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This is a great quote from Daydreamer1 in response to a recent post on the Energy Secretary declaring that AGW is a dead cert and that science denialism, including from the media, is damaging truth.

Daydreamer1 looks at splitting the subject into two points:

It is an irony that the right can be such cowards on this subject – they seem to like thinking of themselves as the strong ones.

It seems that people are always looking for excuses and things to blame that exonerate themselves.

It is quite possible to accept the science of global warming, accept that it is man made, and then go on to talk about the politics of what to do about it. People don’t need to hide behind fabrications to avoid discussing what they actually want to do.

For crying out loud, at least have the fibre to accept the science and then go on to be honest about what you do – or don’t – want to do about it.

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My own take on this is:

1) We are causing global warming. Of course we are! Where do people think all the carbon we are producing (which you can work out in theory by assessing industry, or in practice by measuring CO2 (et al) and comparing with figures for atmospheric volumes and carbon sinks etc) is going?! They seem to be arguing that we can put trillions of tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere and it will do nothing. Where is their chemistry, physics, and model for explaining that?

2) The politics and moral decision making that follows is separate from the science. We can accept the science and do nothing. We can accept the science and go for 100% renewables. Both are separate from accepting we are causing it (science can obviously tell us the best way to get to a desired goal, but again it would be us setting the goal). The choice of what to do is precisely that and if people on the right want to go for carbon capture (or whatever) then they should just say that – not pretend that the science is dubious.

3) Future modelling should not be confused with the science confirming AGW. It is very hard to say exactly what will happen. Hopefully our models are becoming more accurate, but saying what sea level rise will be in 70 years is not easy. The problem of modelling future climate in its affect on our lives in different parts of the world should not affect the science confirming that we are causing it. We should never hear ‘ah, its all a load of nonsense because one minute they say sea levels will rise 5m in 100 years and then they say it will be 1.5m’.

Good stuff, DD. Good to have you commenting regularly here.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...