Joining Tim are:

Dr Benny Peiser, Director of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, think tank focusing on socio-economic aspects of climate policy

Georgy Safonov, Director for the Centre of Environmental Economics at the National Research University

Tom Harris, Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition (ICSE) in Ottawa



Benny Peiser:

“I think that science in this case, unfortunately, is not the answer. The answer is engineering. The reason why we’ve had the floods is that the country is ill-prepared and ill-advised. In other countries like Holland they properly manage rivers and floods defences. All of this is basically lacking and the Met Office is partly responsible for the mess because they advised the MPs just two years ago to expect cold and dryer winters.

“They got it wrong. Therefore you can’t link it to climate change because it cannot do both: have warmer and wetter winters and cold and dryer winters at the same time.

“Instability or increased invariability doesn’t mean that every form of weather event is linked to climate change.”

Georgy Safonov:

“We definitely have evidence of climate change in Russia, for a couple of decades. We see a lot of dangerous high-dry meteorological events. The number of these dangerous events has increased overtime in the last twenty years. The overall damage to the economy, environment, and people is quite significant and it is definitely not covered by insurance companies as it is done in many developed countries. So people suffer, companies suffer. We have different types of such events. Droughts, as in 2010 in the central European part of Russia, flooding last year in the far-east of Russia…

“Recent publications provided by Russian Hydro-meteorological service, the federal agency at the ministry of natural resources show that climate change is happening and is definitely caused by activities of human beings, at least for the last fifty years.

“In terms of economic analysis we still have quite a lot to do, but in terms of physical impacts we definitely have evidence and projections showing that it may be much worse. As Russia is located further north, we may expect much stronger changes in annual temperature.” 

Tom Harris: 

“Climate change has destroyed societies in the past. The real approach to handling it is engineering. A very good example is what happened in the Philippines. Tacloban, the town in the Philippines was decimated by hurricane Haiyan – that happened because they were not ready. Very similar typhoons of similar magnitudes occurred twice in India last year. But you don’t hear about that in the news because only about six or seven people died. The reason is that India has an excellent evacuation shelters and evacuation plans.

 “While the Philippines followed the US model, trying to reduce carbon dioxide and not doing much for adaptation – India focused on adaptation. We see the results very clearly – what happens when you get ready.

“The UN IPCC has backed off on their forecast of droughts. The say the drought data around the world is no longer good enough for them to actually show a good correlation between droughts and warming.”