29 August 2009

The Great Climate Change Hijack

A BBC News program with the above title will be available from this site for a few more days. Here is the precis:

The BBC's environment correspondent Richard Black investigates if climate change is diverting attention away from other environmental problems such as air pollution, acid oceans and species extinction.

Talk about climate change is everywhere, from the classroom to the UN. It is undoubtedly an important issue, but has our enthusiasm for tackling climate change led us to neglect other pressing and arguably more immediate environmental concerns, such as poor air quality in our major cities? Why has climate change attracted so much political attention and the loss of plant and animal species so little?

Far from being an 'inconvenient truth', could the climate change debate actually be rather politically convenient?


  1. It's much easier to get away with utter nonsense for bad news stories.

    If you make some bogus claim about "species loss" it will be much easier for you to be shown as a fool or a charlatan. But with this issue...how could anyone possibly contradict you? That's like Holocaust denial or something.

  2. Because there is big money, big political power, in regulating carbon. The almost bi-monthly expensive international meetings of the UN FCCC, the billions of $ of UN- and government-funded researches for climate studies, enactment of carbon taxes. There are no such perks and political power in preserving biodiversity. Even the greens like Greenpeace and WWF, they're talking about big money in donations in "saving" the planet.

  3. Mr. Pielke-

    I apologize for posting this message on your log, as it is not related to the post at hand. I tried sending you an e-mail, but it seems that my letter may have been caught in a spam filter.

    "I am a regular reader of your blog, though I have not commented once since your switch over from Prometheus. I am the author of my own blog, The Scholar's Stage, a site that focuses on various issues within the realms of security and international affairs. One of the common themes on my blog is the investigation of the links between climate change and security issues.

    It seems to be a rather well known fact that most mitigation proposals would do nothing to change world temperatures until 2050 or so. I see statements like these all the time, (most recently in Tol's report on Mitigation for the Copenhagen Consensus), but I have yet to see the original scientific literature that supports this view.

    Do you know where I could find this? I am interested on creating a post on the "sunk" effects of climate change and their ramifications for the security debate, but have been so far unable to find a concise quote from an authoritative source on the subject.

    Thank you for your time,

    ~T. Greer"

    If it is not too much trouble, your help would be appreciated. Feel free to respond to my query here or via e-mail. ( scholarstage [at] yahoo [dot] com).