Sunday, February 07, 2010

All you ever needed to know about the Climate Change debate....

Okay, so it's not chock-full of stats and graphs, but this piece says more about the state of the Climate Change debate than a shelf-full of worthy papers.

Printed in today's Observer, it's an exchange of emails between the paper's science and technology editor Robin McKie, and Dr Benny Peisner, Director of the climate change sceptic thinktank the Global Warming Policy Foundation.

Whilst Robin returns time and time again to the science underpinning man-made climate change, and the overwhelming number of leading scientists who support the theory, Dr Peisner's ripostes are all rhetoric and evasion.

Well worth a look. I thought the article highlighted the vacuity of the 'denial' approach to climate change in telling terms.


james said...
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james said...

The shift in public opinion on this issue is quite astonishing.

The interests at stake are pretty obvious, as the independent reports, it's those seeking to avoid regulation to reduce pollution that are funding the 'do nothing' brigade:

"Free-market, anti-climate change think-tanks such as the Atlas Economic Research Foundation in the US and the International Policy Network in the UK have received grants totalling hundreds of thousands of pounds from the multinational energy company ExxonMobil. Both organisations have funded international seminars pulling together climate change deniers from across the globe."

Paul Cain said...

Strange how two people can read the same article and take away such a different impression.

I read this online in The Observer yesterday and was immediately struck at the way Robin McKie, far from 'returning time and again to the science underpinning man made climate change', adopted ad hominem attacks from the get-go.

Look at his first sentence. He calls Dr Peisner 'a denier', with all the obvious Holocaust overtones.

The speed at which your so-called 'concensus' over AGW has fallen apart, as James notes, is quite astonishing.

I know you, Councillor have a vested personal interest in perpetuating the rapidly crumbling edifice that is AGW; but you surely have learned by now that simply repeating over and over and over that something is true does not make it so.

It's a tactic Labour has used for 13 years and the public, in general, has seen through it.

I presume you've also seen The Guardian (The Guardian!) pieces last week on the Climategate scandal. You'll have read about the deliberate, criminal evasions of the Freedom of Information Act by 'scientists' at the University of East Anglia; the time they spent ensuring climate sceptics were kept out of respected scientific journals; their brazen and dishonest manipulation and invention of temperature data from China, sea levels from The Netherlands and tree ring data from Siberia; the titanic effort made to avoid peer review.

You'll have read about how the IPCC used magazine reports and untested observations by ski guides to predict massive glacier melting, global flooding of low lying areas and the widespread extinction of species.

You'll have read about how it has been forced to apologise for the Himalaya glacier fiasco and is now being openly laughed at over its claims about the desertification of large swathes of Africa.

Perhaps you've seen the story of the IPCC report saying the Nile Delta was doomed to flooding - only to have to retract the report when it emerged that it was based on an unreviewed student dissertation which attempted to show how computer models can be manipulated to produce any evidence you want - and the Nile Delta flooding story was a myth the student created to demonstrate his point.

This is not climate science.

it is not science of any sort.

It's mumbo jumbo verging on the incantations of a cult.

Yet still you say the issue is settled?

A Labour politician supporting huge policy decisions based on a dossier of dodgy and invented evidence.

Now, where have I heard that before?

james said...

Paul, did you read the Independent article?

There are obvious interests at stake in preventing action being taken to shift from high to low carbon sources of energy.

Even if climate change were not man-made, we still have the issue of the energy gap and resource depletion - which require huge policy decisions - and the same interests will be opposing such policy decisions.

Paul Cain said...

You can research the head of the IPCC, R K Pachauri, who has a network of private 'energy institutes' all over the world, including here in the UK. These institutes tap into huge sources of public money, including the EU and Pachauri has become a very rich man as a result.

You can research our own chancellor, Alistair Darling, who admitted six months ago that many so-called 'green taxes', including duty on flights, were nothing of the sort. They were just taxes, plain and simple, and Labour needs them to patch up a small part of the hole in the public finances.

Read the entire thing and don't just resort to a knee-jerk anti-Daily Mail rant: He says he makes no bones about the fact that green taxes have gone to plug gaps in the national finances and have nothing to do with global warming.

Of course big oil is, overtly and covertly, campaigning against the warmist movement.

But the warmist movement is just as financially, morally and scientifically corrupt.

The warmist movement is about money and control, James.

It sure as hell isn't about science.

Some in the warmist movement advocate huge changes to our way of life and our economy based on so much, excuse the pun, hot air.

A recognition of that, a slowing of this rabid sprint to prove ourselves 'greener than thou', would help a lot.

We need calm, reliable evidence. All we get is people like Councillor Wallis sticking their fingers in their ears, yelling 'la-la-la, I'm not listening, the science is settled.'

Resource depletion? Perhaps, although the discovery of provable oil reserves, perhaps twice as large as those in Saudi Arabia, under South America (specifically Venezuela) in the last few weeks, ought to keep us going for a bit.

The energy gap? Nuclear.

Paul Cain said...

Sorry James, for some reason the first part of my reply cut off.

Yes, I read the article in the independent.

I agree big oil is campaigning, overtly and covertly against the notion of man-made climate change.

But the warmist movement is equally about money and influence.

There are countless quangos, councils, charities and even NGOS who are rolling in it thanks to the largesse of the taxpayer, because these organisations play the pre-ordained AGW game.

You can research for yourself the massive scale of fraud involved in the carbon trading scheme.

And then you have Mr Pachauri: see above

james said...

I take your points, Paul.

On the energy gap - we have to import uranium, mined in Australia, to power nuclear plants - so it's not a renewable resource.

On depletion I was refering to specifically UK sources of energy such as gas and oil. Relying on imports is a risky strategy, especially because of the increased global demand - we don't want our own economic development to be impeded by higher energy import costs in the long-term.

On taxation - tax can be used to raise revenue but also to provide incentives and disincentives. Taxes on polluting activities have the impact of lessening them.

It's not global warming, it's climate change. The idea that ever increasing emissions of a substance into the atmosphere might alter weather conditions doesn't seem too far fetched to me, Paul.