climate Security Mar '14


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

Climate Skepticism: Today’s Witch Hunt and McCarthyism

Although the Salem witch trials took place in the 1690s, witch hunts are still used as a tactic of social persecution and a means to censure and demonize those who do not conform to the climate orthodoxy. From Salem to McCarthyism to today’s increasingly strident attacks on so called “climate skeptics,” witch -hunts are a […]


Funding Flows for Climate Change Research and Related Activities

A little over four hundred years after the Salem witch trials, witch-hunts are still used as a tactic of social persecution and a vehicle to censure those who do not conform to a special interest agenda.   From Salem to McCarthy to today’s attacks on so called “climate skeptics,” witch-hunts tear the fabric of a […]

The ‘Skeptical Seven’ Witch Hunt is Just the Beginning

Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) has sent letters to universities requesting information on the sources of financial support of seven climate researchers. A few of these might well have some portion of their funding come from energy companies, I don’t know. The implication, of course, is that research money from fossil fuel companies to any skeptics […]

What to call a NYT reporter of climate science?

The title of Justin Gillis’ recent NYT article is an excellent tip-off of how bad environmental reporting has gotten: What to Call a Doubter of Climate Change? Now, as a skeptical PhD climate scientist who has been working and publishing in the climate field for over a quarter century, I can tell you I don’t […]

What We Are Reading

Historic climate data provided by Mediterranean seabed sediments

“Given that much climate change is cyclical”, prof. Martínez points out, “predicting the evolution of future climate and its control mechanisms, both natural and anthropogenic, requires a proper understanding of past climate systems, and of the response of its different components (atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere) at a scale larger than that of instrumental record.”

Without evidence, Arizona rep questions climate scientist’s impartiality

Why has Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona who sits on the Committee on Natural Resources in the House of Representatives, written to the employers of several climate researchers to question whether they have undisclosed funding from the energy industry?

Climate models underestimate temperature variability

Future surface temperatures on Earth could be far more variable than currently predicted, according to researchers in Norway. The scientists believe the problem could be solved by improving the description in computer models of the atmospheric boundary layer under conditions of “stable stratification”.

Partner & Fellow Blogs