December 2, 2009

Human activities are the primary driver

With all the hysteria about climate change following the Liberal leadership disaster, it’s easy to be caught up with the notion that there’s a huge backlash against action on climate change, or policies to reduce carbon emissions (eg. the CPRS).There’s even been talk around the pro-climate action groups that the science has been seriously compromised due to the hacking of emails from the Climate Research Unit in the UK.

Possum has a great article on the fraud that is the “anti-climate action community backlash“, with the results:

Total Support for a generic ETS has dropped by 2 points — not a significant change. What has occurred though is that the “Don’t Know” camp has crystallised out into opposition to any ETS.

Real Climate, a website created by real, actual, climate scientists (rather than paleontologists or physicists) has written an interesting refutation of the notion that the hacked CRU emails undermines climate science:

It’s obvious that the noise-generating components of the blogosphere will generate a lot of noise about this. but it’s important to remember that science doesn’t work because people are polite at all times. Gravity isn’t a useful theory because Newton was a nice person. QED isn’t powerful because Feynman was respectful of other people around him. Science works because different groups go about trying to find the best approximations of the truth, and are generally very competitive about that. That the same scientists can still all agree on the wording of an IPCC chapter for instance is thus even more remarkable.

And rounding out the discussion about climate change and politics, here’s a link to an old article from Climate Progress about 18 leading scientific organisations writing to US Senators arguing that human activities are the primary driver of climate change:

Dear Senator:

As you consider climate change legislation, we, as leaders of scientific organizations, write to state the consensus scientific view.

Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.

These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science. Moreover, there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change will have broad impacts on society, including the global economy and on the environment. For the United States, climate change impacts include sea level rise for coastal states, greater threats of extreme weather events, and increased risk of regional water scarcity, urban heat waves, western wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems throughout the country. The severity of climate change impacts is expected to increase substantially in the coming decades. [See Footnote #1 below]

If we are to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, emissions of greenhouse gases must be dramatically reduced. In addition, adaptation will be necessary to address those impacts that are already unavoidable. Adaptation efforts include improved infrastructure design, more sustainable management of water and other natural resources, modified agricultural practices, and improved emergency responses to storms, floods, fires and heat waves.

We in the scientific community offer our assistance to inform your deliberations as you seek to address the impacts of climate change.

(Original source.)

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