Greenpeace's word play

Published: Monday 30 November -0001

-- News>> Climate Change UK

Climate sceptics are cock-a-hoop over an omission in a Greenpeace story. A sentence in the story posted on the environmental pressure group's site notes, "we are looking at ice-free summers in the Arctic as early as 2030." Greenpeace actually meant "sea ice-free summers". The organization's executive director, Gerd Leipold, admitted the omission in a BBC Hardtalk interview.

But he also went on to say: "As a pressure group, we have to emotionalize issues and we're not ashamed of that."

Some senior climatologists have urged Greenpeace not to use exaggeration as a tool to win over the doubters. Vicky Pope, head of climate change advice at UK's Met Office, said, "Overplaying natural variations in the weather as climate change is just as much a distortion of the science as underplaying them to claim that climate change is not happening."

Mike Hulme, formerly director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia, agreed, "Campaigners and some scientists seem to be appealing to fear in order to generate a sense of urgency," he said.

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