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Climate Change, the debate is over.

The amount and quality of available scientific data on the global impact of climate change, I rediscovered at a seminar organized by the Danish Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen this week, is staggering. The debate that swirled around the issues of climate change and global warming just two or three years ago has vanished. There is much more certainty now on the nature and extent of the changes to the Earth’s climate that can be attributed to the impact of human activity, mainly the burning of fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases.

He has leafed through the Synthesis Report then, put his fingers in his ears and hummed "La La La I can't hear you" as he enjoyed the juicy cherries they had picked for him.


Professor Mike Hulme, Tyndall Centre, had this to say about it:

The Copenhagen conference was no Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) event.

It was not a process initiated and conducted by the world's governments; there was no systematic synthesis, assessment and review of research findings as in the IPCC, and there was certainly no collective mechanism enabling the 2,000-plus researchers to consider drafts of the six key messages or to offer their own suggestions for what politicians may need to hear. Debates included whether mimicking volcanoes could cool Earth

The conference was in fact convened by no established academic or professional body.

Unlike the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) or the UK's Royal Society - which also hold large conferences and from time to time issue carefully worded statements representing the views of professional bodies - this conference was organised by the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU).

This little-heard-of coalition, launched in January 2006, consists of 10 of the world's self-proclaimed elite universities, including of course the University of Copenhagen.

IARU is not accountable to anyone and has no professional membership.

The statement therefore simply carries the weight of the secretariat of this ad-hoc conference, directed and steered by 10 self-elected universities.

The six key messages are not the collective voice of 2,000 researchers, nor are they the voice of established bodies such as the WMO. Neither do they arise from a collective endeavour of experts, for example through a considered process of screening, synthesising and reviewing.

Instead they were drafted largely before the conference started by the organising committee, sifting through research that they saw emerging around the world - some of it peer-reviewed, some of it not - and interpreting it for a political audience.

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