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climate Security Mar '14
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Feature

About

Human activity, such as the burning of fossil fuels to power our homes and businesses and changes to the land caused by the rise of modern cities and expanded agriculture, undoubtedly affect the global environment. It is the extent of that effect and how it relates to changes in the modern climate which is the subject of current scientific debate.

Wise, effective climate policy flows from a sound scientific foundation and a clear understanding of what science does and does not tell us about human influence and about courses of action to manage risk. Many of the temperature data and computer models used to predict climate change are themselves as uncertain as are our understanding of important interactions in the natural climate.

Are calls about the uncertainty in the state of scientific knowledge a call for no action? Nothing could be further from the truth. The message to policy makers is not to delay actions until uncertainties are reduced. Rather, actions should flow from the state of knowledge, should be related to a long-term strategy and objectives and should be capable of being adjusted- one way or the other- as the understanding of human influences improves. There is a sufficient basis for action because the climate change risk is real. Yet it is equally true that actions must not be predicated on speculative images of an apocalyptic vision of life in the near future.

Latest Climate Change Articles

“Peak Food”? No, the Average Person Has More Food to Eat

There’s an article in yesterday’s Independent entitled, Have we reached ‘peak food’? Shortages loom as global production rates slow. From reading the article, which is based upon a new report from two American universities and a German environmental institute, you would think that global food production is going down, while global population continues to rise. […]

New York City Gets a Taste of the Precautionary Principle

The New England blizzard that hit yesterday infamously missed its primary target: New York City. In fairness to the forecasters, there were as many weather model forecasts supporting an historic NYC storm as there were just a significant snowstorm. For areas well east of NYC, this snowstorm storm (dubbed “Juno” by The Weather Channel) was […]

The Little Blizzard that Couldn’t

It was going to be epic. The worst evah. Two feet of snow or more for New York City with blizzard conditions. But as I blogged about yesterday, the forecast uncertainty with this particular storm was unusually large. As early as yesterday noon it was looking like NYC might only get 6-12 inches. Yes, we […]

The Steady Erosion of Truth

According to an August 2014 CNN poll, “public’s trust in government is at an all-time low.  …”The number who trust the government all or most of the time has sunk so low that it is hard to remember that there was ever a time when Americans routinely trusted the government,”  This poll is not an […]

What We Are Reading

U.S. EPA chief hopes pope will spur concern on climate change

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Friday she hoped Pope Francis’ upcoming message to his flock on the environment would help galvanize concern about climate change and convince sceptics that “the science is real”.

New Study: IPCC Climate Models Fail To Explain Climate Variability

A new Duke University-led study finds that most climate models likely underestimate the degree of decade-to-decade variability occurring in mean surface temperatures as Earth’s atmosphere warms. The models also provide inconsistent explanations of why this variability occurs in the first place.

Britons believe in climate change… but do they care?

The overwhelming majority of Britons believe in climate change but fewer than one in five is very worried about it, new research has revealed. Despite warnings from UN scientists, politicians and even Prince Charles that time is running out to avoid catastrophic global warming, the number of people describing themselves as “very concerned” has more than halved over the past decade.

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