March 2007 might go down in science history as the month the global warming skeptics struck back.
From a British documentary debunking myths currently being advanced by the alarmists to Al Gore being challenged to a debate, scientists across the questionably warming globe have clearly thrown down the gauntlet.
The most recent event transpired at a conference in Oxford today, where some noted scientists stated that Hollywood is not doing the world a service by overstating and exaggerating the risks of climate change.
As reported by the Daily Mail (emphasis added throughout):
Leading climate change experts have thrown their weight behind two scientists who hit out at the "Hollywoodisation" of global warming.
Professors Paul Hardaker and Chris Collier, both Royal Meteorological Society figures, criticised fellow scientists they accuse of "overplaying" the message.
Wise words, wouldn’t you agree? The article continued:
Professor Hardaker warned against the "Hollywoodisation" of weather and climate seen in films such as the 2004 smash hit film The Day After Tomorrow, which depicts terrifying consequences after the melting of the Arctic ice shelf.
Such films, he said, only work to create confusion in the public mind.
Hardaker offered suggestions:
"I don't think the way to make people pay attention is to make them afraid about it," he said.
"We have to help them understand it and allow them to make choices - because the impact of climate change is going to mean we have got some quite difficult choices to make both in policy and as members of the public.
"Unless we can understand the science behind it, we can't be expected to get our heads around making these difficult choices."
Presenting events such as the shutting off of the Gulf Stream, creating a cooling effect, and the rise of temperatures together could be "confusing", he said, unless it is made clear that the former is far less likely than the latter.
He said the scientists should avoid being forced to make wild predictions about the future in response to climate change sceptics such as those seen in Channel 4's recent programme, Global Climate Swindle.
He said: "We must be careful not to sensationalise our side of the argument or Hollywoodise the argument otherwise you end up in an ever increasing cycle of claim and counter-claim.
"We have to be clear about what our level of understanding is and to be clear about where we are making judgements based on understanding."
Hardaker wasn’t alone in these sentiments:
Dr Peter Stott, manager of understanding and attributing climate change at the Hadley Centre for Climate Change, said he believes scientists have to make it clear there is a long way to go until we know how bad climate change will be.
He said: "There is a lot more research to do to understand about exactly what effects its going to have on you and me in the future."
He said that while he welcomed a growing public awareness about the dangers brought about by films and headlines, informed debate was vital.
"I think it is important that having said there is a problem, it would be unfortunate if people got the impression that there's nothing we can do about it because there is a lot we can do to change the future of climate change," he said.
Hmmm. Reasoned debate? About a scientific issue that has now been politicized by politicians and media representatives in several countries?
What a concept.