Global warming a fact despite imprecision

Financial Times, 5 April 1995:

Mr Turundi (Letters March 30) claims that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries is “not trying to sabotage the Berlin conference on climate change”, but then goes on to state that there is doubt about the science of global warming.  I am not sure what “independent” research and forecasts Mr Turndi is referring to, but he must recognise that the scientific reports produced by the inter-governmental panel on climate change represent the consensus view of the scientific community worldwide.  He should also realise that global warming is not just a theory: it is the inevitable consequence of releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and depends upon world population, the increasing demand for energy and the burning of forests to free land for cultivation.

There may be legitimate doubt about the speed of this process, and whether one can attribute current freak weather conditions to the effect of global warming, but one cannot deny that it is happening.  The last decade saw eight of the 10 hottest years this century and current temperature  trends match predictions precisely.

Any scientific discovery which impinges upon established industrial practices will generate criticism, and opposition can be expected from those companies and, indeed, those countries which profit from the burning of fossil fuels.  But no one should be deceived by their position or believe that the science of global warming is so uncertain that remedial measures can be postponed indefinitely

Robin Russell-Jones,
St Thomas’ Hospital
Lambeth Palace Road
London SE1 7EH

 

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