It's not always what you say...
...but how you say it?
In this morning's New York Times, this article http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/03/science/earth/03climate.html?ref=science calls global warming unequivocal. There's really nothing new here for those of us who have been following the GW "debate" and *gasp* already understood that the evidence is more than compelling, but the question is whether use of more forceful language will impact the naysayers.
The article quotes Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environment Program: “Feb. 2 will be remembered as the date when uncertainty was removed as to whether humans had anything to do with climate change on this planet,” he went on. “The evidence is on the table.”
Others out there have used the language of certainty to describe the impact of global warming. So will this attempt at removing uncertainty as a issue drive policy makers into action? Has the issue finally been framed in such a way to force real changes? My favorite part of the article:
The Bush administration, which until recently avoided directly accepting that humans were warming the planet in potentially harmful ways, embraced the findings, which had been approved by representatives from the United States and 112 other countries on Thursday night.
Administration officials asserted Friday that the United States had played a leading role in studying and combating climate change, in part by an investment of an average of almost $5 billion a year for the past six years in research and tax incentives for new technologies.
At the same time, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman rejected the idea of unilateral limits on emissions. “We are a small contributor to the overall, when you look at the rest of the world, so it’s really got to be a global solution,” he said.
The United States, with about 5 percent of the world’s population, contributes about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions, more than any other country.
Democratic lawmakers quickly fired off a round of news releases using the report to bolster a fresh flock of proposed bills aimed at cutting emissions of greenhouse gases. Senator James M. Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who has called the idea of dangerous human-driven warming a hoax, issued a news release headed “Corruption of Science” that rejected the report as “a political document.”
Well, maybe it doesn't matter what or how it's said, some will never listen. Hopefully this new report will have some impact on those policy makers concerned about uncertainty, and strengthen some climate change initiatives.