ground- water, geo- statistics, environmental- engineering, earth- science

The Hot Topic “Climate”

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I’ve heard from readers that I am writing too much “serious” stuff. The concern is that this “serious” stuff might scare contributors to this blog away. I have no intention at all to scare anybody! And I think that blog entries on music, literature, movies, art in general, or any other topic within the boundaries of legality and good taste really, are interesting. This “serious” stuff, water in general and climate change in particular these days because it is such a hot topic in the general public, at least within my current surroundings, is occupying my mind and hence I am writing about it. If the majority of the readers and contributors think that this blog is not suitable for this, I will stop.

A lot of fuzz is going on these days about our climate. Is it getting warmer? What happens if it’s getting warmer? Who’s fault is it? Should we do something against it? What should we do? When should we do it?

The role of journalism is critical in this process, as it is generally for forming public opinion. My personal favorite happened in German public news this morning, when the anchor announced, plainly announced without any background, that patio heaters (I assume those gas fired ones) are bad for the climate, and they should be generally abandoned. Wow. Somehow, before the latest IPCC report from the working group I entitled “the physical science basis”, the media was generally quite critical, and sometimes even doubtful if climate change is happening at all. On the IPCC web page I still can find only the “summary for policy makers” of the working group I report. It doesn’t seem like the actual report is actually published yet. This has totally shifted to announcing that climate change is happening, and almost to scaring everybody how bad this is. Another brilliant piece of journalism has happened in the New York Times yesterday, and is very well summarized here, including the responses this NYT article has caused.

Tonight, NPR is airing a promising discussion with participants having big names in the scientific and political genre. It should be available as podcast soon.

Written by Claus

March 14th, 2007 at 9:30 am

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