Tuesday, October 31, 2006

climate news -- gore, stern report

Tony Blair's government has enlisted Al Gore to push the need for a realistic anti-climate change policy in the US. Gore is certainly qualified -- his attention to environmental issues doesn't seem quite so quixotic, does it, now that evidence of climate change is upon us and the collapse of the Larsen B ice shelf in the Antarctic has been definitively linked to human-induced warmer temperatures.

But my fear is that the US media might treat Gore the climate change expert the way they treated Gore the presidential candidate. I don't think they will -- they seem to like Gore better when he isn't running for office -- but if they DID, we could even step backwards in public understanding of the science (sorry Republicans, it is an important word) and urgency on climate change.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post story on the release of the Stern Report on climate change is here. A couple of notable things that distinguish it from international coverage. First, it was on page A18. You know, where the unimportant news is, while they save the front page for interesting but not quite as important stories about elephants looking in mirrors.

And second, a big part of it was given over to quotes from skeptics -- economists, not real scientists -- saying Stern's report overstates the risks and costs.

I hope the skeptics are right, but you know, melting Arctic ice and other indicators coming increasingly rapidly make me fear the worse.


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