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Over the edge: Climate scientists reach tipping point

global-warmingIs it time to start panicking yet?

After years of issuing academically dry, if increasingly dire, warnings about the accelerating pace of climate change, it seems leading scientists have now been pushed over the edge into new and more emotionally charged territory.

Here in the UK, for example, the director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research has taken to calling the Government’s top environment agencies “small yapping dogs” whose policies on global warming are “dangerously optimistic.”

Meanwhile, over on the other side of the pond, top US climate scientist James Hansen has gone from vocal criticism to chain-yourself-to-the-fence activism, getting himself arrested at a West Virginia protest against mountaintop removal coal mining.

“(I)t is our responsibility to make sure our representatives feel the full force of citizens who speak for what is right, not what is politically expedient,” Hansen told the crowd of protesters.

Even the Climate Congress’ latest synthesis report, released in advance of the coming climate talks in Copenhagen this December, is peppered with charged words like “irreversible,” “inexcusable” and “The clock is ticking.”

Whether or not the climate has actually reached one or more tipping points, it seems some climate scientists have.

What do you think: is it time to get truly and dramatically serious about climate change yet?


  • Douglas Owens-Pike
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    Will you be wondering in ten years why we listened to naysayers afraid to spend on the transition to clean energy or enjoying progress toward a more egalitarian, green economy?
    If you have any coastal property you might want to side with those urging action, but being labeled kooks by the forces resistant to change.

  • Amanda Inglis
    Posted June 25, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Oxfam are reporting that the effects of cliamte change are being felt now by poor people around the world.

    There is an opportunity to get involved and add your voice to the current Oxfam campaign to help reduce global warming by adding support to Oxfam’s climate change campaign

Comments are closed.

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