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The Daily Dystopia

Published 01st October 2009 - 1 comments - 791 views -

The British Met Office has warned that catastrophic global warming — 4C or more — could happen within our lifetimes. This was revealed at the &beyond 4 Degrees conference in Oxford during the week. Meanwhile, the Guardian had a story on the conference that was sub-headed "Leading climate scientist criticises Bush administration and points to general ignorance of global warming in US public polls". One would imagine that a "Leading climate scientist" would be aware that President Bush is no longer in office, but we all know that these academics live in ivory towers. Still, they should try to keep up to date, no?

But maybe this "senior climate adviser to the German government" who called the US "climate illiterate" and "gave a gloomy assessment for a deal at the all important Copenhagen climate talks in December" knows exactly what he's talking about and it's the Guardian that's lost in time in space. "US inertia could scupper world climate deal in Copenhagen, says expert" comes with this delightful footnote: "In the article above we said that the US has by some distance the largest carbon emissions per capita in the world, what we should have said is the US has some of the highest carbon emissions per capita in the world. This has been changed."

But it's not shoddy journalism that makes climate change skeptics sceptical. It's the growing evidence that theories predicting catastrophe from man-made climate change are impervious to facts. The theories are unfalsifiable and no one knows how many years must pass until the evidence fits the hypotheses. Meanwhile, time is running out. I think.

Category: Climate Reporting, | Tags: media, skeptics, oxford, uk, met office, apocalyptic,


Claire Roche Kelly on 01st October 2009:

Actually, ivory towers aside, I believe the said academic was describing how eight years of the Bush administration has led to climate change knowledge in the U.S. as eight years behind most of the rest of the world.

The fact that the U.S. is only now really re-engaging with the international negotiation processes surrounding the Kyoto Protocol (negotiations that have been on-going since before 1997), means there’s a whole lot the U.S. has missed out on, and there’s a whole lot they’ve to catch up on…

Falsifying hypotheses is a time-consuming business - what about our beloved precautionary principle?

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