Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Margaret Hoover dismisses measures to reduce climate change

This week on episode 265 of Real Time with Bill Maher, which first aired on November 2nd, 2012, CNN contributor Margaret Hoover made the following statement about climate change:
"[According to] the U.N. Climate Control Panel(IPCC)...if we do many many things and have India and China go along with us, then maybe in 100 years temperatures will change 1 degree, and then that could change weather patterns potentially"
She used this supposed fact, and her dismissive emphasis on the word 'potentially', to question the idea that policies to prevent climate change have meaningful impact and ought to be implemented by following administration.

Bill Maher immediately shot back, expressing his skepticism about the fact because he had never heard it before. Neither had I. So I investigated the claim and came up with nothing that explicitly supports Hoover's claim, although that is not to say it doesn't exist. What I did find was a potentially contradictory IPCC statement.

The website reports that the panel expects average global temperatures to rise by 2-15 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century, before the supposed 100 year time frame of Hoover's claim. NASA's climate website suggests similar numbers. This fact is very damaging to her claim. It suggests that global temperatures will gradually manifest throughout the century, not begin its ascent at the end of the century.

It is worth noting that the website cites the panel admitting that effects of climate change will not be manifest for 100 years. Perhaps this projection is the evidence behind Hoover's claim. What she might have meant was that complete global compliance could help global temperatures rises come in under the IPCC projections.

All in all, I find no factual support for the claim, but I would be hesitant to call it a outright lie. Maybe the supporting information is out there. And if it is, I would love to be pointed in its direction


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