Big news on climate change

Managed to drag myself away from the Olympics for a few minutes…

No its still real (climate change that is) and carbon dioxide levels in the Atmosphere are not falling.  But there has been some good news.  A group called the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project have analysed land temperature records going back 250 years.  Their director Professor Richard Muller is a climate sceptic (one of the few climate scientists who is) and his anaylsis of this data has made him change his mind (also here). In the best traditions of scientific process when the facts don’t fit your theory you come up with a new one, but good on him for being honest enough to admit it. Especially after where he got his money from. Won’t convince many of hard-line sceptics of course.

There’s another story about climate change in today’s guardian more sobering and yet in a way funny this time. Apparently in 1678 the inhabitants of a village in Switzerland fed up with an advancing glacier (Fiesch in the Swiss canton of Valais) inaugurated an annual pilgrimage to get rid of it. Their prayers were answered and then some. In recent years they could see it disappearing and the Bishop of Sion asked the pope to change the liturgy to the opposite effect. Quite why they had to ask permission is beyond me – but then I’m not a Catholic. Anyway the pope who I believe its fair to say has shown some concern about climate change, agreed in the remarkably short period of a year and the first “rebuild the glacier” pilgrimage is taking place tomorrow.

 

Neil

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One Response to Big news on climate change

  1. Byron Smith says:

    Calling Muller a climate scientist is generous. This work is the first time he’s entered the field and is not yet peer reviewed. He is undoubtedly a high profile physicist with all kinds of useful and important contributions (and perhaps some others of a slightly more dubious nature, such as his historical novel about Jesus), but he’s still finding his feet in climate.

    When he announced his most recent findings, Michael Mann quipped that Muller has now arrived at where climate science had reached by the 1980s.

    NB That liturgical changes require episcopal approval is an expression of the role of bishops in guarding the deposit of the faith. In principal, it is no different in our church (though the recognition of episcopal ministry differs, of course, not recognising the primacy of the bishop of Rome).

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