Environment Forum

A winter’s tale of climate skepticism

USA/Another winter storm is brewing in Middle America. So what else is new?

It’s been one spate of severe weather after another even before 2011 began. And you would expect those skeptical of climate change to capitalize on the cold snap by questioning whether human-spurred global warming is a real deal.

Strangely enough, climate skeptics appear to be less vocal than they were last year, when Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma built an igloo as a blizzard blew through Washington DC, and dubbed it “Al Gore’s new home.” If it’s so cold, the argument went, how can there be global warming?

Gore himself offered an answer last week, in a blog post meant to respond to just such a question from Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly.

“In fact, scientists have been warning for at least two decades that global warming could make snowstorms more severe,” Gore wrote. “Snow has two simple ingredients: cold and moisture. Warmer air collects moisture like a sponge until it hits a patch of cold air. When temperatures dip below freezing, a lot of moisture creates a lot of snow.”

All the numbers indicate the planet as a whole is warming, which means climate change is already under way. But climate skeptics remain unpersuaded.

from The Great Debate UK:

Oliver Lowenstein on making Cyclestations work

Bicycle

There's nothing new or unusual about the idea of using bicycles to replace cars to help combat the effects of climate change on the environment. Neither is there anything new or unusual about it taking so long to put the concept into practice.

Oliver Lowenstein has spent several years in pursuit of what he says could become an environmentally sustainable network structured around economically viable "cyclestations" or covered rest points, which would help make long-distance travel more feasible for cyclists.

A touring exhibition titled "Riding on Empty: Designing our travel infrastructure for the end of oil" on show in Bermondsey Square until July 4 as part of the London Festival of Architecture includes models of shelters designed by architects Steven Johnson and Alex de Rijke.

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