Monday, 30 November 2009

The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy

What has climate change got to do with tobacco, asbestos, and CFCs? All these products have been the subject of PR campaigns concocted by various industry groups. Their intention, and effect, has been to muffle and delay the impact of emerging research into the harmful effects of these products. Similarly, the recent hacked email controversy has been seized on by climate change deniers to allege censorship on the part of climate scientists. This is just part of the quite organised campaign to blunt the impact of mainstream climate science. This lengthy but quite fascinating post from Dr Jeff Master's Wunderblog is both an expose of denialist tactics and a review of 'Climate cover-up' by PR practitioner James Hoggan, which details the amorality of these manipulative campaigns.

Friday, 27 November 2009

China announces climate targets

China announced on 25 November that by 2020 it will cut its emissions per unit of GDP by between 40 and 45 per cent relative to 2005 levels. This announcement followed Barack Obama's announcement of US carbon emission targets. Read the rest of the story from New Scientist.

Past climate anomalies explained

Lead paragraphs from the BBC story:
"Unusually warm and cold periods in Earth's pre-industrial climate history are linked to how the oceans responded to temperature changes, say scientists.
The researchers focused particularly on intervals known as the "little ice age" and "medieval warm period".
In the journal Science, they report that these climate "anomalies" were likely caused by changes to El Nino and the North Atlantic Oscillation."

This story, interesting in itself, gained an addition dimension for me when I recognised the name of the lead researcher, Michael Mann. Professor Mann (as climate mavens will know) was one of the researchers named in the emails recently hacked and publicised on the Web. (These emails are being represented as evidence of a conspiracy to stifle dissent in climate research - see the NYT story here.)

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Climate change 101

Andrew Revkin, the New York Times blogger on climate change, has contributed a topics page on climate change to the NYT . Anyone who would like a basic and up-to-the minute guide on the science might like to check it out. In his blog post on this topic Andrew said it will be a work in progress.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

A surprising sneak peek at the clothesline revolution

Can we save the world by hanging our clothes on a line instead of using a dryer? Maybe not, but there is an interesting movement in the United States, Project Laundry List, to encourage line drying clothes. Maybe this is not such a big deal in Australia (we all hang our clothes on the line, don't we?). However, this article from Grist has some pertinent information about how the movement arose, some of the roadblocks in its path, and how it is trying to change people's behaviour and raise their consciousness of green issues.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Walk against warming 2009

Walk Against Warming

12pm Saturday 12 December

State Library, Swanston Street

Walk Against Warming is Australia's biggest day of community action on climate change. The Melbourne event will begin at 12pm, Saturday 12 December at the State Library, Swanston Street. As World Leaders are gathering to discuss what action they are prepared to take on climate change, we'll be walking down Swanston Street to Princes Bridge, where we'll form a giant human sign to send them a message that Australians want a safe climate future. Details at Please RSVP if attending.

walk against warming human sign melbourne 2009

Run for a Safe Climate

Run for a Safe Climate

2pm Sunday 29 November

St Kilda Sea Baths, St Kilda

Run for a Safe Climate is a 6000 Kms run, from Cooktown to Melbourne. Twenty-five emergency workers, policemen and fireman, are running to raise awareness of the need for a strong government response to climate change. They are also running to highlight the solutions that already exist to deal with the problem. The run commenced on 2 November, and will finish at the St.Kilda Sea Baths, St.Kilda Beach, at 2pm on Sunday 29 November. Here, until 5 pm, there will be a free celebration, with bands, entertainers, celebrities and children's entertainment. Details at Please RSVP if attending.

run for a safe climate