Commentaries from 2012

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 2012. 

Pipe flooding

Desperate shenanigans as climate change ‘sceptics’ try to misrepresent IPCC report|

14 December: Bob Ward

It is perhaps no surprise that a climate change ‘sceptic’ has overnight leaked a draft copy of the volume prepared by working group I for the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the final version of which is scheduled for publication in September 2013.

Electricity pylons

Why is the Government’s financial support for fossil fuel companies being overlooked?|

30 November: Bob Ward

The new Energy Bill, which was introduced into Parliament on 29 November, has provoked some criticism for laying out plans to subsidise renewable power up to 2020, but has elicited little comment about its silence over the massive financial support that the Government continues to provide to fossil fuel companies.


Recycling the myth that global warming ‘stopped in the mid-1990s’|

18 October: Bob Ward

David Rose loves to tell readers of the ‘The Mail on Sunday’ that global warming ‘stopped’ in the mid-1990s. On 5 December 2010, the newspaper published a long article by Rose... Rose’s contribution claimed “for the past 15 years, global warming has stopped”, drawing on an analysis handed to him by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.


A case of bad economics and fundamentally flawed science|

25 September: Bob Ward

The Global Warming Policy Foundation was launched by Lord Lawson of Blaby in November 2009 to lobby against efforts to tackle climate change. Over the past three years, it has published a number of campaign pamphlets that attack individuals and organisations, such as the Royal Society and the BBC.

American flag in stormy sky

Is the United States leading by example on climate change?|

13 August: Bob Ward

There has been much confusion ahead of the next round of international negotiations on climate change, which start at the end of this month, over whether the United States has shifted its position on the inclusion of a temperature target in a new treaty that is due to be agreed by 2015.

Storm clouds

Uncertain times call for strong voices|

3 August: Arthur Petersen

Although content remains under wraps, the physical science part of the fifth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is due to be published next year, followed by two more overviews - of impacts, adaptation and vulnerability and mitigation. But as the authors head into their final year of drafting, they should be reminded not to be afraid of fully expressing their expert judgment on the potential future impacts of climate change.

Water pump in India

Climate change in India: what role for insurance and the private sector?|

18 July: Susannah Fisher and Swenja Surminski

LSE’s research staff argue that the commercial viability of crop insurance must be considered before private insurance companies can play an effective role in climate change adaptation.

Wind power

Wind power: a model of successful public policy?|

3 July: Antoine Dechezleprêtre and Matthieu Glachan

Wind energy has been developing very quickly in the past years. China is now the largest wind energy provider worldwide. The massive deployment of wind turbines across the world has been driven mainly by public policy support.

Brussels sculpture

Fiscal responsibility and a growth story for Europe|

24 May: Nicholas Stern

The European Union has reached a critical point in its history, facing simultaneously a severe political-economic crisis, and its biggest opportunity to create and sustain prosperity and well-being for its people.

Gas pipe

Shale gas: how does the hype stack up against robust analysis of the evidence?|

1 May: Bob Ward

A strident campaign has been mounted over the past couple of years to promote shale gas as a ‘game-changing’ new source of energy that can be extracted readily and in plentiful amounts, can reduce fuel bills, and can also help the UK to reduce its emissions of greenhouse gases. But how does this hype stack up against robust analysis of the evidence?

UK newspapers

How the UK's feeble system of media regulation fails the public interest on climate change|

16 March: Bob Ward

The Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practice and ethics of the Press has mainly been focusing mainly on issues arising from the alleged hacking of phones by journalists at some national newspapers. But the Inquiry would perform a great service for the public interest if it also investigates the way that some parts of the media are choosing to cover the issue of climate change.


Anthropogenic global warming ‘stopped’ in 1997…and in 1996 1995 1982 1981 1980 1979 1978 and 1972|

3 February: Bob Ward and James Rydge

Self-proclaimed climate change 'sceptics' have for the past few years been recycling the myth that anthropogenic global warming has 'stopped'. But these 'sceptics' always fail to point out is that, based on their logic, manmade global warming has actually 'stopped' nine times since 1970, in 1972, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1995, 1996 and 1997. And they fail to mention that the underlying anthropogenic warming trend is clear and unambiguous when temperature data for the past four decades are taken into account.




Photograph of newspapers

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