Saturday, March 17, 2012

2597.txt

date: Mon Apr 14 16:33:35 2003
from: Mike Hulme <m.hulmeatXYZxyz.ac.uk>
subject: Re: edp
to: Annie Ogden <a.ogdenatXYZxyz.ac.uk>

Thanks Annie - I know shorter is always better. I'll send it off.
Mike
At 15:49 14/04/2003 +0100, you wrote:

Hello. I think I would try to make it a bit shorter if I were you - and depersonalise it
a bit (though I know HE started it...) . I think that the point about the Ice Ages is
very interesting but it gets a bit lost here. I had no idea the temperature swing was so
small at that time. It really brings home the difference a few degrees can make.
eg: Following is 179 words, rather than 240
Sir
Mr Tim Lenton is clearly an arch sceptic of the idea that humans are already changing
world climate ("Doing nothing, Mr Hulme, actually might be best", 13 April). For the
many thousands of EDP readers, such cynicism and ignorance deserves a reply.
The Ice Ages he mentions occurred when global temperature swung just 4-5 degC in a
colder direction; the prospect ahead of us now is a 2-6degC movement to warmer
conditions on the time-scale of no more than a century or so. This is indeed a more
radical change than the 6 billion (and rising) people on the planet have previously had
to cope with.
Whether we should do something about this is a matter of judgement rather than of
science, but there are many, many well-informed people who recognise that action to
reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases is at least desirable if not essential (witness
the front-page headline of the same issue of the EDP concerning incentives for
biofuels).
This issue is too important to be left as amusing entertainment on an unanswered opinion
page.
Yours sincerely,

Annie,
I had drafted a letter this morning, but have not sent it yet. Here it is. Normally,
I let Mr Lenton's comments pass me by, but I feel since he is using my name explicitly
that on this occasion I would respond. What do you think?
Mike
_______
Sir,
For Mr Tim Lenton, an evangelical arch-sceptic of the idea that humans are already
changing world climate, a reply to his commentary ("Doing nothing, Mr Hulme, actually
might be best", 13 April) is wasting both my time and his. But for the many thousands
of EDP readers, such cynicism and ignorance deserves a reply.
The Ice Ages cited occurred when global temperature swung 4-5 degC in a colder
direction; the prospect ahead of us now is a 2-6degC movement to warmer conditions, on
the time-scale of no more than a century or so. We are indeed suggesting something more
radical than the 6 billion (and rising) people on the planet have previously had to cope
with. Whether we should do something about this is a matter of judgement rather than of
science, but there are many, many well-informed people who recognise that action to
reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases is at least desirable if not essential (witness
the front-page headline of the same issue of the EDP concerning incentives for
biofuels).
Whether or not I have to be concerned about global warming seems irrelevant. Tim Lenton
is clearly unconcerned, I am clearly concerned. Let others make their own mind up, but
let's make sure we at least present things the way they are, not the way Mr Lenton would
like them to be. The issue is too important to be left as amusing entertainment on an
unanswered opinion page.
Yours sincerely,
Professor Mike Hulme
Tyndall Centre
UEA, Norwich
(tel: 01603 593162)
(email: m.hulmeatXYZxyz.ac.uk)
At 10:07 14/04/2003 +0100, you wrote:

Hi MIke. Just to alert you - if you hadn't already seen it - to the Tim Lenton column in
today's EDP. I suspect that the best approach to this might be to follow the advice of
the headline:
Doing nothing, Mr Hulme, actually might be best
- but I'll leave that decision to you! Regards, Annie
--
....................................................
Annie Ogden, Press & PR Manager
University of East Anglia,
Norwich, NR4 7TJ.
Tel:+44 (0)1603 592764
[1]http://comm.uea.ac.uk/press

--
....................................................
Annie Ogden, Press & PR Manager
University of East Anglia,
Norwich, NR4 7TJ.
Tel:+44 (0)1603 592764
[2]http://comm.uea.ac.uk/press

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