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Must-reads for Copenhagen

At the UN climate conference in Copenhagen this December, talk will turn to scientific, political and economic issues with a global reach and a long history — not easy to pick up from the daily news. We asked select experts on climate change what books we should be reading ahead of the big event.  Read more

4 Degrees and Beyond: To flee the sea, or not to flee?

Immersing yourself in the impacts of extreme climate change can give rise to a certain amount of gallows humor. Conversation among my dinner companions last night turned to whether this week’s 4 Degrees and Beyond conference or March’s Copenhagen Climate Congress provided “more apocalypse for your conference fee”. The far more serious question, of course, is how much upheaval and human suffering would come with the substantial warming that delegates here are contemplating. Some interesting talks today looked at the facets of sea level rise and population displacement.  Read more

4 Degrees and Beyond: How soon is it coming?

Unless major breakthroughs in policy, industry and individual behavior turn around our emissions trajectory pronto, this century could well see average global temperatures 4 degrees Celsius or more above their pre-industrial baseline. That’s the starting point for the 4 Degrees and Beyond conference in Oxford this week. Here, 130 scientists and policy experts are taking a detailed look at a world warmed by twice the amount that’s usually considered dangerous.  Read more

Military takes aim at climate change

Military takes aim at climate change

Cross-posted from Daniel Cressey on The Great Beyond Climate change may need a military response from America, according to a story from the New York times which is getting a lot of pick up in the world media. While most policy discussions around climate change focus on energy wonks, the Times says that military analysts are increasingly of the view that “climate-induced crises could topple governments, feed terrorist movements or destabilize entire regions”. Food and water shortages or huge floods could push vulnerable regions over the edge into crises that could “demand an American humanitarian relief or military response”, it  … Read more

Big Al speaks on climate (and neuroscience)

Big Al speaks on climate (and neuroscience)

Cross-posted from Geoff Brumfiel on The Great Beyond I got to hear Al Gore speak today at the close of the World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment in Oxford, and I was amazed to be treated to a pop neuroscience lecture. Rather than climate, Gore opened by talking about human psychology and physiology. Climate change, he said, is “ultimately a problem of consciousness”. He went on: “What is being tested is the proposition of whether or not the combination of an opposable thumb and a neocortex is a viable construct on this planet”. That’s pretty deep, but Gore got  … Read more