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Government turns down heat on climate change science

kconsidine@eef.org.uk by kconsidine@eef.org.uk 21. September 2010 09:51

Climate change has taken a battering this year due to the email scandal surrounding the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit and the somewhat iffy data sources used by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

 

A report from Cardiff University in June illustrated that attitudes to climate change had changed. The report showed 78 percent of the 1,822 people surveyed thought the world's climate was changing compared to 91 percent in 2005, while 40 percent of people thought the seriousness of climate change was exaggerated. And less than a third believed climate change was purely a result of human activity.

 

In an attempt, no doubt, to stem the conversion of climate believers-climate sceptics the government has launched a new website which explains the science behind the headlines on climate change.  The website was launched by Government Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Sir John Beddington.

 

The website presents an overview of some of the most important areas of study in climate science, to help anyone wishing to get beyond the day-to-day headlines to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental scientific issues involved.

 

For those uncertain about the state of scientific knowledge, the web resource attempts to explain both where evidence is well established and where findings and projections remain subject to greater uncertainty.  I would welcome your comments on whether the website achieves these objectives and if it has changed your attitude towards climate change.

 

The government is keen to now move away from the furore which dominated the climate change agenda earlier this year and back to the task of furthering domestic and international action.  Climate change remains a priority issue for the coalition and it wants to be seen as a leader on the world stage. 

 

Speaking to civil servants at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, having only been in office a few days, David Cameron pledged that his coalition party would “be the greenest government ever”.

 

He also went on to reassure civil servants that the environment was a top priority for him. "There is a fourth minister in this department who cares passionately about this agenda and that is me, the prime minister, right. I mean that from the bottom of my heart."

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