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Rachel Savage has published 32 articles

Blagging the news: climate change

Perplexed by political postulation? Cherwell is here to help you perfect your chit-chat on climate change
Rachel Savage on Friday 10th February 2012
Photograph: fuzzcat

Mr Jones: With such overwhelming evidence, aside from a few naysayers, it really beggars belief that we haven’t managed to mobilise the resources of humanity to kick this climate change lark into touch once and for all.

Mrs Jones: Quite so, my dear. We put men on the moon and can connect with anyone anywhere in the world, and yet we cannot come together to rid ourselves of this debilitating addiction to greenhouse gases.


Climate Change

What:

Scientists are almost universally in agreement that the 0.7C rise in global temperatures since 1900, and future predicted rises, are largely the result of human emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. Predictions of how much warmer the world could get range from 1.4 - 5.8C by 2100, depending on how fast we can curb our addiction to fossil fuels, and other contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.

And before you start fantasizing about sunbathing all year round in the UK, instances of extreme, unpredictable weather are set to increase too. Rainfall in the UK has got heavier and more frequent in the last century and, given that the UK’s sea level has risen 10cm in the last 100 years already, those beaches you’re dreaming about will probably be underwater soon anyway.

Who:

China has overtaken the US as the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, despite the American Right’s best attempts to convince us that human responsibility for climate change is a marxist-socialist-fascist fabrication, designed to cheat us all out of our freedoms. India is catching up too, despite emitting a paltry 17,000 metric tonnes of CO2 per person in 2010, compared to China’s 62,000 and America’s whopping 176,000.

Sound bites to wow with:

“Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius proposed that CO2 emissions would enhance the ‘greenhouse effect’ and contribute to global warming in 1896, but it took until 1988 for the UN to warn of the dangers of increased CO2 levels, and until 1992 for countries to consider actually cutting them.”

“Although the economic costs of dealing with climate change will initially be high, the Stern Report, commissioned by the UK’s Treasury in 2006, found that the costs of inaction far outweigh the costs of action.”



Don't say:

“Why don’t we all just move to Antarctica? I hear it’s warmed up significantly.”

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