Thursday, February 12, 2009

Norn Iron & the Climate Debate

I was born in Northern Ireland and most of my family still live there, so I keep an eye on the news from home. The big fuss recently has been the Environment Minister, Sammy Wilson, banning a Government ad for their Act on CO2 campaign, as he doesn't believe in man-made climate change. Mr Wilson stated that a recent poll suggested that 43% of climatologists didn't believe in climate.

My parents have been over for the last couple of days and this news sparked a red wine fuelled debate on uncertainty, climate change and the scale of human impacts on the environment. What resolved the debate was this 2009 survey of scientists and climatologists in particular which concluded that 97.4% climatologists who publish on climate change believe that climate change is happening and man-made. The wikipedia page that led us to this research claims that no scientific body of national or international standing dissents from the consensus.

I don't know where Mr Wilson got his stats from - he didn't quote a source. Despite his sometimes buffoonish reputation, I hear from good sources that he is very intelligent. Maybe then he will listen to the evidence. I wonder what his views on evolution are...

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