‘An Inconvenient Truth’: Exploring the dynamics of making climate change public

Warren Pearce and I wrote a guest post for And Then There is Physics. I am reposting it here with permission. *** In 2006, Al Gore’s climate change documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ (AIT) was released, garnering substantial public attention. In a forthcoming chapter of a book on Science and the Politics of Openness (part of …

Broken science, broken record?

The phrase ‘science is broken’ recently popped back into my head. I had read it quite often in the past, but in the context of current debates about the place of science in society I began to ask myself: What does this phrase actually mean? And why do people use it? ‘Science is broken’ To …

Climate, science and politics: The certainty and consensus confusion

In this, my probably final, blog post on climate change, I’ll return to a topic that has troubled me for many years, namely religious rhetoric used in debates about climate change science and climate change politics. The terrain between climate change science and climate change politics has become a bit of a swamp and the …

Flooding and ‘the Dutch solution’

Some years ago, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, US news media featured Dutch-style flood management as one of the engineering solutions that may prevent future devastating flooding in the regions affected. The same happened after the winter floods in the south of UK at the beginning of 2014 and similar references are …

Climate science and climate fiction: Alarmist, really?

For more than 25 years, climate scientists have warned politicians and the general public about the dangers posed by global warming. Sometimes they have been listened to; more often then not they have been accused of alarmism. For more than a century, novelists and film makers have explored the possible, often catastrophic and dystopian, effects …

COP21: A new chance for common sense and common action?

Professor Michael Brüggemann and his research team at the University of Hamburg have set up a blog called Media Watch Blog. This blog will report on the Paris climate summit, COP21, as it unfolds. Here is my contribution to the blog, reposted below in a slightly longer version. ••• The 2015 United Nations Climate Change …

Anchoring doubt

For five years now I have been interested in how doubts about climate change are expressed by whom and how. To be honest, I very much doubt I have found out anything new. However, when reading some blogs recently, something struck me. But before I come to that, lets start at the beginning. Science and …

Climate change and the tragedy of our shrinking horizons

A few days ago, on 29 September 2015, the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, used the phrase ‘tragedy of the horizon’ in a speech on “climate risks for the global economy and global financial stability with a focus on the insurance sector”. This got me thinking about the various times the concept …

The pause

About three years ago, in 2013, I became aware of discussions around the ‘pause’ (a period of relatively little change in globally averaged surface temperatures) and since then I have been observing goings-on around this new talking point in the climate change debate. I was a bit surprised by how much trouble a wiggle in …