Tuesday 2 February 2010
KIRSTY'S UPDATE ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAMME:
Tonight Newsnight exposes the problems besetting the very pinnacle of climate change science. Are the warnings about global warming trustworthy or not? Are climate scientists eroding our trust with a series of mistakes, false predictions, and possibly dodgy science?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is meant to be the gold standard - subject to rigorous peer review and based on hard scientific data, and yet it has made a series of blunders. The IPCC assertion that there is a very high likelihood glaciers in the Himalayas will disappear by 2035 is unsubstantiated by science, and wrong.
The IPCC have now admitted it was "a lapse in standards". But this follows a number of other assertions about the impact of natural disasters and the future of the Amazonian rainforest that now turn out to be controversial. Add to that the now infamous hacked email exchange between scientists about disputed climate change statistics and the failure to deliver a global agreement at Copenhagen, and are we entitled to feel bewildered?
Susan Watts reports on the growing pressure on the IPCC. We'll be discussing it all live with Professor Chris Field of the IPCC - a man at the centre of the storm - and a leading climate scientist with strong criticisms of the IPCC.
And if there are persistent doubts over global warming how does that play into the promises to reduce CO2 emissions? Justin Rowlatt sees the plans for what could be the world's leading Carbon Capture Plant, due to be sited in Yorkshire.
Today Gordon Brown announced plans for a referendum on constitutional change. Today is also officially Groundhog Day. Dear viewer I ask you, are these two things linked? We'll discuss whether the government's plans for a switch to voting for a list of candidates, rather than first past the post, is an election strategy or, after 13 years in power, Gordon Brown's lightbulb moment?
And it's Oscar-tastic with ten films in contention for the big prize rather than five for the first time since 1943 - and what a mix it is! From the Hurt Locker, to Avatar, to Inglourious Basterds.
Watch to see the contenders. 10.30pm on BBC Two.
Here is what we are lining up for tonight's programme:
Susan Watts is looking into the growing pressure on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) after recent claims that some leading scientists exaggerated the melting of the Himalayan glaciers.
At the centre of the controversy is the IPCC's Working Group 2 - whose job it is to assess the impact of human induced climate change.
In fact, according to its own website, Working Group 2 "assesses the scientific, technical, environmental, economic and social aspects of the vulnerability (sensitivity and adaptability) to climate change of, and the negative and positive consequences for, ecological systems, socio-economic sectors and human health, with an emphasis on regional sectoral and cross-sectoral issues".
Tonight, Chris Field, the head of Working Group 2, will be on programme.
We are also looking at Labour's plans to scrap Britain's "first past the post" voting system if it wins the General Election.
And we have a very powerful film from Tim Whewell about homosexuality in Uganda.
Also we will be across the Oscars nominations when they are announced at lunchtime.