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Climate change: Fact or fiction?

Climate change sceptic Richard Lindzen is challenged on his view that concern about global warming is alarmist nonsense.

Last updated: 22 Jul 2013 13:25
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Head to Head  is Al Jazeera's new forum of ideas - a gladiatorial contest tackling big issues such as faith, the economic crisis, democracy and intervention in front of an opinionated audience at the Oxford Union.

Many believe that climate change is now a fact of life. It seems that sea levels are rising, weather patterns are changing, and glaciers are melting.

Some scientists say the earth’s climate changes constantly and naturally, but the vast majority of them believe the current rise in global temperature is man-made, and could be catastrophic for the planet.

But is all this but a case of extreme ‘climate alarmism’?

If I'm wrong, we'll know it in 50 years and can then do something.

Richard Lindzen

Professor Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology and atmospheric physicist at MIT, the Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology, is perhaps the world’s leading climate sceptic.

In this programme, he goes head to head with Mehdi Hasan on the myth or reality of global warming - is concern about global warming alarmist nonsense?

"If I’m wrong, we’ll know it in 50 years and can then do something," says Lindzen.

Yet not all of the opinionated audience agree, and there is robust debate at the Oxford Union.

Joining our discussion are: Myles Allen, a professor of Geosystem Science in the School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford and head of the Climate Dynamics Group in the University's Department of Physics. His research focuses on how human and natural influences on climate contribute to observed climate change and risks of extreme weather and in quantifying their implications for long-range climate forecasts; Mark Lynas, a British author, journalist and environmental activist who focuses on climate change. He is a contributor to New Statesman, Ecologist, Granta and Geographical magazines, The Guardian and The Observer newspapers in the UK; and David Rose, an award-winning investigative journalist, columnist and author.

 

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Al Jazeera
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