Saturday, April 07, 2007

Scientists & Governments Argue Over Climate Change Language

I guess the United States isn't the only country where the government tries to tell scientists what their data actually says or should say. According to articles out in news media around the world, China, Saudi Arabia and other countries have joined the United States in requesting/requiring that scientists tone down the dire warnings contained in reports on Global Warming.

From the LA Times:
A new global warming report issued Friday by the United Nations paints a near-apocalyptic vision of Earth's future: hundreds of millions of people short of water, extreme food shortages in Africa, a landscape ravaged by floods and millions of species sentenced to extinction.

Despite its harsh vision, the report was quickly criticized by some scientists who said its findings were watered down at the last minute by governments seeking to deflect calls for action.
Much of the article in the Charlotte Observer was similar. It was written by an AP reporter. I noticed it did leave at all mention of the dire effects in North America. Hmmmm.....funny, the Associated Press would toe the Bush line....again. Sad, for us that the Observer chooses to do the same. Fortunately, we can still find better, more independent reporting from the LA Times.

They end their piece:
The U.S. delegation opposed a section that said parts of North America could suffer "severe" economic damage from climate change.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said in a prepared statement that political agendas need to be left behind and quick action taken to cut emissions.

"Global warming is already underway, but it is not too late to slow it down and reduce its harmful effects," she said. "We must base our actions on the moral imperative and the scientific record, free of political interference."

Susanne Moser, a research scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., said the political changes to the report do not diminish the need for action.

"When you have it this black and white, it is very hard to deny the reality and continue to do nothing," she said. "I don't know how you do that if you have a moral bone in your body."
Horrifying and encouraging at the same time. Take these reports and imagine the news at least a little bit worse than it is and you should have a fairly accurate picture. The science of global warming is real. This isn't speculation. Please read the articles.

Here are a few more:

The source itself: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Daily Telegraph - Australia
Harford Courant - Connecticut

Oh, and if you're wondering what we can do at home besides the obvious, Tim Toben visited BlueNC yesterday and offered some simple steps. It isn't necessarily going to cost you more to save the earth.

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