Saturday, January 27, 2007

Michael Duffy: New green heresy hunter

SMH's Michael Duffy has a crack at painting the 80% or so of us who acknowledge the science of global warming as members of a new green religion. It's an old motif that is done the rounds of the fossil-fuel think-tank shills who pose as journalists, but Duffy's own brand of spin is good for a belly laugh: :::[SMH]

In my lifetime I've experienced two religious movements, Christianity and Marxism. Now there's a third, the belief our civilisation is doomed unless we take urgent and significant action to reduce our output of carbon dioxide.

He's light-on in justifying this outlandish claim, and it is painful reading his tortured logic.

Late last year World Economics, a reputable and mainstream British academic journal, published a lengthy rebuttal of the review by 14 experts. It's worth quoting from the abstract at some length because the rebuttal has been almost completely ignored. Google Australia gives it 10 references compared with more than 10,000, mostly adulatory ones, for the Stern review itself.

That's fundamentalism in action, too.

Google might be surprised to know their algorithm shows fundamentalist neo-green religiosity. Go, the Gaiagle Algorithm. But you have to get dragged to the last sentence of his concluding paragraph before we see the point Duffy has been labouring so hard to make:

The non-religious view of global warming is this: we know the world has warmed slightly over the past century, but we don't know how much of this was caused by humans and how much by the natural variations in temperature that occur frequently. We have no idea if the warming will continue or, if it does, whether this will be good or bad.

"No idea if the warming will continue... "? This sounds familiar; "no idea whether there is a link between cancer and smoking... ".

"... or whether this will be good or bad". No? Not the findings leading to the first IPCC in 1980 at the Rio Earth Summit? Not those resolutions of Kyoto Protocol in 1988? Not the entire corpus of climate modeling studies? Not the scientific consensus measured by Naomi Oreskes as total? Not the Stern Report conclustions which tell us that not doing something will cost us 20 times what we need to spend on combating global warming? Not the observed climatic effects of climate change events, like the collapsing of the Lars B iceshelf? Not the recent public conversion of the last hold-out politicians like Howard, and Bush? Not the cry by big business for a carbon price signal, so they can get on with the business of makeing business plans?

None of this dents Duffy's faith. What can you say?

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