sexta-feira, 4 de Maio de 2012

Climate Realism in Brazilian television

Jô Soares is a Brazilian comedian and talk show host. In his talk show, Programa do Jô, on Rede Globo, the fourth-largest public TV commercial network in the world, last Wednesday he interviewed Ricardo Augusto Felício. Ricardo Felício has a PhD in Geography, by the University of São Paulo, Brazil, based on study of dynamic climatology in Antarctica, between 2001 and 2006.

Ricardo stated that the AGW is not a theory, but an hypothesis. He stated that climate change is a 3000 year-old story, when ancient Greece was already debating the issue. These were later followed by the Romans, who were associating climate change then with aqueduct construction, and has continued until today. The alarmed Jô pushed the main alarmist issues, but Ricardo Felício was quick refuting and explaining all of them.

Ricardo explained, in an easy language, the differences between local and global climate. He explained that ice melts, but then freezes again. And he knows about what he is talking about, as he has been to Antarctica in the timeframe where ice has been gaining area. Please remember that Brazil is in the southern hemisphere, so they talked more about Antarctica.

Sea level was another topic. He talked about the IPCC projections, and compared those to the El Niño variations, which has bigger variations in a small period, while the IPCC projections are for a whole century.

They both joked with all the alarmism surrounding the end of the World. The greenhouse effect was another joke, with Ricardo explaining concepts like temperature, pressure and volume, and explaining why people are so wrong when relating Venus's warming with CO2.

The ozone hole was another interesting issue, with Ricardo explaining the history since Dobson. He talked about the CFC patents expiring, the HCFC replacement, and the new measures being taken to replace it. Sustainability is certainly not an option when all these refrigeration equipments will be replaced, again.

Ricardo answered two questions from the audience, and also exposed a joke involving catastrophic warming from deep sea oil exploration, as is currently being done in Brazil.

Ricardo also joked with the Amazon being the Earth's lung. Ricardo explained that it's the climate that drives the Amazon rain-forest, and not the other way around. One of the best moments of the interview was when Ricardo explained that "the rain-forest is there because it rains; it doesn't rain because there's a forest there". Ricardo explained the importance of the oceans in the climate. After all, they are 3/4 of the Earth's surface.

This interview is having a great impact in Brazil, and in the Portuguese speaking world, the seventh most spoken language in the World. Ricardo Felício was a bright challenge for Jô's humor, whose program is seen by almost 5 million viewers daily. This will have an even bigger impact, in a country that is preparing for the Rio summit later this year, but where realism is alive and kicking.

The interview will be aired again this Sunday on GNT, May 6th, 9 PM.