Pielke's Weekly Memo #17
COP27 Special: What to Read, Misinformation of the Week and U.S. Hurricane Update
Today I am on my way to the United Kingdom to lecture in Oxford and London, each of the next two Wednesdays. Both lectures — at the University of Oxford and University College London — will explore an important concept developed by my friend and mentor Steve Rayner (RIP), the “social construction of ignorance.” I’m also participating in a public engagement in Coventry the Saturday evening between those talks at The Old Hall Hotel, where I’ll discuss climate science and policy with students and the public. Please come in person to any of these events if you are local and please say “Hi” if you do.
This week’s memo focuses on climate topics as COP27 continues. After the jump below I’ll share a real howler of climate misinformation that made the rounds this week via the United Nations. My concern is not just that climate misinformation is out there — of course it is — but that people who know better stand by silently as it passes by, when we all should be playing a role in upholding the integrity of science, especially from important institutions like the UN.
Below, I also recommend a number of readings for anyone wanting to get a better understanding of climate science and policy. As you can see from the figure at the top of this post, climate policy is entering a period of much needed reflection. Such refection will be uncomfortable to be sure, but it is long overdue as climate change is real, serious and deserves discussion and debate that take science and evidence seriously.
Last thing before the jump, Hurricane Nicole made landfall in Florida yesterday, meaning that in 2022 to date the continental U.S. has seen 3 hurricane landfalls, one major. Overall the 2022 hurricane season underperformed predictions — more on that once the season is over. For now, here is an updated time series of continental U.S. landfalling hurricanes, a figure that has — incredibly — never appeared in an IPCC report or the U.S. National Climate Assessment. Below the updated graph I include a quote from Albert Einstein that seems relevant.
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