Climate Change


George Monbiot came in the other day and gave a climate change talk in Second Life. It was supposed to be a few weeks ago during the United Nations Climate Change conference in Bali but got postponed due to illness. It was an interesting talk, with no slides, so you can get most of it (minus the interactive chat text and 3D presence experience) from the audio recording [which should be online soon].

Yahoo! Live is good for remote participation too (eg SemanticCamp a couple of weeks ago, which was great in person, at least). It'll be interesting to see whether the 3D environment can be enough of a benefit—compared to being able to actually see the speaker and particpants' faces—to keep people in Second Life for this kind of thing.

Cory Doctorow posted a climate change story on Boing Boing at the weekend, then removed it when everyone pointed out it was 4 years old. The story was doing the rounds of social news sites: presumably the timing's right for political/climate scandals.

Here are some other not-new news stories that might be of interest:

West Antarctic ice sheet and CO2 greenhouse effect: a threat of disaster (1978)

If the global consumption of fossil fuels continues to grow at its present rate, atmospheric CO2 content will double in about 50 years. Climatic models suggest that the resultant greenhouse-warming effect will be greatly magnified in high latitudes. The computed temperature rise at lat 80° S could start rapid deglaciation of West Antarctica, leading to a 5 m rise in sea level.

Man-made Carbon Dioxide and the "Greenhouse" Effect (1972)

In spite of the enormous mass of the atmosphere and the very large energies involved in the weather systems which produce our climate, it is being realized that human activities are approaching a scale at which they cannot be completely ignored as possible contributors to climate and climatic change.