"There is still time to avoid the
worst impacts of climate change, if we act now and act
The Climate Change Debate
In spite of all the scientific evidence gathered since
the late 1960's and the considerable amount of evidence presented for
public information in the last twenty years, there is still confusion in
the general community as to whether or not global warming and climate
change are real. Climate change sceptics abound. Lord Monckton, 3rd
Viscount of Brenchley for instance, toured Australia in 2011 spreading
misinformation. In his lectures he disputes whether global warming is
man-made, suggests that it is unlikely to prove catastrophic, and
criticizes the science presented by the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), the scientific body established by world
to provide a clear scientific view on the current state
of climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic
Lord Monckton accuses world governments of conspiring to make money out
of the climate change scare by ultimately taking control of world
financial markets. It seems to me that Lord Monckton is doing quite
nicely out of climate change himself!
Schools are in an ideal position to provide the facts and
clarify the issues associated with climate change. Every opportunity to
do so must be taken so that our students are accurately informed.
Teachers of all subjects need to be well-informed on climate change.
People in the community need to stop debating the science
and start debating the politics of the best way to solve the problem.
It really makes no sense for people, especially people with little or no
scientific background, to make statements like: “I don’t believe in
climate change.” With the huge amount of evidence now collected and
analyzed, it is akin to saying “I don’t believe in atoms.” or “I don’t
believe in DNA.” If your doctor told you that you had a
life-threatening condition and Lord Monkton, whose only academic
credentials include a degree in classics and a diploma in
told you to ignore that advice would you listen to him?
Amongst the scientific community worldwide, the basic
understanding surrounding the global warming issue is that warming since
the Industrial Revolution is undeniable, it is being driven by human
causes, and it presents a distinct threat to the earth’s climate
system. Global warming is a definitive reality created by human
actions, and it connects at a fundamental level with several other
serious problems facing society – the global population crises, the
power crises, the global food & water shortage to name a few. Climate
change ranks as the single greatest threat to modern society, and the
future results may be cataclysmic without effective policies to control
the human destruction on the climate. Schools have a responsibility to
get this message out there and to get the debate focused on solving the
problem. (Adapted from Rapid Climate Change Overview,
Executive Summary by Nick Perry, July 2007.)
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out the following links:
IPCC Report - Climate Change 2013 The
Physical Science Basis - Both the summary of the report & the
whole report are available from this page.
Unpacking the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report - The Climate Council
of Australia (see above) has written a summary of the 2013 IPCC Report.
Infographic of IPCC 2013 Report - The Climate Council of
Australia has prepared a very brief infographic presenting the essential
features of the IPCC 2013 Report.
Why Should We Care About Climate Change? - very brief video from
Physics World (20 May 2013).
Is there a difference between climate scepticism and climate denial?
- brief video from Physics World (21 May 2013)
ACS Climate Change Toolkit - a very useful resource for students
Rapid Climate Change Overview, Executive Summary
Rapid Climate Change Overview - the whole paper
Summary of the 2007 IPCC Report on the Physical Basis of Climate Change
Frequently Asked Questions from the 2007 IPCC Climate Change Report
Q&A: "Climategate" - article from the Guardian
The World's Biggest
Al Gore's New Thinking on the Climate Crisis (video)
Review Report on the Economics of Climate Change
Australian Conservation Foundation
Adapting to Climate
Change - Facing the Consequences - an article in The Economist
Governments Must Act
Doubt - (excellent article in Cosmos Magazine)
The New "Arctic Ice Minimum" video - check out this interesting
video on climate change using 2012 data
NOTE: If you find a particularly
good climate change site, let me know. I can add a link to it from
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