Commentaries from 2011

Commentary about climate change events and news from staff and members at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.

Below are commentaries published in 2011.


LSE library CREDIT Nigel Stead

Why academic researchers should scrutinise the lobbying of climate change 'sceptics'|

16 December: Bob Ward

A recent exchange of letters has revealed the tactics which so-called climate change 'sceptics' from the Global Warming Policy Foundation are using to lobby the UK Government in a bid to stop policies to tackle global warming. 

Storm clouds

Reports spell double trouble for the climate|

21 November:  Samuel Fankhauser

There have been two sobering climate change statistics recently. First we learnt that despite a sluggish economy, global emissions of carbon dioxide grew by a whopping 6 per cent between 2009 and 2010. This was followed by a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), which last week warned that without a bold change of policy direction, the world will lock itself into an insecure, inefficient and high-carbon energy system. 

Aircraft over Australian countryside

The Australian Government's proposals for a carbon pricing policy|

2 August: Cameron Hepburn

Australia's Government has put forward a carbon pricing package which is, in some respects, as significant as the European Union's Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).


BBC coverage of climate change should be accurate as well as impartial|

19 July: Bob Ward

The BBC Trust will tomorrow publish its long-awaited report on impartiality in the Corporation's coverage of science. 

Files of journal papers

A media relations mistake and inaccurate reporting about climate change|

15 July: Bob Ward

Climate scientists often berate journalists for producing misleading articles about their work, but sometimes the research community should share the blame for inaccurate coverage. 

UK newspapers

Shhh! The story that 'sceptics' don't want you to read|

8 July: Bob Ward

It is the story that self-proclaimed climate change 'sceptics' have been hoping to keep quiet. A journal paper that purported to prove that some climate scientists had abused the peer review process has sensationally been retracted following allegations of plagiarism. 

Jet engine

Why the EU should be cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020|

4 July: Alex Bowen

On 5 July 2011, the European Parliament will be asked to endorse an increase in the European Union's target for greenhouse gas reductions, from 20 to 30 per cent by 2020 compared with the base year of 1990. This would make good economic sense for Europe and for the world, and would be a major step forward in the battle against climate change.


HM Treasury hamstrings the Green Investment Bank|

24 May: Dimitri Zenghelis

Yesterday, following his speech on the green economy, I asked the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, why the new Green Investment Bank will not be allowed to borrow until 2015, and then only if debt targets have been met?


Bird flock

British election results show climate change denial is not a vote winner|

11 May: Bob Ward

Last week's election results in England, Scotland and Wales demonstrated that climate change denial is still not a vote winner, and remains an issue that lies at the extreme fringes of political debate.


The most error-ridden web page about climate change?|

3 May: Bob Ward

The Global Warming Policy Foundation has published what may be the world's most inaccurate web page about global warming. 

Electricity pylons

Lord Lawson's appeal to unreason|

11 April: Bob Ward

Britain's most prominent climate change sceptic, Lord Lawson of Blaby, has been encouraging audiences over the past few weeks to adopt a recklessly complacent approach to the risks posed by rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. 


Cold comfort for 'sceptics' in Antarctic research|

29 March: Bob Ward

The front cover of the 19 February 2011 edition of The Spectator magazine trumpeted an article with two headlines 'The truth about the Antarctic: What global warming activists don't want you to know' and 'The ice storm: Nicholas Lewis and Matt Ridley expose the bias and bluster behind the latest shaky global warming data'. 

Architecture in cycles

Sceptical confusion about the carbon cycle|

21 February: Bob Ward, Policy & Communications Director

Self-proclaimed climate change 'sceptics' are resorting to desperate measures in their efforts to confuse the public about the causes and consequences of global warming.

London Eye in the city of London

Adapting to the impacts of climate change in the UK|

31 January: Nicola Ranger

The first set of reports from public bodies setting out what they are doing to adapt to the impacts of climate change on the UK was published by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on 28 January 2011.