climate science

Wed, 2013-07-17 08:00Guest
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"A World That We Have to Avoid At All Costs": Gabriel Levy Interviews Kevin Anderson

tar sands smokestacks and emissions by kris krug

This is a guest post by Gabriel Levy and was originally published on the blog People and Nature. This post is Part 2 of a two-part interview with Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. You can read Part 1 here.

Gabriel Levy: What happens if the 2 degrees target is missed?

Kevin Anderson: Increasingly I hear murmurs from some policymakers and scientists that 2°C is too challenging, that we can’t do it – though such concerns are typically expressed away from more public fora. And I can certainly can understand why they are saying this. So what about a 4°C rise? That sounds more viable. The carbon budget is larger and hence the rate of emission reduction is much less challenging.

But what exactly does a 4°C increase in global surface temperature mean? Most of the surface of the earth is water, which heats up more slowly. So it relates to a 5-6 degrees increase in average land temperature. This area of science is very uncertain, but the Hadley Centre [climate change research centre at the Met Office] estimates that, on the hottest days, the temperature would be 6-8 degrees higher in China, 8-10 degrees in Europe and 10-12 degrees in New York. Such unprecedented increases would give rise to host of issues about how the aging infrastructure of our cities could deliver even survival-level services.

Tue, 2013-07-16 09:27Guest
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Kevin Anderson: "Scientists are Cajoled into Developing...Politically Palatable Messages" on Climate

Sun in the Alberta tar sands by Kris Krug.

This is a guest post by Gabriel Levy and was originally published on the blog People and Nature. This post is Part 1 of a two-part interview with Kevin Anderson of the Tyndall Centre.

The reality about the greenhouse gas emissions cuts needed to avoid dangerous global warming is obscured in UK government scenarios, climate scientist Kevin Anderson has said.

The most important measurements, of total carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, are pushed into the background – and scientists are pressured to tailor their arguments to fit “politically palatable” scenarios – Anderson told a Campaign Against Climate Change conference in London on 8 June.

The government’s scenarios assume that rich countries such as the UK will reduce emissions by some distant – and effectively meaningless – future dates, Anderson explained to more than 200 trade unionists and environmental activists at the conference.

Between conference sessions, Anderson, deputy director of the Tyndall Centre, the UK’s leading climate change research organisation, and professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester, gave this interview to People & Nature.

Wed, 2013-01-30 05:00Carol Linnitt
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Industry Money Corrupts Science at University of Calgary Research Centre

Oil and gas industry funding has corrupted research at the University of Calgary's Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE), according to former head of the centre, climate scientist David Keith.

In an interview with CBC, Keith said the research institute has been unable to balance corporate interests with its environmental research. Keith also told the CBC that the University of Calgary removed one of its academic employees after bowing to pressure from Enbridge.

“That just fundamentally misconceives the university's role,” said Keith, who now works at Harvard University.

Fri, 2013-01-25 05:00Carol Linnitt
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Canadian Scientists Must Speak Out Despite Consequence, Says Andrew Weaver

If people don’t speak out there will never be any change,” says the University of Victoria’s award-winning climate scientist Andrew Weaver. 

And the need for change in Canada, says Weaver, has never been more pressing.

“We have a crisis in Canada. That crisis is in terms of the development of information and the need for science to inform decision-making. We have replaced that with an ideological approach to decision-making, the selective use of whatever can be found to justify [policy decisions], and the suppression of scientific voices and science itself in terms of informing the development of that policy.”
 
Thu, 2013-01-03 05:00Guest
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After 25 Years, It’s Time To Stop Spinning Our Wheels

By David Suzuki
 
In 1988, hundreds of scientists and policy-makers met in Toronto for a major international conference on climate change. They were sufficiently alarmed by the accumulated evidence for human-caused global warming that they issued a release stating, “Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment whose ultimate consequences could be second only to a global nuclear war.”
 
They urged world leaders to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2005. Had we heeded that warning and embarked on a campaign to meet the target, Canadians would now be healthier (because of reduced air pollution), have greater reserves of energy and more jobs. We’d also be a world leader in renewable energy and could have saved tens of billions of dollars.

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