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MoreLIP: Debating Climate Change - Blatant Fraud or Looming Catastrophe?

11/02/2009 — George Lipper, Development Capital Networks

Elsewhere in today’s LCW we have a link to the gamble scientists take in making premature predictions about the extraordinary potential of research still in the lab.

The story (from The Scientist) includes a list of some revelations that went haywire somewhere between research and development, much to the embarrassment or the scientist and the industry. One example is that of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 4th Assessment Report, which predicts that global surface air temperatures will increase by between 1.1 and 6.4°C over preindustrial levels by the end of the century. It is listed as "pending."

It also reminds me that we said we’d try to do a better job at sharing some of the climate change arguments, pro and con, in an effort to bring more light and less heat to the debate. But the more I got into the issues, the more I became aware that: a) there is already an unbridgeable gulf between advocates and doubters, both of whom recite only the extremes; and b) that most of information is so overburdened with technical language that should we ever find a balanced view, our eyes would glaze over before the third line.

With climate debate about to reach the floor of the Congress just in time for the next global meeting in Copenhagen, I find it difficult to come down on one side or the other, even in the wake of a few years of climate cooling.

So, instead I offer a piece written by Clay Evans posted over the weekend in the Boulder Daily Camera.

Regardless of global climate questions, we are beginning to reap the benefits of a more rapidly growing clean energy sector. We may suffer through failures among the growing number of wind, solar, ethanol and other new energy startups, but I'm confident that we're set to greatly reduce our dependence on oil and coal.


Couldn’t help but notice the dramatic drop off in H-1B applications this year. Lou Dobbs might be pleased to note fewer immigrants, but Silicon Valley is unlikely to share his joy.

Also pleased to see that the president signed legislation Friday to allocate $475M to help clean up the Great Lakes. We're going to need that water and we'd prefer to keep it from being so fouled up it's unusable. Approximately 20% of the world’s surface fresh water is present within the Great Lakes!