Thursday, 30 July 2009

Climate change Thursday #2

This week, the World Wildlife Fund has published its climate change scorecards measuring the performance of the G8 against environmental targets. Two things are worthy of note. Amongst this small group the UK does very well. However, and more noteworthy, none of the G8 get anywhere near the 'good' standard when it comes to the WWF/Allianz ranking. Here is the league table:

And here is a video that explains the findings:

Of course, climate change denial has had a new lease of life recently, hence this weekly feature that will simply present evidence and ideas. A recent interview in The Spectator with the author of the new climate change deniers bible, Heaven And Earth: Global Warming — the Missing Science, Ian Plimer is typical. The amazing thing is that all the arguments in Ian Plimer's book have been around for years and have been consistently rebutted. I particularly like these two:

- "CO2 in the atmosphere — to which human activity contributes the tiniest fraction — is only 0.001 per cent of the total CO2 held in the oceans, surface rocks, air, soils and life." Hmmmm, we've seen the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere rise by about a third in a century and guess what, the earth's warmed up and it's coincided with widespread industrialisation. As for the rest of the statement- so what?
- "There is no problem with global warming. It stopped in 1998. The last two years of global cooling have erased nearly 30 years of temperature increase.’"

Over to NASA to rebut that one.

Of course, these sorts of claims are very familiar. We hear them time and time again. You can follow the discussion in this debate on LabourList for further examples of generating heat rather than light (very environmentally unfriendly.) The argument is that Labour must become a greener party. That is right. Back to the WWF data, the government's performance on climate change probably gets a 'not bad' but much more to do. In this regard the impending closure- other than a small reasearch and development facility- of the Vestas wind turbine blade manufacturing company in the Isle of Wight is a very disappointing development.

And finally, if you are ever in need of short sharp rebuttals to climate change denial then visit the Royal Society's rebuttal site which is very useful.

More next week......

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