Friday, July 01, 2011

The other side of the coin...

The key arguments put forward - often will a much reddened face - by climate skeptics seem to revolve around three points:

1. that climate is simply changing but not necessarily exclusively by our hand. We might have 'something' to do with it but our efforts will ultimately be so miniscule to be ineffectual and will instead simple damage the world economy;
2. any opposition to climate change 'tenets' is painted as heresy and it's not conducive to robust debate; and
3. that climate change 'tenets' are taught as facts when - in the mind of skeptics - they are still very much debatable.

1. The skeptics, oddly enough, don't connect the dots between the necessary shift away from oil/coal-based economy not just due to ecological issues but also based on the finite nature of the substances. Add to this the pollutive aspect, it becomes a much larger - and necessary - cultural shift. Whilst the efforts themselves might seem ineffectual and very much a Western luxury, the shift away from waste in general will have a roll-on effect across the various systems.

The same sceptics - often heavily funded by multi-national oil-based companies - are surely versed and practice principles of 'risk-management' and 'harm minimization' in their business decisions. The climate change 'action plans' are simply attempting to do the same on a national/global scale.

2. This is difficult to rebuff as there is - as in most industries - surely an aspect of mobbing involved. Where it becomes exceptionally grey is the lack of either interest or willingness by some scientists/commentators to submit work for peer review. This becomes a political football for both sides. ie. outspoken skeptic Lord Monckton has supposedly never published any peer-reviewed articles on climate science and reputedly some leading scientists won't 'expose' their raw data for analysis.

3. Similar to the 'intelligent' design proponents, climate skeptics maintain that alternatives to climate change tenets should be given equal weight in the educational and media systems. This is simply resolved in that they should be given 'proportional' weighting. ie. if 95% of scientists agree with argument x and only 5% with argument y then the later should be given 5 minutes/words out of every 100.

Where this becomes 'dangerous' is popular opinion shouldn't override scientific rigor and drive policy. ie. according to CBC, 51% of Americans believe "god created humans" and a further 30% believe "humans evolved with god guiding the process".

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