Seems like the reputable media are starting to recognize what’s going on with respect to Climategate and the IPCC ‘Gates’ so hyped by the denialists and pseudoscience blogs.
There’s an editorial in today’s New York Times about Yvo de Boer’s resignation from the UN. What’s key is that they recognize that the ‘mistakes’ in the IPCC AR4 report are ‘trivial’ but that the times are ‘fragile’:
His resignation comes at a fragile moment in the campaign to combat climate change. The Senate is stalemated over a climate change bill. The disclosure of apparently trivial errors in the U.N.’s 2007 climate report has given Senate critics fresh ammunition. And without Mr. de Boer, the slim chances of forging a binding agreement at the next round of talks in December in Cancún, Mexico, seem slimmer still.
Here’s an editorial in today’s Washington Post: Climate Insurance, in which the term ‘trivial’ is repeated about the mistakes in the IPCC AR4:
THE EARTH is warming. A chief cause is the increase in greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmosphere. Humans are at least in part responsible, because the oil, gas and coal that we burn releases these gases. If current trends persist, it’s likely that in coming decades the globe’s climate will change with potentially devastating effects for billions of people
Contrary to what you may have read lately, there are few reputable scientists who would disagree with anything in that first paragraph. Yet suddenly we’re hearing that climate change is in doubt and that action to combat it is unlikely. What’s going on?
First, climate science is complex, and there is much that we still do not understand. Politicians, advocates and scientists who have claimed a level of certainty unsupported by evidence — about exactly how climate change will unfold or is unfolding — have not helped the cause. Second, as in any research effort being conducted by thousands of scientists across many years and many countries, mistakes will be made in the research or in its collection and reporting. The mistakes that have been revealed recently — about, most prominently, the likely melting rate of Himalayan glaciers — need correcting. But in the overall picture, they are trivial.
Our view is that it makes no sense to give up before trying — especially since measured government action could unleash technological innovation that in turn would make the costs far less than predicted.
And all the more so when — and this is the second key point — the action that would have the most beneficial effect with regard to climate change is in the national interest anyway. A gradually rising carbon tax made sense even before “global warming” entered most people’s vocabulary. Almost as useful would be a simple cap-and-rebate system that required industry to pay for greenhouse-gas emissions. Either would reduce American dependence on dictators in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela while lowering air pollution of all kinds. Neither would require a complicated government bureaucracy of the kind that has understandably alarmed some people while giving others a pretext for opposition. And if politicians can’t bear to stand behind an increased tax, the revenue from either proposal could all be returned in a fair and progressive way.
Wow — advocating a carbon tax. Seems like the WP agrees with Hansen.