Sunday, October 05, 2008

About Climate Resistance

I know almost nothing about the self-styled climate-change curmudgeons Ben Pile and Stuart Blackman or what they've published online or off, yet I was pleased reading the 16 tenets they put forth on their About page and finding it so easy to resist going along with any one of them. That's the kind of curmudgeonliness we all like to go up against.

1. There is good scientific evidence that human activities are influencing the climate. But evidence is not fact, and neither evidence nor fact speak for themselves.

Yea, so what?

2. The evidence for anthropogenic climate change is neither as strong nor as demanding of action as is widely claimed.

Says you. Then there's what the IPCC says.

3. Our ability to mitigate, let alone reverse any such change through reductions in CO2 emissions is even less certain, and may itself be harmful.

So if Kevlar in vests has some toxicity, soldiers and police should fight gun battles without them?

4. The scientific consensus on climate change as widely reported inaccurately reflects the true state of scientific knowledge.

Pshaw. See my replies to 1 and 2, then go read widely elsewhere.

5. How society should proceed in the face of a changing climate is the business of politics not science.

In a manner of speaking, but where are you headed with this?

6. Political arguments about climate change are routinely mistaken for scientific ones. Environmentalism uses science as a fig leaf to hide an embarrassment of blind faith and bad politics.

Environmentalism? Political arguments? Whose do you mean? You can't mean Al Gore or the people I've been listening to.

7. Science is increasingly expected to provide moral certainty in morally uncertain times.

Well there's one to bounce off your thesis advisor.

8. The IPCC is principally a political organisation.

You could say the same about the AMA, but that doesn't make it wrong about what's unhealthy.

9. The current emphasis on mitigation strategies is impeding society’s ability to adapt to a changing climate, whatever its cause.

Unregulated profiteering will take care of it? Leave it to Exxon and Enron? Step away or move upwind of the emissions source and then we'll talk.

10. The public remain unconvinced that mitigation is in their best interests. Few people have really bought into Environmentalism, but few people object vehemently to it. Most people are slightly irritated by it.

And if speed limits slightly irritate most people? Have few really bought into them, because so many occasionaly speed? If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it.... I'm bored and slightly irritated myself now.

11. And yet climate change policies go unchallenged by opposition parties.

Political unanimity in the face of a broad concurrence by scientists! If only this were true of Congress.

12. Environmentalism is a political ideology, yet it has never been tested democratically.

As a few people say about taxation.

13. Widespread disengagement from politics means that politicians have had to seek new ways to connect with the public. Exaggerated environmental concern is merely serving to provide direction for directionless politics.

Exaggerating concern in the advocacy of my interests is O.K. with me.

14. Environmentalism is not the reincarnation of socialism, communism or Marxism. It is being embraced by the old Right and Left alike. Similarly, climate change scepticism is not the exclusive domain of the conservative Right.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

15. Environmentalism will be worse for the poor than climate change.

Spanning left to right but being untested democratically, this "Environmentalism" must not be any policy or platform in particular you're talking about, in which case I suppose you might as well say what you like. It's only preposterous out of context.

16. Environmentalism is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Mental models tell me that's hot air, even if I can't tell what it means exactly.


Anonymous said...

"Says you. Then there's what the IPCC says."

Says you. But what does the IPCC actually say?

"Catastrophe"? Nope. "Tipping-Point"? Nope. "Societal collapse"? Nope.

"See my replies to 1 and 2, then go read widely elsewhere."

Well that's easy. Ditto. One only needs to compare the words of Gore to the IPCC Assessment reports to realise that somewhere along the lines, someone made a lot of stuff up.

"You can't mean Al Gore or the people I've been listening to."

Why not?

troutsky said...

Intellectually grotesque, they are all trick and weave.Palins non-answer to the same question was much more honest in a Spectacular sense.