Tuesday 12 November 2002

Blame it on "Global Warming"

Scotland's rail services have been hit by a series of landslides this year. The Glasgow Herald reporter writes that:
Global warming has been blamed for the recent spate of landslides causing havoc for rail travellers across Scotland
What the railway spokesman actually said was:
We have obviously been aware of the climatic change over the past few years, and we have put a significant investment programme in place to deal with structures and drainage problems.
And a Glasgow University geographer pointed out that:
climate change was often used as a convenient scapegoat blamed for flooding and landslides. "Landslides are not necessarily caused by extra rainfall," said Dr Evans. "If you steepen a slope artificially, the slope is going to be unstable, as the land tries to return to its natural form. Engineers attempt to restrain the slope, but their solutions are sometimes inadequate. "There are more people than ever before, and we are digging and creating more structures than ever before, so that our engineering solutions need to be modified - otherwise, if the climate continues to become warmer and wetter, we are going to see an increase in landslides and other problems. Other countries have heavy rainfall, yet do not suffer the same problems."
So some of the problems we face may be caused by inadequate engineering solutions, not by the weather.

Note that the geography lecturer says "if the climate continues to become warmer and wetter", not that it will. Perhaps the works of Lomborg are reaching our universities.