Well it had to happen sooner or later didn’t it? I am the first not to seek to defend those scientists / policy analysts / journalists who either mis-interpret the facts or in some cases clearly seek to ensure the facts don’t get in the way of a good story as far as climate change (or anything else come to think of it) matters!
However, we need to be really careful about this. Just witness the hundreds of column inches dedicated to two or three pieces of mis-information during the last week. Set against the tens of thousands of column inches making it clear that there is a broad consensus,
if not total agreement, on the direction of climate change and it’s major causes.
Science will, and always will, remain highly contestable but this is one area where there is broad consensus. However, it is true to say that even those who believe there is a an undisclosed lack of consensus still talk of a no-regrets energy strategy in light of the science. It’s really important that we do not lose our nerve in the next few months as important decisions are made coming up to an election, and climate change is put before a broader audience. It would be unfortunate with a poor result in Copenhagen for this to be further compounded with a low level, facile discussion with regard to climate change during the pre-election period.
I for one will be looking to make sure that climate change, low carbon living and sustainability remain firmly on the agenda; political or not. Now is not the time to lose our focus if we are to make real progress on some exceptionally steep targets; not just around CO2 reductions but also those that pertain to the broader use of natural raw materials. Even the climate sceptics, or would be climate sceptics, cannot deny that to go on using energy and water in our current profiligate manner along with the continuing pursuit of a throw away society is clearly no longer sustainable, if it ever was. The fight back starts here. It was always going to be difficult, a case of climate fatigue indeed!