Feature
Feature
climate Security Mar '14
Feature
Feature
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

Is Global Warming Causing More Snowstorms?

It has become axiomatic (and fashionable) that any change we see in nature is caused by global warming climate change. Global warming was going to make snow a thing of the past. Until someone looked out the window and decided global warming causes more snow. The epic Buffalo, NY storm this week was still in […]

What’s the Climate Pledge Worth? Absolutely Nothing

It is amazing that anyone could take this agreement seriously. It clearly demonstrates that clear thinking is a victim of zealotry. The agreement is analogous to a race between two high performance cars where the driver of one agrees to run on four cylinders. Little doubt about who wins. China, which is building a new […]

mqdefault

Will Happer, Princeton’s Galileo

Paul Budline of Princeton, New Jersey, writes: “I do documentary/video work for a living and took my camera to Princeton University last week to interview Will Happer, the physicist and climate skeptic. The resulting 4-minute video, which I put on YouTube Saturday, has been a big hit at enviro sites and FB, but it still […]

Our Snookered President

The applause for the climate agreement between President Obama and China ought to be an embarrassment.  The President was snookered and apparently doesn’t know.  China promised to cap emissions in 16 years and the President promised to increase emission reduction actions now.  What kind of deal is that?  It’s a bad economic and environmental. China’s […]

What We Are Reading

Small Volcanic Eruptions Slow Global Warming

Until now, the climate impacts of small volcanic blasts were overlooked because their planet-cooling particles cluster below the reach of satellites, scientists reported Oct. 31 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. It turns out, satellites were missing about 30 percent of these particles, called aerosols, the study found.

Climate forecasting: Build high-resolution global climate models

The drive to decarbonize the global economy is usually justified by appealing to the precautionary principle: reducing emissions is warranted because the risk of doing nothing is unacceptably high. By emphasizing the idea of risk, this framing recognizes uncertainty in the magnitude and timing of global warming. This uncertainty is substantial.

Can Climate Change Cure Capitalism? Book Review of This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate

To draw on Klein paraphrasing Al Gore, here’s my inconvenient truth: when you tell people what it would actually take to radically reduce carbon emissions, they turn away. They don’t want to give up air travel or air conditioning or HDTV or trips to the mall or the family car or the myriad other things that go along with consuming 5,000 or 8,000 or 12,000 watts.

Partner & Fellow Blogs