Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Climate change: real; serious; urgent; and we are the cause

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Its reported today that a recent Ipsos Mori poll found 56% believed scientists were still questioning climate change. They are wrong to believe this. Scientists have reached a consensus that climate change is a real, serious and urgent issue and that we are the cause.

Recognizing the global climate change issue, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. It is open to all members of the UN and WMO.

The IPCC assesses on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis, the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. It bases its assessment mainly on peer reviewed and published scientific/technical literature. Its view is evidence based and they have concluded in their assessment reports, including their fourth one, being published this year in stages, that we have caused a serious problem that must be tackled with urgency.

Anyone still dismissing or playing down climate change is flying in the face of the best expertise that the world can assemble to examine the matter.

I agree with Royal Society vice-president Sir David Read when he said: "People should not be misled by those that exploit the complexity of the issue, seeking to distort the science and deny the seriousness of the potential consequences of climate change. The science very clearly points towards the need for us all - nations, businesses and individuals - to do as much as possible, as soon as possible, to avoid the worst consequences of a changing climate."