Friday, December 07, 2007

Climate change in the UK

It looks as if climate change is already having an impact on the UK according to a DEFRA report as reviewed by Guardian Unlimited today.

Central England temperatures are reported to have risen by 1C since the 1970's, while 2006 was the warmest recorded year since the first known records in 1659. Also, "sea surface temperatures around the UK coast have risen by about 0.7C over the past three decades."

And they reckon that a 'significant' portion of that warming is down to human activity; but just what does that mean? I just wish that formal reports would give us the real facts and figures, rather than a qualification. What exactly does significant mean? Does it mean 20% of it, or 80% of it?

Addendum/link (Junkk Male)

BBC - All nations 'need emission goals'
Gaurdian - Front-page thrillers
Guardian - Boris, Israel, 9/11 and me - an interesting insight into the possible motivations of the press. You only get paid if you get the numbers. And to get the numbers, you need to stir things up...

1 comment:

Peter said...

I agree with you, but then have mixed views on the whole thing.

Certainly all this fudging seems to be pleasing no one and getting us nowhere. It is part of the new political culture that the less you do or say that actually gets noticed of stirs anyone up, the better.

We need commitment.

But then there is also a media culture here where if you are ever wrong, or less than black or white or 100% right... then you get hounded until you give up.

Following on from my comments on Bob Spicer's talk, while those in planning do need such figures to be as accurate as they can be to prepare long term (though me now being pretty sure that they never can or will be, but vast baziilions will still get spent more in self-serving justifications and tush tissue covering than real forecasting), I do wonder if it's time to just move on and say: 'does it really matter?'.

Maybe we just try and push the subjective, qualitative notion that 'we' are not helping much in our profligate ways and need to rein in.

Of course, that's easy to say. And though I loathe them, without targets it's hard to prepare coherent strategies... or hold to them.

The main issue is trust, and once lost it is so hard to recover. I simply do not trust the skills or motives of too many who claim to be on the case.

If tough measures are required then so be it, and we need leadership to push them through. Fairly. But when you have the merest suspicion it's not so much for our kids' sakes but to pad a pension, fund a jolly, keep the 'not for profit' boardroom drinks cabinet stocked, or reward a campaign contribution, the whole thing becomes a house of card sharps.