Climate change and language change

For over ten years I have now been thinking and writing about extreme weather events, especially floods and fires, and how they are verbally and visually represented in the media and beyond. Over that decade the issue of extreme weather has become increasingly topical and people no longer hesitate to discuss this topic in the …

The concept of net zero hangs in the balance

‘Net zero’ has been in the air for a while and I let it waft over me without taking much notice. However, a few days ago I read Ken Rice’s thoughts on this matter on his And Then There’s Physics blog. He argues against a “recurring narrative that the concept of net-zero is flawed”, saying …

Hurricane Harvey: Some reflections on climate change communication

Hurricane Harvey has hit Houston and its aftermath is causing extreme flooding. This made me think… I remember sitting in an airport lounge in 2005 somewhere watching Hurricane Katrina unfold on TV screens and beginning to think about climate change as a social issue. A year or so later I started to notice the spread of a …

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 …

Lukewarmers

On 3 May (2015) Tamsin Edwards wrote an article for The Observer entitled “The lukewarmers don’t deny climate change. But they say the outlook’s fine” (see here for a discussion; I should point out that Tamsin didn’t choose the title for this article). This prompted Steven Mosher to write the following comment: “Lukewarmers have come …

Climate scepticism in Australia

Much has been written about those who doubt various tenets of mainstream climate science. Much of this literature has focused on the United States. Far less attention has been paid to Australia, despite the fact that climate change has emerged as a central issue for Australian politics and science. When studying the use of various …

Global warming is dead, long live global heating?

This post emerged from a weekend conversation between Mike Hulme, Brigitte Nerlich and Warren Pearce. It is also available as a pdf. There has been a lot of talk recently about a so-called ‘pause’ or ‘hiatus’ in global warming. Some argue that it poses a serious challenge to established climate science and may undermine its …