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Greenhouse emissions and the changing climate

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 11 November 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1169

Negotiators in the Hague must realise that little progress has been made

  1. Michael Grubb, professor, climate change and energy policy (
  1. T H Huxley School, Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine, London SW7 2BP

    There is something new about the floods that have ravaged Europe and most recently England this year. For the first time senior politicians and the media have clearly linked flooding to global warming. What would have been regarded a few years ago as irresponsible speculation has moved into the mainstream. Of course, it is foolish to claim that any single event is “caused by global warming”: extreme events are rare by definition and statistics on changes in frequency are complex. But even allowing for the demands of the media and the public for stark, black and white simplification the shift in belief is not without foundation.

    It is five years since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (set up by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization) first concluded cautiously that there was “discernible evidence” that some changes in climate …

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