Magazine article Geographical

Climate Genie Let Loose: In a Regular Column Starting This Month, Dr Mark Spalding Airs the Issues Surrounding Global Warming and Climate Change. (Climate)

Magazine article Geographical

Climate Genie Let Loose: In a Regular Column Starting This Month, Dr Mark Spalding Airs the Issues Surrounding Global Warming and Climate Change. (Climate)

Article excerpt

The genie of climate change is out of the bottle. While a few pariah scientists try to belittle this fact, the consensus is actually overwhelming. There is probably greater agreement over the fact of human-induced climate change than there is over Darwin's theory of evolution.

A wider public has been confused and frustrated not so much by facts, but by spin. Journalists, in their indomitable way, are heavily to blame. Stories must be built around controversy, so when a new model comes out they will only present it if they can find someone who will challenge it. Even if the two `opponents' agree on 95 per cent of the facts, the trivial elements of disagreement become the story and the public walks away uninformed.

Climate change may be complex and multi-faceted, but it is happening. Listening to the weather forecast is a useful analogy. We all love it when they get it wrong. We like to belittle the whole process, but we still listen. Why? Because, on average, they make a pretty good job of it. …

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