Saturday, March 26, 2016

Don’t Even Think About it - Climate Change

I have been thinking about how Global Warming, or Climate Change, is dealt with by the mainstream media and how the use of language and terminology impacts upon public perception and the priority paid to it by our politicians. Here Skeptical Science highlights the ‘consensus gap’ which some have thought to be the result of the media’s need to provide a ‘balanced debate’ and an avoidance of alarmism.

George Marshall’s highly regarded bookDon’t Even Think About It – Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change”, argues that our brains are motivated by ‘social facts’, the views of people around us, rather than scientific facts, and that we better accept that the common ground between us will overcome the most impossible tasks.

Of course it all depends on who you socialise with and what media you read, so here’s a selection to get your cerebral App (brain) working on overdrive …

“The departures are what we would consider astronomical,” Blunden said. “It’s on land. It’s in the oceans. It’s in the upper atmosphere. It’s in the lower atmosphere. The Arctic had record low sea ice.” “Everything everywhere is a record this month, except Antarctica,” Blunden said. “It’s insane.” – NOAA Climatologist Jessica Blunden, February 2016

After a succession of the hottest years and months ever recorded, climate is a hot topic, writes Liz Hutchins. But BBC1's 'Big Questions' climate change debate last Sunday completely missed the point. Instead of debating the only real question - how should we respond? - the BBC ran yet another repeat of the so-over 'believers versus deniers' ding-dong. Why do they still not get it?

Last month must go down as one of the worst ever in the annals of climate change, writes James Dyke, with parts of the Arctic 16C hotter than usual and the 'safe' warming level of 2C breached across the Northern hemisphere. But even worse is the near-total lack of reaction from business, politicians and media.

The devastating effect of climate change could be much worse than what we first anticipated, scientists have said. They warn that the rise in global sea levels could increase by “several metres,” resulting in major cities being submerged. Lead researcher and former NASA climate scientist, James E. Hansen told the New York Times: “We’re in danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control.”

The term 'global warming' has a reassuring, comfortable sound, writes Jim Hansen. But paleoclimate data shows the reality could be anything but, with rapid climate oscillations, large, abrupt rises in sea level, major disruptions to ocean circulation, and massive superstorms. It may already be too late to forestall this dystopian future - but then it may not be. So let's act while we still can!

This might come in handy though …


  1. This might help too ...

    A global move to a vegan diet would prevent millions of deaths, cut planet-warming emissions and save a billion dollars annually in healthcare costs and climate damage, scientists have found.

    But then, as you say, who cares about evidence?

  2. Or it might not