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Climate change: catastrophe, hoax or just lukewarm?

Public event

Event video


18:30 - 19:30


The Royal Society, London, 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AG


Special lecture by Professor Tim Palmer FRS

Image credit: Arne Hückelheim

Views about climate change can be very polarised. For some, it spells inevitable catastrophe. For others it is a massive hoax. 

However, in between these extremes a third “lukewarm” perspective has emerged. In this approach, the basic science of the greenhouse effect is accepted, but it is asserted that this implies only a modest warming of the planet, unimportant compared with other problems facing humanity.

In this lecture, Professor Palmer emphasised the notion of risk and probability, in contrast with certainty and determinism, in scientific studies of climate change. With some emphasis on the lukewarmist perspective, he explained why none of the three perspectives above is consistent with the risk-based scientific consensus about climate change. 

In the talk Professor Palmer discussed why uncertainty about future climate need not itself be a reason for inaction.  

Climate change: catastrophe, hoax or just lukewarm? The Royal Society, London 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK