Monday, April 24, 2006

Global warming state of the debate: Skeptics vs 'Alarmists'

If you come across a stubborn skeptic, direct them to this enlightening graphic from The Age which outlines where the debate is at. Those for or against recognising man-made global warming will have to agree the report is clinical, factual and unbiased. What it shows is that there is a scientific consensus that global warming is happening, and that most of the 'debate' is happening outside of the scientific establishment, and therefore isn't a scientific debate. In response to media reporting the latest science, the opinion pages of newspapers and policy making think tanks run hot with a generalised retort that either rehashes existing GW-skeptic talking points, or comes up with the newest hatchling from the fossil-fuel lobby's propaganda battery.

A good example is the attack on 'greenies' and environmentalists for their past dire warmings that did not come to pass (usually because action was taken to avert the crises of the time, such as CFC reduction contributing to a thickening of the ozone layer hole).

When the critics actually want to stop heckling from the audience and get into the ring to slog it out in peer reviewed science journals, then I am interested. Until then it is not a real debate about the science or the causes or effects, but a really debate about what we should or shouldn't do in response, with the skeptics implying that doing something is going to cost economic growth.

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brutus_lives said...

thats a very correct statement. unless this is backed by hard science, the most we should do is wait for the smoke to clear, and let the grandstanders tire. good post!

hcg said...

Oh wow, this got every one going - fascinating input mixed with a good read.