Stark warning emerges from science summit
By DEBORAH JONES - PHYSORG.COM
Added: Sat, 03 Mar 2012 16:35:46 UTC
Thanks to Helga Vierich for the link.
A Nasa Earth Observatory image shows city lights. A stark theme emerged from an annual scientific get-together in Vancouver: the world must be helped to believe in science again or it could be too late to save our planet.
A stark theme emerged from an annual scientific get-together in Vancouver: the world must be helped to believe in science again or it could be too late to save our planet.
Science is "under siege," top academics and educators were warned repeatedly at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting as they were urged to better communicate their work to the public.
Scientific solutions are needed to solve global crises -- from food and water shortages to environmental destruction -- "but the public now does not understand science," leading US climate change expert and NASA scientist James Hansen told the meeting.
"We have a planetary emergency, and very few people recognize that."
The theme of the five-day meeting, attended by some 8,000 scientists from 50 countries, was "Flattening the world: Building a global knowledge society."
"It's about persuading people to believe in science, at a time when disturbing numbers don't," said meeting co-chair Andrew Petter, president of Simon Fraser University in this western Canadian city.
Experts wrangled with thorny issues such as censorship, opposition from religious groups in the United States to teaching evolution and climate change, and generally poor education standards.
An Arctic fox hunts in Norway's Svalbard close to Ny-Aalesund, a former coal-mining settlement and the most northerly village in the world. It has become an International Centre of Research.
"We have to plan for a future, considering the risk of climate change, with nine to 10 billion people," said Hans Rosling, a Swedish public health expert famous for combating scientific ignorance with catchy YouTube videos.
Rosling, pointing to charts showing how human populations changed with technology and how without science the majority of a family's children die, said it is naive to think that humanity can easily go backward in history.
"I get angry when I hear people say: 'In the rainforest people live in ecological balance.' They don't. They die in ecological balance," he said.
Joe Romm - Think Progress Comments
CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.
Eugenie Scott - James Randi... 6 Comments
Eugenie Scott at TAM 2011
"Deja Vu All Over Again: Denialism of Climate Change and Evolution."
Damian Carrington - The Observer 3 Comments
"In the long run, I would still be more concerned about the impact of climate change, but this work shows that even if we stabilise the climate, we might still get sea level rise due to how we use water."
Richard Black - BBC News - Science &... 6 Comments
Scientists have identified thousands of sites in the Arctic where methane that has been stored for many millennia is bubbling into the atmosphere.
- - PhysOrg.com 3 Comments
Study underlines importance of Congo Basin for global climate and biodiversity