I was recently privileged to speak on a panel at the British Library about the peculiar lack of public discussion about climate change in areas damaged by extreme weather and the tendency for people to interpret these impacts in terms of their own politics and worldview.
Putting the scientific evidence was Prof. Stephen Belcher, the Director of the UK Meteorological Office Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research (a man with a very wide business card and a disgacefully full head of hair). Then myself, followed by Bob Ward, the outspoken and always stimulating Director of Policy & Communications at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change. Chairing is James Randerson, Assistant National News Editor at the Guardian.
I discuss these themes more thoroughly in a former blog article, in a report for the Climate Outreach Information Network – After the Floods: Communicating Climate Change Around Extreme Weather and my forthcoming book Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change.
But it is always interesting to see people talk about this in their own words. In early 2014 the wettest month ever recorded -and in Oxford those records go back to 1767! led to widespread flooding (not ‘fooding’ as I first wrote!)
In this video by COIN taken with flood victims in Oxford, even with the water lapping around their feet none of them talks about climate change until prompted and even then they are split about it.