Climate Change: Skeptics Step Aside

September 11, 2010 • Climate Change & Mitigation, Daily Email Recap

The Summer 2010 issue of the Global Health Council’s magazine is devoted to the health effects of climate change and what needs to be done to address these inter-related issues.

Many of us have prior experience of scientific skepticism and denial about the health consequences of HIV infection and tobacco use. When scientists doubted the link between HIV and AIDS, and influenced policy-makers in South Africa to delay treatment rollout, there were at least 300,000 unnecessary deaths. The link between tobacco and lung cancer was denied for nearly 50 years by tobacco companies and apologists, despite huge loss of life.

Climate skeptics had a brief respite this winter. The media had a bonanza with the e-mails leaked from the UK University of East Anglia climate research group hinting at some kind of conspiracy to withhold climate data, followed by the admission by Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, director of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that there had been an error about the rate of Himalayan glacier melting in their last report.

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