Friday, June 10, 2005

Global warming from the perspective of a biogeographer

Today's Daily Telegraph carries a letter from Professor Emeritus Philip Stott, an eminent biogeographer. He lays out the three pronged problem that is global warming and suggests that it has become a legitimized myth. Not only was his letter printed without editing (how do I know that?) but Google brought up Stott's own weblog (which is the link above as the Telegraph letter is no longer available). Perhaps there is an undercurrent of common sense stirring in the scientific community concerning global warming.

This comes at a time when the White house is accused of "doctoring" scientific documents. A serious allegation. Interesting then that the quoted example was the adding of the word "extremely" to the sentence: The attribution of the causes of biological and ecological changes to climate change or variability is extremely difficult. The editor of this sentence has a long history of association with the American Petroleum Institute, an august body that has never been a radical political group (far too conservative for that). I would suggest that such an association might be an advantage but of course there are many who think otherwise as a matter of principle. Given that climate change is truly a multi-variant phenomenon, the addition of "extremely" in to the sentence is actually a matter of caution. See Philip Stott's weblog for an explanation!

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