. But the knowledge accumulated during thousands of years is more precise than all the parafernalia of technology that we see until this day. Ros was busy in Haiti, and surely he hasn´t thought that what happened there could be predicted if the ancient knowledge wouldn´t be destroyed or mocked. I have asked to scientists and their answer is silence.
    I think they have never heard of the Chilam Balam. Or maybe the leaders of some countries don´t want to speak about this for not causing panic.

  31. February 1, 2010 at 23:29

    What we really need is a new debate on what can be done to reduce any affect that man is having and what alternatives are available to us as sustainable energy production methods.
    As Chairman of a scientific group what amazes me is that real alternatives to man made industrial production of CO2 are still being covered up and smothered by the oil and related industries and that western governments are still conspiring to allow them to achieve this.
    Virtually free energy has been available for years but the average member of the public has never even heard of these alternatives, they haven;t been allowed to.
    Do you know that whole nations are paid off not to allow developement of anything that may hurt the oil industries? Well it’s a fact and I can provide examples.
    Time is coming when it will all be hot air anyway and the world as we know it today will no longer exist and it may well not be a hundred years away. Our oceans are right now being poisened by an increase of CO2 causing an increase in our oceans water acid content and we are already losing many species that form an essential part of the food change. Our coral reefs are crumbling. How much more proof does the world need to take this seriously?

    • 37 KevinPE
      February 2, 2010 at 09:58

      Tom – glad to hear alternates ready to take over ,but like most of us do not know what these are and whether they are practical and cost effective and large- scale enough to supply global energy needs. I would really love for us to move away from fossil fuel based energies, but am sceptical over whether these technologies are advanced enough to be phased in over a short period, not to mention the reported staggering costs. Could you please inform us about these new advances.

      • February 2, 2010 at 17:39

        I am not sure whether this is allowed but anyone interested is welcome to visit our website http://www.thegeniuscircle.com and see the many articles there on the subject. I would suggest you also check where possible the links provided to various youtube links and websites.
        Anyone wishing to look into it further or who has questions related can message me direct there and I will be pleased to answer you.
        All of this was first broadcast in America as a possibility in 1980 but as it represents basically free energy available to all, it was viewed as as a threat to world stability and especially to the automotive and oil industries.
        Many who would have liked to speak out about this have found their funding under threat or feared it would be.

  32. 39 T
    February 2, 2010 at 01:16

    “it’s more fun to throw bricks at each other.” This confirms the MSM Talk Show Rule #1: Even if you agree with the other person, it’s way cooler to scream at each other like you disagree.

    Which means there’s a profit motive all around:
    The energy companies, the consultants, the pundits.
    The authors, the talk shows that book them. And the lecture tours that they do.

    If a talk show had a reasonable debate between two experts on climate change with no screaming, would the show be cancelled? You can say all you want about we go with the top stories. But along with that comes some sense of responsibility to present a balanced argument to present the facts. And sadly, the MSM refuses to do this.

  33. 40 T
    February 2, 2010 at 01:19

    In a sense, “debate” about climate change in many ways is like debate about Israel. What do the people who say it’s fake do? Almost every time they try to snowjob the opposition with facts. Talk over them and throw out tons of information to make them look bad. Instead of actually listening to them and responding.

    If you really want to get your point across, what good is it to just scream and insult the other person?

  34. 41 vijay pillai
    February 2, 2010 at 04:13

    It reminds me of those who dont do an honest work for their course work but make use of their team mates’s work and in the process also include the irrelevent indentations also copied and got caught by the instructor who is supposed to correct their work. Time of new leadership as demanded by a leading newspaper for climate change to get the trust of not just the believers but the non- believers of cliamte change is man made. No amout of verbosity from the now discredited leadership would do and it i were the real scientist like physicist or chemist or biologist ,i would not likel to be led by an engineer with doctotrate in economics since it is more of dealing with real science and not voodo economics or industrial economics we are dealing with but future of mankind and the need to be investing billions based on real scientific evidence.

  35. February 2, 2010 at 16:31

    china and india developing rapidly
    millions new cars

    all emiting co2
    its not possible to halt climate

    how do scientists relate to the carbon emmisions market

    carbon being a commodity
    the marker already worth billions and billions of pounds


  36. 43 JanB
    February 2, 2010 at 19:58

    First we need better education. It is just amazing that in a highly developed country, like the one where I live, science class does not even explain the scientific method and the reasons behind it. This is ridiculous in our modern world and it breeds stupidity, like we can see from this climate “debate”. Maybe instead of having them cut open frogs, we’d better let our children learn about the scientific method and how science actually works. It’s absurd people are willing to accept the counterintuitive science of quantummechanics and general relativity while they refuse to believe anything about global warming. Uncertainty is a part of science and it always will be: there’s always the chance that God is messing with us and feeds our eyes and instruments false readings and there’s always the possibility that goblins and dragons exist but that we just haven’t found any, so why aren’t the so called “climate-sceptics” afraid of dragons and goblins when they go camping?

  37. February 3, 2010 at 07:30

    Very informative and interesting article. Thanks for sharing I have learned alot!

  38. February 3, 2010 at 13:08

    The climate debate has been going on for ever. I think not until things reach extreme shall a solution be found. But by then It may be too late.

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