Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Logo
Friday, February 23, 2018 10:37:58 PM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

The good and the bad sides of climate change

By
11th-Jan-2017       
Comments
Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

John Abraham :
(From previous issue)
Terrible flooding the UK, Myanmar, Argentina, Indonesia, Spain, and Egypt, and others. There have been simultaneous flooding and heat waves in Australia, crazy hot weather in India and the Middle East.
And typhoons and hurricanes are getting stronger because of climate change. As we warm the planet and its oceans, there is more energy available to fuel these hurricanes. According to expert Jeff Masters, 2016 saw the strongest storms ever observed in two regions. We also witnessed seven Category 5 storms, which is a huge number. Among typhoons that hit land, two of the top five occurred this year. These listed weather events, which are increasing, have been predicted to be an outcome of global warming. The scientists making these predictions got it right.
One of the two events in this category should come as no surprise - the election of Donald Trump. While I continue to hold out hope that Trump will take climate change seriously, he is surrounding himself with people who are not scientists - rather, they are advocates for the fossil fuel industry. Many have histories of not only denying the science but working to undermine the science and the scientists who study climate change. There is very little evidence that Trump or his administration will take climate change seriously.
However, there are rumors Trump's daughter may be more understanding of science. There is also the possibility that Trump will realize he is in a powerful position, a Republican President with a Republican Congress. If he realizes the economic and social peril that climate change poses, he may take it upon himself to be a savior of sort for the world. If, on the other-hand, he kills climate funding, pulls us out of our international agreements, and goes backwards on our own emission reductions, we will see a devastating effect for our climate and a probable rise in energy prices. It would be so ironic if, for instance, energy prices are higher in four years than they are now. The second ugly event is the continuation of the ubiquitous misinformation on climate change. With the reduction of responsible and professional staff and organizations, news has been abdicated to second-rate non-reporters. Some examples are David Rose from the UK who writes for The Mail on Sunday. In November he wrote an article wherein he claimed that the recent record temperatures were a result of El Niño, not global warming. His fake news article was embarrassingly wrong. You might have thought Mr. Rose was a climate scientist by reading his article, but he ignored 7 out of 8 climate records, he focused on a portion of the atmosphere and threw out out most of the warming data, he cherry picked his data set, ignored records set without El Niño, and he omitted the entirety of the Earth's oceans in order to get his result - and he was still wrong. But, when articles appear in newspapers, even ones like The Mail, they have a veneer of credibility. Simply put, the reason 2014, then 2015, and now 2016 are all-time records is that we have emitted heat trapping gases. Rose is full of baloney. But misinformation wasn't limited to the UK, it had its normal huge presence in the US. In the Wall Street Journal, contrarian Roger Pielke Jr. published an article where he described himself as a climate heretic. His name might be familiar as a former writer for Nate Silver's 538 blog before they rapidly parted ways. Pielke claims that he was attacked by "thought police in journal, activities groups funded by billionaires, and the White House".
What Pielke didn't tell his readers is that he threatened colleagues who dared to confront his faulty science (For which Nate Silver apologized). He also wrote misleading pieces that discussed tsunamis, volcanoes and earthquakes as though they were weather events (or at the very least, he failed to distinguish the difference to his readers). They are not weather events. Roger Pielke Jr's problems were of his own making by poor science and shoddy professionalism. There are many other examples including those of second rate scientists or non-scientists finding high-profile media venues to spin their fantasies. It has become harder for readers to discern the real from the fake, the low from the high quality, the good from the fodder. And this issue brings me to the end, and my hope for 2017.
After this year of fake news in US politics and elsewhere, I am hopeful that consumers of news will become much more discerning. I am hopeful that people who were duped this year will have higher standards next year. I hope that the thirst for reputable news and responsible sources will revitalize news media in the US. In particular, I hope that we see a resurgence in real reporters. People who have a professional obligation to get things right. People who live and die by their reputations and therefore cultivate those reputations. I understand that the Washington Post is actually hiring news reporters. This is unheard of in US print media but I hope it is a harbinger of things to come.
If news consumers ask "where is this information coming from?" "Is it reputable?" "Can I double-check this article?" "What conflicts of influence might be present with this reporter of news?" Then, 2017 will be a glorious year and set us on a path of recovery. I am also hopeful that the economic position of renewable energy continues to improve. If so, the president of the USA won't matter. We will be on a path to a cleaner safer world just based on unstoppable economics.
Here's to 2017!

(Dr John Abraham is a professor of thermal sciences. He researches in climate monitoring and renewable energy generation for the developing world. His energy development work has extended to Africa, South America and Asia).

Tariff
Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Front Page »

Amnesty accuses President Trump of HR violations


Human rights group Amnesty International has accused Donald Trump of "hateful" politics and of being a threat to human rights. "President Trump takes actions that violate human rights at home and abroad," the group said. Amnesty put Mr Trump in the same group as the leaders of Egypt, Russia, China, ...

Editorial »

Serving people not making money must be the motto


PHYSICIANS must provide treatment, President Abdul Hamid said to common people at affordable cost so that no one remained deprived of receiving treatment for lack of money. He made the call while addressing the third convocation of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in the city on Monday. He has also ...

Sports »

Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic celebrates after she beats Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain during the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championship in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Wednesday.


Entertainment »

Alicia Vikander loves `big adventure films`


Oscar-winning actress Alicia Vikander said she loves "independent and arthouse" cinema, but is also attracted towards the big adventure films.The actress, who will be soon seen as Lara Croft in the forthcoming film 'Tomb Raider', also shared that she found training and muscle-building exercise for the role, empowering. "My mother, ...

International »

Merkel calls for Europe to step up to global challenges


Reuters, Berlin  :The European Union must develop a response to growing global political and economic pressures and this will be the spirit of an EU summit this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.Merkel pointed to the crisis in Syria and the growing importance of Asian economies as needing ...

City »

SNAPSHOTS ON AMAR EKUSHEY OBSERVANCE


Editorial »

Ekushey tells us to be free and fearless against injustice


THE Nation celebrates 'Amar Ekushey' today with due solemnity and colourful festivities to remember the Martyrs of the 1952 Language Movement. It is a landmark occasion and a day of awakening in the history of Bengali people that gave us the clear realization that we have our own language and ...

Cricket »

Captain of Bangladesh National Cricket (ODI) team Mashrafe Bin Mortaza handing over a crest of honour to Hafiz Yasin Arafat at the Bashundhara International Convention Centre in the city recently. Yasin Arafat became Hafiz-e-Quran in 86 days. He was a student of Tanjimul Ummah Hifz Madrasah of Cox's Bazar. Ahlul Huffaz Foundation Bangladesh arranged the reception programme.


Sports »

Medalists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating (from left) : Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron, of France (silver), Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada (gold) and Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani of the United States (bronze) pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Tuesday.


International »

Trump backs improved background checks on gun buys


US President Donald Trump signaled support Monday for improving background gun checks amid mounting pressure for reform in the wake of the Florida school shooting, as the accused gunman appeared in court.Nikolas Cruz, charged with killing 17 people, sat silently with his head bowed during a procedural hearing in Fort ...

International »

Nepal wants to deepen ties with China: K P Oli


PTI, Kathmandu : Nepal's new Prime Minister K P Oli has said he wants to deepen ties with China to explore more options and get more leverage in his dealings with India "in keeping with the times". Mr Oli, widely regarded as pro-China, also said he wants to "update" relations with ...

Business & Economy »

M Fakhrul Alam, Managing Director of ONE Bank Limited and Rezaul Islam, General Manager of Bangladesh Bank sign a participatory agreement regarding use of JICA assisted Foreign Direct Investment Promotion Project fund recently. Governor Fazle Kabir, Deputy Governor Abu Hena Moh. Razi Hasan, Executive Director Ahmed Jamal of Bangladesh Bank, chief representatives of JICA Bangladesh office Takatoshi Nishikata and among other were also present on the occasion.


Entertainment »

Inspired by the journey of Deepika and Anushka: Nidhhi Agerwal


Nidhhi Agerwal who hails from Bangalore and is living independently in Mumbai currently believes Deepika and Anushka's journey to the top has inspired her a lot. Just like the other two Bollywood divas, Nidhhi also went through her part of the struggle to make it to Bollywood. The young actress ...

City »

Law enforcers intercepted women leaders and activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal when they were going to visit BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia with fruits at Old Dhaka Central Jail on Tuesday.


Sports »

Medalists in the women's 12.5-kilometer mass start biathlon (from right) Belarus' Darya Domracheva (silver), Slovakia's Anastasiya Kuzmina (gold) and Norway's Tiril Eckhoff (bronze) pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea on Sunday.


 
Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
 
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Email:
Write a comment to this news