Published in the Sunday Morning Herald, Feb 17, 2010
Climate change sceptics are really making my unborn grandchildren angry. Just when we thought the science was in and we could start focusing on action to avoid the massive environmental, social and economic costs of global warming, along come the climate-science deniers to muddy the waters.
Now we are arguing over a few emails and a typo in the latest Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change report.
If there were a typo in The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, would that nullify the theory of evolution? If an email were stolen from one lung cancer specialist that showed frustration with tobacco lobbyists, would this prove that all cancer specialists around the world were in a conspiracy to destroy cigarette companies? If a tennis ball is filmed only after it bounces and is moving upwards, does this disprove the law of gravity?
Obviously the answer is no, no and no. Yet the deniers of climate science desperately hang on to a few drops of so-called proof to claim the entire ocean of evidence is flawed.
These minor errors do not invalidate the work of scientists from around the world who are screaming from their combined rooftop that human activity is warming the planet. Hundreds of scientists from more than
100 countries whose work is peer-reviewed by hundreds more are apparently all in a global conspiracy to make us pay more for electricity. The insects they study that are migrating earlier or travelling higher up mountains due to enhanced global warming must be in on the conspiracy, too.
Do people who question climate change science do so in other areas of their lives? Do they refuse a doctor’s advice when seriously ill? Do they question aeronautical engineers before they board a plane? Or do they mistrust science only when it points to global catastrophe?
The denial machine is well oiled and is loudly supported by old-energy lobbyists, conspiracy theorists, opportunistic politicians, liars and self-important opinion writers. These writers place themselves above collected scientific wisdom using simplistic unsubstantiated popular chants.
We must refocus on the voices of the overwhelming majority of scientists who warn us that we are fast approaching various environmental tipping points. The science of climate change and the duty it drops in our laps will not go away because of a typo. We must act, otherwise in 2060 there will be hordes of irate youngsters breaking down the doors of nursing homes demanding to know why we ignored the science and trashed the planet.
And you can add do David’s list of questions: Does the fact that two Aussie journalists have been nabbed by Media Watch (here and here) making up quotes, fudging the science and misleading the public, i.e., exagerating to make a point, does this prove that all “skeptic” accusations are false? By the denier logic, the answer is yes.
Now, take a look at the first several responses, including #6 from our old friend Mark H:
“entire ocean of evidence” Do you mean all the manipulated data from East Anglia University?
Climate change has always been and always will be. Look at an article in the Sunday Herald Sun late Nov 2009. It told us how crocodile skeletons (from 6 different species) had been found in the Sahara. This proves that the Sahara was once some sort of tropical wetland because crocodiles don’t live in deserts. Climate changed and caused a desert to form many many thousands of years before human activity could possibly have been the culprit. You claim that many scientists agree with human induced climate change, but I suspect it has more to do with their attempts at getting Government grants, which they have been very successful.
Laurie | Melbourne – February 17, 2010, 7:01AM
Dave – February 17, 2010, 7:02AM
There is nothing wrong with healthy scepticism. I’m more than happy to be brought around to accept climate change – IF – it can be proven. It hasn’t & I remain sceptical. Especially when there is so much money to be made & so much opportunity for us to be taxed.
Wayne | Canberra – February 17, 2010, 7:18AM
Another thought; I wonder if Krudd could have formed the new world order and prevented the last ice age?
Dave – February 17, 2010, 7:19AM
Excellent article- all this skepticism now seems reminiscant of the tobacco lobby years ago, as they were clutching onto minor studies showing smoking was safe. Tell that to all the people who used that to keep smoking, and then ended up with cancer.
As for irate youngsters breaking down the doors of nursing homes, there’ll be no need. We simply won’t pay your pensions since dealing with the environmental challenges of unabated climate change will make supporting old people unaffordable
John – February 17, 2010, 7:19AM
David, Me thinks you have been limiting your reading to ABC and fairfax. Try reading the Australian occasionally. For a run down of ABC climate change errors see:
MarcH – February 17, 2010, 7:15AM
So evolution which has been around for over 100 years is just a theory but man made global warming requiring massive unilateral economic restructuring has achieved fact status which no one may question in a little over a decade?
The problem is that politics is about 20 years ahead of the science on climate change. There has been a massive overreach by the green movement which has cost the movement its credibility and caused genuine, fixable environmental problems to be ignored.
Dave | Sydney – February 17, 2010, 7:14AM
So I guess the alarmists’ fascist approach is back in full swing. Anyone disagreeing with these Chicken Littles must be “shouted down”.
How does “hundreds of scientists” represent an “overwhelming majority”, especially in light of the 31,000 signatories of the Oregon Petition?
“Do they refuse a doctor’s advice when seriously ill?” If the treatment is not backed up by a single scientific study, then yes. Science has as much evidence of our ability to stop climate change as it does of our ability to reverse the rotation of the planet. You can’t assume that the treatment is simply to reverse the process of the ailment.
When you’re talking “heads in the sand”, you can’t go much further than this author. He’s clearly oblivious as to the (still emerging) mountain of evidence of scientific fraud. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to know.
Funny how in the same sentence he accuses others of being conspiracy theorists he talks about our “well-oiled denial machine”.
Prince Planet | nsw – February 17, 2010, 7:30AM
Take a valium, Dave. Then go look at the meteorological records of countries all over the world. Hot weather, Cold weather, insect migrations etc, etc are all event recorded in past records. These events have come and gone. Oceans turned into deserts, including central Australia, just look at the fossils of marine creatures discovered out there, long before the “man-made industrial revolution”. Take control of your hysteria and read objectively with an open mind. Of course Homo-sapiens have changed the environment, but it has changed by itself many times before without so much of our influence.