This week marks the one-year anniversary of what the anti-science crowd successfully labeled ‘Climategate’. The media will be doing countless retrospectives, most of which will be wasted ink, like the Guardian’s piece – focusing on climate scientists at the expense of climate science, which is precisely the kind of miscoverage that has been going on for the whole year!
I’ll save that my media critiques for Part 2, since I think that Climategate’s biggest impact was probably on the media, continuing their downward trend of focusing on style over substance, of missing the story of the century, if not the millennia.
The last year or so has seen more scientific papers and presentations that raise the genuine prospect of catastrophe (if we stay on our current emissions path) that I can recall seeing in any other year.
Perhaps the media would have ignored that science anyway, but Climategate appears to be a key reason “less than 10 percent of the news articles written about last year’s climate summit in Copenhagen dealt primarily with the science of climate change, a study showed on Monday.”
But for those interested in the real climate science story of the past year, let’s review a couple dozen studies of the most important findings. Any one of these would be cause for action – and combined they vindicate the final sentence of Elizabeth Kolbert’s Field Notes from a Catastrophe: “It may seem impossible to imagine that a technologically advanced society could choose, in essence, to destroy itself, but that is what we are now in the process of doing.”
1. Nature: “Global warming blamed for 40% decline in the ocean’s