The Great Debate

Waffling on climate change? Consult friends, not science

By Sarah Laskow
June 7, 2012

Ever since climate scientist James Hansen first testified before Congress about global warming in 1988, the scientists, advocates, academics and former vice-presidents who work to stop climate change have presumed that the science matters. Hansen began his testimony by telling the assembled senators: “The earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements,” in full confidence that instrumental measurements would matter more than the weather outside the politicians’ front doors. Like Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth, Hansen depended on graphs (he called them “viewgraphs”) and numbers to help make his case. Almost two decades later, when Gore first raised the alarm about climate change with his documentary, his strategy rested on that same science: I dare you to look at this PowerPoint and tell me climate change isn’t a problem! It is an expectedly rational assumption to make, that a rational science like science should be a trump card. Inconveniently, it’s not true.

Painting Bill Clinton’s “white roofs” into reality

By Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza
July 21, 2011

By Juan Carlos Pineiro Escoriaza
The opnions expressed are his own. White Roofs Project volunteers paint the roof of the Bowery Mission in New York City. Photo courtesy of David Epstein.

If you’ve been outside recently, you probably realize that this summer is hot. With the latest heat wave now spreading across the country, it’s worth pointing out that many Americans are unknowingly contributing to the soaring temperatures. How? Millions of rooftops in America are made of black tar; and they absorb and trap an enormous amount of heat during the summer months. It’s also worth pointing out that there’s an easy fix to the black roofs problem that people of all political stripes can get behind: paint the black roofs white.

Obama, Moses and exaggerated expectations

By Bernd Debusmann
October 25, 2010

-Bernd Debusmann is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own-

President Barack Obama is close to the half-way mark of his presidential mandate, a good time for a brief look at health care, unemployment, war, the level of the oceans, the health of the planet, and America’s image. They all featured in a 2008 Obama speech whose rhetoric soared to stratospheric heights.

Business must take the lead on carbon management

January 22, 2010

APOTHEKER

Léo Apotheker is CEO of SAP. The views expressed are his own.

Most people who followed the Copenhagen climate talks in December will have been disappointed.

from The Great Debate UK:

Beyond Copenhagen: sub-national solutions are now key

December 22, 2009

Julian Hunt.jpg- Julian Hunt is visiting professor at Delft University and formerly director general of the UK meteorological office. Charles Kennel is distinguished professor of atmospheric science, emeritus and senior advisor to the sustainability solutions institute, UCSD. The opinions expressed are their own. -

Climate skeptic: We are winning the science battle

December 14, 2009

- Dr. Fred Singer is the President of The Science & Environmental Policy Project and Professor Emeritus of environmental science at the University of Virginia. The views expressed are his own -

from The Great Debate UK:

John Reid on climate change and global security

December 5, 2009

johnreid- John Reid MP, formerly UK Home Secretary and Secretary of State for Defence, is the Chairman of the Institute for Security and Resilience Studies at University College, London. The opinions expressed are his own. -

from The Great Debate UK:

A freakonomic view of climate change

November 19, 2009

Ahead of a U.N. summit in Copenhagen next month, scepticism is growing that an agreement will be reached on a global climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol, due to expire in 2012.

Change the climate narrative

birdsell-subramanian– Nancy Birdsall is the president of the Center for Global Development. Arvind Subramanian is a senior fellow at the Center and at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a regular columnist for the Business Standard, India’s leading business newspaper. The views expressed are their own. –

from The Great Debate UK:

We Need a Fresh Approach on Climate Change

September 9, 2009

Bjorn Lomborg
- Bjorn Lomborg is adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School. He is the organizer of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which brings together some of the world's top economists, including 5 Nobel laureates, to set priorities for the world. The opinions expressed are his own. -