Re: Climate Change

Jeff Thies wrote:

I don't think there are very many deniers who are qualified, ie climatologists. There are many who represent themselves as "experts" but turn out to be like Singer who used to get paid by the tobacco industry to deny smoking caused harm or like Monkton who is a journalist trained in classics but seems a little mad and in love with the spotlight. So much of the propaganda from such experts is not a scientific argument anyway but an appeal to consequences "your taxes will skyrocket, they want a world government which will take all your rights, etc". See:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_consequences
There was one bloke who used to work for the CSIRO who has some professional training in the area (I cannot think of his name sorry) but I recall following up on it and he was soundly refuted by the majority position. Spencer himself gets quite a drubbing from some climatologists, see:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/how-to-cook-a-graph-in-three-easy-lessons /
That is not to say there is universal agreement, there are bound to be differences of opinion on the details and especially the modelling but for the main point that humans have caused real climate changes due to burning fossil fuel and it will get worse if we don't stop the consensus among scientists is real.
I know that science never proves anything to the 100% certainty level but it is only those who are looking to freeze the political process into inaction that claim that it should. The precautionary principle says that as the consequences of inaction get more serious you should act to prevent problems even if the matter is not certain. It's like insurance, you pay a little to cover the possibility of disaster that costs much more. This principle is written into much environmental protection legislation so why wouldn't we use it now on a broader scale? The failure to resolve this is not from the scientists who failed to provide reasonable evidence it is from the politicians who have collectively failed to act on it.
Even if it turns out that AGW is wrong and we convert to a sustainable energy economy prematurely it will not be wasted effort, we have to do it soon anyway regardless of climate change. The cost of converting too soon is trifling compared to the cost of going too late. So why dither?
David
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And then there are those who see global catastrophe as an opportunity. An opportunity to sell you white paint, or shoot sulfur particles into the stratosphere to block the incoming light, or what ever cockamamie idea that they have at the time.
--
- Billy
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There's probably even dissent about whether we really need to do that and it seems there are some who think that peak oil is a myth.
Phillip Adams mentioned in his column in the weekend Oz that he'd met a small time American oil man who believed that oil was not formed in ancient times but was produced constantly deep within the earth. He make no comment about this person other than to report his opinion. I thought that was admirable restraint.
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FarmI wrote:

This kind of thinking is an excellent example of the appeal to consequences type of logic. Although this far gone probably qualifies as ostrich behaviour too.
"The consequences of the world running out of oil are terrible therefore it isn't happening."
D
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College tuitions are going up quickly and funding for primary and secondary education is falling in the US. Rote memorization of facts is considered education. I suspect that a well educated constituency is the bane of politicians.
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FarmI wrote

Pity he cant explain where the carbon comes from.

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David Hare-Scott wrote:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/how-to-cook-a-graph-in-three-easy-lessons /
Because it makes a lot more sense to change to nukes for electricity generation and use the electricity from them to heat our houses if you want to do something about CO2 levels.
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