ClimateGate news

Sunday, April 8, 2007

A Climate of Intolerance

An interesting article from the Times Online:

Facts, not emotion, should inform discussion of climate change

Few scientists or rational politicians doubt that global warming is a serious issue that poses long-term dangers to the planet. The scientific evidence that the world’s climate has changed and that this change is accelerating is convincing. But it is also beyond doubt that the world is in danger of being held captive by powerful lobby groups that have distorted data, made unjustified extrapolations and attempted to stifle debate on one of the most important issues of our time.

The warnings issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Brussels yesterday are a collection of worst-case scenarios. The report, approved by 130 governments and endorsed by 2,500 scientists (few of whom probably had any hand in writing it), makes scary reading. It predicts a catastrophic future for millions of humans and other species. Global warning will bring hunger, floods and water shortages. Greenhouse gases will change rainfall patterns, intensify tropical storms, accelerate the melting of Arctic ice and mountain glaciers. Africa faces starvation, coastal cities will be swamped and China will see the rapid advance of the desert.

Some of these dangers may well be real. But many are deliberate exaggerations, as the IPCC’s mandate was to highlight the dangers if global temperatures were to rise by up to 4C (7.2F). That assumption is far from proven. But it is enough for some environmental groups to speak of “an apocalyptic future”, a “nightmare vision” and a “humanitarian catastrophe”.

Every group is entitled to lobby hard for its cause. But to jump on a band-wagon and blame everything on climate change is neither good science nor sound lobbying.
Emphasis added.

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