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Date: 2024-05-24 Page is: DBtxt003.php txt00005148

Climate Change
A bit of the debate

Climate change: Fact or fiction? ... Climate change sceptic Richard Lindzen is challenged on his view that concern about global warming is alarmist nonsense.

Burgess COMMENTARY
My comment on this program!:

Interesting debate. In my view it is impossible to 'prove' which hypothesis is right (1) industrial activity is causing climate change or (2) industrial activity has nothing to do with climate change. My observations during my lifetime do however show that industrial activity causes all sorts of negative impacts such as air pollution, water pollution, excessive use of natural resources and so on ... whether or industrial activity is a cause of climate change.

I remember the 'killer smog' of 1956 in the UK where particulate pollution in the atmosphere combined with weather conditions created a poisonous fog that was something of a disaster. The air quality in many major cities is unhealthy ... Bangkok, Beijing, Los Angeles are three cities that come to mind. Water quality was deteriorating disastrously until aggressive environmental regulation came into being ... and industrial enterprise would probably go back to an era of environmental degradation if they were allowed. The Niger Delta comes to mind as an example of disgusting corporate pollution.

I am of the view that industrial activity is having an impact on climate change, but know that it cannot be proven. On the other hand it can be shown conclusively that corporate industrial behavior has done all sorts of damage to other aspects of the environment, and they have had pretty much a free pass for the best part of 200 years!

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Peter Burgess

Climate change: Fact or fiction? ... Climate change sceptic Richard Lindzen is challenged on his view that concern about global warming is alarmist nonsense.

Head to Head is Al Jazeera's new forum of ideas - a gladiatorial contest tackling big issues such as faith, the economic crisis, democracy and intervention in front of an opinionated audience at the Oxford Union.

Many believe that climate change is now a fact of life. It seems that sea levels are rising, weather patterns are changing, and glaciers are melting.

Some scientists say the earth’s climate changes constantly and naturally, but the vast majority of them believe the current rise in global temperature is man-made, and could be catastrophic for the planet.

But is all this but a case of extreme ‘climate alarmism’?

If I'm wrong, we'll know it in 50 years and can then do something. Richard Lindzen

Professor Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology and atmospheric physicist at MIT, the Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology, is perhaps the world’s leading climate sceptic.

In this programme, he goes head to head with Mehdi Hasan on the myth or reality of global warming - is concern about global warming alarmist nonsense?

'If I’m wrong, we’ll know it in 50 years and can then do something,' says Lindzen.

Yet not all of the opinionated audience agree, and there is robust debate at the Oxford Union.

Joining our discussion are: Myles Allen, a professor of Geosystem Science in the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford and head of the Climate Dynamics Group in the University's Department of Physics. His research focuses on how human and natural influences on climate contribute to observed climate change and risks of extreme weather and in quantifying their implications for long-range climate forecasts; Mark Lynas, a British author, journalist and environmental activist who focuses on climate change. He is a contributor to New Statesman, Ecologist, Granta and Geographical magazines, The Guardian and The Observer newspapers in the UK; and David Rose, an award-winning investigative journalist, columnist and author.

Watch Climate change: Fact or fiction? with Richard Lindzen from Friday, July 13, at the following times GMT: Friday: 2000; Saturday: 1200; Sunday: 0100; Monday 0600.

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