Latest Issue

Warming by committee

The most exhaustive official account of global warming has just been published by the UN. John Maddox shares its anxieties but believes that the committees which produced it need reform

By John Maddox   November 1996

With the threat of an imminent nuclear exchange behind us, there is now only the prospect of global warming to keep us awake at nights. And that threat is not all that distant. By the middle of the next century, we shall all be uncomfortably warmer than now unless we live in Manitoba or Siberia-by which time it will be too late to do much about a further worsening of the climate.

That is what the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) has been saying since 1990, when it produced its first assessment of the prospects. (Others, Roger Revelle of…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect