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It’s warm and sunny today in Doha.

That’s where representatives from UN member countries are gathered for another round of UN climate talks.

It’s a fitting location in many ways. The world overall is getting hotter and dryer.

(At least where it’s not getting colder and wetter.)

Will the talks bring us any closer to a global climate treaty designed to hold us under the 2C degree tipping point? There’s a lot at stake, well described in this Environmental Leader article.

As much as I deeply admire the UN’s work, I’m doubtful for any significant outcomes.

If Sandy couldn’t rattle souls to put climate change at the top of the political agenda, then I don’t hold much hope for a conference half-a-world away.

Not to mention that host country Qatar is the world’s top emitter of greenhouse gases per capita and has not announced any reduction goals.

The two-week event includes release of a new UN report on the increasingly liquid state of the planet’s permafrost. Very bad news.

The Feb. 21 2012 Rutgers Environmental Stewards‘ lecture on “The Limits of Science” was given by Dr. Jan Zientek from Rutgers Cooperative Extension.

It was utterly, completely fascinating. We discussed what science is, what it isn’t, how it is defined by scientists and how it gets used by politicians and everyone else on the way to becoming environmental policy.

Here are his 2010 lecture slides. I’ll update them once this week’s 2012 lecture slides are posted.

With these new ideas in my head, I was especially interested in this news piece about the uncomfortable position faced by Republican climate scientists. Rock, meet hard place.

Via Insideclimatenews, by way of EnviropoliticsBlog:

Republicans don’t want to hear from scientists on climate

Inside Climate News reports today that a number of prominent U.S. climate scientists who identify themselves as Republican say their attempts in recent years to educate the GOP leadership on the scientific evidence of man-made climate change have been futile. Now, many have given up trying and the few who continue notice very little change after speaking with politicians and their aides.

In my opinion, just because you stop listening to the truth, doesn’t stop it from being true.