Global warming a “weapon of mass destruction,” says British climatologist

Wed, 2007-03-21 10:37Bill Miller
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Global warming a “weapon of mass destruction,” says British climatologist

Sir John Houghton, former director-general of the Meteorological Office and chair of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, entered the fray after two meteorologists were reported as saying “some scientists have been guilty of overplaying available evidence.” The comments were made by Professors Paul Hardaker and Chris Collier, both of the Royal Meteorological Society.

Houghton said he agrees “we must not exaggerate the evidence, and if anything must underplay it,” but the evidence of serious climate change is now “very substantial.”

One of the founders of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Houghton says it had “deliberately underestimated the problem.” The latest projections of the floods and droughts that will result from warming are “frightening,” he said, and the 20,000 deaths caused by the 2003 heatwave in Europe justify the view that it is more dangerous than terrorism.

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A worldwide transition to low carbon fuels could save the global economy as much as $1.8 trillion over the next two decades, according to two reports published Thursday by the Climate Policy Initiative.

By switching to renewable energy sources, the high costs associated with extracting and transporting coal and gas could be avoided, the reports, titled Moving to a Low Carbon Economy: The Financial Impact of the Low-Carbon...

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