Is climate change causing the heat wave? To all intents and purposes, yes. I’ve had it with articles and radio discussions about heat waves and hosepipe bans that don’t mention climate change. I’ve had it with features explaining record-breaking heat across the hemisphere, which mention climate change but then major on how ‘it’s not just down to climate change’. And I’ve had it with the near complete silence from our political leaders and mainstream media opinion formers on links between extreme heat and climate that a six year old could understand. I’ve had it. Judging by the green business Twittersphere this past week, I am not alone. I get that it is complicated. I understood all too well that the technically correct answer to the reductive question: ‘is the heat wave caused by climate change?’ is a carefully nuanced “we can never say for sure whether one individual weather event is ’caused’ by climate change, but climate change does make extreme events more likely’. I know that if you want a more precise assessment of the extent to which climate change has made an extreme weather event more likely you need to wait several months for the computer models to run and even then you are going to get an answer about the percentage increase in likelihood that is meaningless to many people and as such difficult to boil down to a headline. I appreciate the critical of importance of scientists using precise language and not overstating their levels of certainty. If the mainstream media really is incapable of moving onto better questions about the most urgent long term challenge we all face, then the best answer to the question ‘is the heat wave caused by climate change?’ is not ‘it’s complicated’ or ‘maybe’ or ‘let’s talk about the caveats first’, accurate as those answers undoubtedly are. It is ‘yes, but…’ or ‘this is precisely what we predicted climate impacts would look like’.
Business Green 23rd July 2018 read more »
Women around the world who are leading the fight against climate damage are to be highlighted by Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and UN high commissioner, in the hopes of building a new global movement that will create “a feminist solution for climate change”. Perhaps more revolutionary still, the new initiative is light-hearted in tone, optimistic in outlook and presents positive stories in what the originators hope will be seen as a fun way.
Guardian 24th July 2018 read more »