Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

MSM neglects climate change update

by canberra boy Wed Oct 7th, 2009 at 08:37:42 AM EST

Around 10 days ago, the UN Environment Program put out a media release about the latest climate science, clearly timed to contribute to the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh.

The media release announced findings from the Climate Change Science Compendium 2009, which reviews 400 major scientific works on earth systems and climate released through peer-reviewed literature or from research institutions over the last three years, since the close of research for consideration by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, the current global scientific benchmark.

Amazingly, 10 days later, Google shows that there have been only 68 media mentions of the Compendium from the whole world - and some of them are derisory comments from sceptics.

This is amazing because the Compendium shows that the observed reality of climate change is unfolding at or above the most pessimistic projections of the IPCC, and events such as glacier and ice sheet melting are exceeding predictions.

Amongst the significant points:

  • Losses of tropical and temperate mountain glaciers affect perhaps 20 percent to 25 percent of the global human population in terms of drinking water, irrigation and hydro-power.

  • The growth in carbon dioxide emissions from energy and industry has exceeded even the most fossil-fuel intensive scenario developed by the IPCC at the end of the 1990s. Global emissions were growing by 1.1 percent each year from 1990-1999 and this accelerated to 3.5 percent per year from 2000-2007.

  • Growth of the global economy in the early 2000s and an increase in its carbon intensity (emissions per unit of growth), combined with a decrease in the capacity of ecosystems on land and the oceans to act as carbon "sinks", have led to a rapid increase in the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This has contributed to sooner-than-expected impacts including faster sea-level rise, ocean acidification, melting Arctic sea ice, warming of polar land masses, freshening of ocean currents and shifts in the circulation patterns of the oceans and atmosphere.

  • Until the summer of 2007, most models projected an ice-free September for the Arctic Ocean towards the end of the current century. Reconsideration based on current trends has led to speculation that this could occur as soon as 2030.

Why has this major scientific summary gained so little attention?

Everyone has been so focussed on the GFC, and watching what the G20 leaders said they would do about climate change, to actually notice the change that has been happening.
by canberra boy (canberraboy1 at gmail dot com) on Wed Oct 7th, 2009 at 08:53:53 AM EST
as many here have repeatedly pointed out, we need a massive carbon tax, this cap and trade is subsidising little good, and enabling continued high levels of pollution unchecked.

right now taxes subsidise all kinds of unecological enterprises, this presses on the brakes for positive radical change, which can only make headway if  governments sponsor and subsidise small footprint solutions.

chains of corruption slow down the states' response to the peoples' real needs, so we should push for ever more accountability and transparency. _the whole planet's getting Katrina'd, check out s.e. india, one and a half people homeless from these last floods.

it's scandalous how little attention is paid to reports like this!

great catch, canberra boy, recc'd...

great to have another correspondent in oz.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 7th, 2009 at 11:10:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
sorry, obviously i meant one and a half million people.

the government is trying hard, but there is immense crop and land damage as well as wounded people and crumbled infrastructure.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Oct 7th, 2009 at 12:39:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm a strong believer in cap and trade as the most efficient and least economically damaging way to adjust, but the cap has to be progressively and massively reduced, and nobody (read significant polluters) should be exempt.  The imposition of a gap more or less guarantees the level of emissions.  A carbon tax doesn't guarantee any reduction in emissions at all if people are willing to pay, although you would expect some reduction.

Oh, and I've been at EuroTrib since day one (13 June 2005), although more off than on the last two years...

by canberra boy (canberraboy1 at gmail dot com) on Wed Oct 7th, 2009 at 05:11:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good to see you posting again, canberra boy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Oct 7th, 2009 at 05:13:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GFC? I guess you mean GCF?

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 05:09:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I meant Global Financial Crisis - not sure what GCF would be in this context. :-) Sorry for the assumption that GFC was a global English term.
by canberra boy (canberraboy1 at gmail dot com) on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 09:47:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
GCF is short for Giant Cluster Fuck, which refers to the GFC. ;)

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Oct 11th, 2009 at 06:15:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While the story wasn't featured as prominently as I might like, it certainly wasn't ignored. There was a reuters piece on it, an Associated Press piece, an independent WaPo writeup, and an independent piece in the Telegraph.

I'm not sure how reliable google news is on this matter. Still, doesn't seem to have been much on cable teevee.

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 06:07:16 AM EST
Given that the wire services reported it, as you say, I think it is quite remarkable that only three significant English-language papers (Globe and Mail in addition to WaPo & Tele) have covered this story. Agree that there may be an issue about Google News coverage itself, although my experience is that on even minor stories Google News will give a plethora of hits.

My interest was first piqued by seeing the UNEP media release by accident on the day it was released.  I was quite surprised that the Australian media had not already covered the story that day.

by canberra boy (canberraboy1 at gmail dot com) on Thu Oct 8th, 2009 at 06:26:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Current priority goes to swine flu promotion for big pharma.
by Lasthorseman on Sat Oct 10th, 2009 at 09:15:25 PM EST

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]