Friday, December 03, 2010

The real climate debate

"The scientific debate [concerning climate] is not between deniers and those who can prove that releasing massive amounts of warming gases will make the world warmer. Every major scientific academy in the world, and all the peer-reviewed literature, says global warming denialism is a pseudo-science, on a par with Intelligent Design, homeopathy, or the claim that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. [...] No: the debate is between the scientists who say the damage we are doing is a disaster, and the scientists who say it is catastrophe."

- Johann Hari, There won't be a bailout for the earth".

There are many more climate scientists who think that the IPCC position in the 2007 report is understated, conservative and outdated than who consider it alarmist. Debate still rages and the science is far from settled, but amongst those in the field, the uncertainty is almost entirely between those who think that our current path leads to misery, precipitous ecosystem and biodiversity decline, stronger droughts and more damaging floods, to dangerously rising sea levels, huge financial losses, widespread food insecurity and large numbers of refugees, and those who think that things are considerably worse than that.

It doesn't have to be this way.
Image by JKS. H/T Bryan for the link.


byron smith said...

The Ecologist: Climate change and slavery. Actually, this article is more about fossil fuel use and slavery. Fossil fuels give us the energy that in previous centuries was harnessed through slavery.

byron smith said...

Here is an example of someone putting together an argument for much more alarming climate change than is envisaged by the latest IPCC report.

byron smith said...

And here is another, arguing that most models make overly optimistic assumptions about future emissions.

byron smith said...

Climate Change Social Change:
"“I believe”, Chubb said, “that there is plenty of dissention, argument, colour and movement within the climate change debate amongst the credible climate change scientists about the extent of the problem, how disastrous the situation actually is and what needs to be done to remedy it.

“If the media is seeking conflict, there is plenty of it within the halls of climate science. It doesn’t need to go outside the halls of climate science and talk to people who are irrelevant, who don’t understand the concept of evidence, but who are prepared to shoot off their mouths nonetheless.”

byron smith said...

The Conversation: HIV/AIDS denial in South Africa.

byron smith said...

Exhibit B: AMEG, the Arctic Methane Emergency Group. These guys are admittedly fringe (I don't buy the timing of their account, nor the certainty of their detail), but many of them have relevant expertise and so are less fringe than most of the commonly quoted deniers in the media. Worth pondering.