Will recent weather related disasters persuade sceptics in the countries affected?

Many countries that have been affected by extreme weather events have been those that have dragged their feet on climate change. Russia was one of the last to sign Kyoto even though it gained a very generous allowance and has consistently argued that it should be able to use its trees to offset its emissions. India and China were blamed by some for torpedoing the Copenhagen Conference. Australia has one of the highest emissions per capita in the world. However the summer heat wave and wildfires across Russia are perception of climate change, and equally flooding across China and in Pakistan could well be blamed on Climate change. Australia too has been affected by years of drought and then immense flooding. Will such events change perceptions?

Will recent weather related disasters persuade sceptics in the countries affected?

Yes because... No because...

it gives the environment publicity

The key to solutions is public activity. We all need to pull together in order to effect change. The more we all know about the effects of our un-environmentally friendly ways, the more likely we are all to take small changes in our lives to improve the situation. As President Dmitry Medvedev stated, everyone in Russia is talking about the effects of the environment[[http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/0809/Russian-fires-prompt-Kremlin-to-abruptly-embrace-climate-change]].

Whilst some of the publicity may promote the feeling that we have to improve our environment by being more conscious of it and placing our efforts into being environmentally friendly; there is still publicity to the effect that it is not the environment causing these changes, but other factors. Dr Knight is among these, he states that the weather is due to the circulation of heat from the east to the west[[http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10919460]]. With the publicity to this effect, people will be equally persuaded by these arguments and so it will have no great effect on how people treat the environment.

Will recent weather related disasters persuade sceptics in the countries affected?

Yes because... No because...

It highlights the seriousness of the matter

Before, when we heard about the damage we were doing, when the scientists were telling us about these tiny temperature changes, we didn’t take their warnings seriously. If we did think the environment was changing, we thought it would be so slight that we would adapt in time. However, the world is now seeing weather disasters across the world and it is becoming more and more apparent to us that effects are occurring and they are occurring now.

Vladimir Slivyak, Chair of Russian Environmentalist group

This is a wake-up call

The skeptics of us will never be changed so much by these occurrences. We will look for all the other reasons as to why these weather disasters are occurring. In fact, researchers have already stated that environmental changes are only partly to blame for the appalling weather [[ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-10919460

Will recent weather related disasters persuade sceptics in the countries affected?

Yes because... No because...

It changed the Russian stance on the environment

The wild fires that are intoxicating the lungs of Russians [[http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/0808/Russia-wildfires-Thick-toxic-smog-chokes-Moscow-residents]] have persuaded the Kremlin to take the environment seriously. Previously, at the G20 meetings no doubt, the same country stated that they intended to be producing 30% more C02 by 2020 [[http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2010/0809/Russian-fires-prompt-Kremlin-to-abruptly-embrace-climate-change/%28page%29/2]] This shows us the extent of the turn around of opinion!

Will recent weather related disasters persuade sceptics in the countries affected?

Yes because... No because...

the cost implications are clear

One of Russia's main reasons for not supporting helping the environment to prevent climate change was that they preferred building their economy. However, the smog that is killing 700 people a day [[http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/09/moscow-death-rate-russia-wildfires]] is costing a vast amount to tidy up. The economic reality of how climate change is going to cost us in the future, is going to make all the national leaders buck their ideas up and sort the problem out now rather than waiting for these clean up costs to escalate.

Debates > Will recent weather related disasters persuade sceptics in the countries affected?