Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Making sense of warmist fervour

What's a global warming skeptic? Roy Cordato suggests that as far as warmists are concerned the real issue is not the science; for them what decides whether you're for them or against them, whether you're a skeptic or alarmist, "is about the policy proposals you are willing to accept and not necessarily the exact beliefs about the science. It is really about implementing the environmentalist agenda. To the extent that you disagree with that agenda you are a skeptic."

A letter to Newsweek supporting their recent global warming cover story (described by Robert Samuelson as "a wonderful read, marred only by its being fundamentally misleading"*) makes Cordato's point -- this is from a warmist in support of the story, but criticising Newsweek for focusing on the politics of the global warming debate, rather than the science. She ends her letter this way:
The good news is that many of the efforts put forward to reduce human contributions to warming are positive from a cultural and general environmental perspective regardless of whether they will materially affect warming. But because global warming has taken on the religious fervor of the temperance movement, it risks imposing rules that may harm developing nations and, by knee-jerk ridicule of those with differing perspectives, it creates a climate that is inhospitable to discovering the truth.
As Mitch Kokai comments,
The second sentence makes sense. But it’s the first sentence that seems to point to a reason for the “religious fervor.” The remedies sought are “positive from a cultural and general environmental perspective regardless of whether they will materially affect warming.” In other words, it doesn’t matter whether these changes will actually do anything to meet the stated goal. We should do all of these things anyway. Once you understand that mindset, the vehemence of the global warming alarmists makes sense.
See: Letters Tell an Interesting Story - Mitch Kokai.

UPDATE: Regarding remedies, the best line on this was delivered by Bernard Darnton:
The only thing that needs saying about government "solutions" to global warming is this: we know that socialism and central planning are immoral and unworkable at seventeen degrees. What makes anyone think it'll be different at nineteen degrees?
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*Of the Newsweek story, Newsmax.Com says, "The one-sided editorial, masquerading as a news article ... purports to examine the 'well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry [that] has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change'. The only problem is - Newsweek knew better."

As regards the "denial machine," Bob Carter and others have pointed out that while global warming alarmists received $50 billion in research funding in the last decade, skeptics received just $19 million. "In one of the more expensive ironies of history," said paleoclimate scientist Bob Carter, "the expenditure of more than $US50 billion on research into global warming since 1990 has failed to demonstrate any human-caused climate trend, let alone a dangerous one." For a common sense discussion of man's effect on climate change, read our Policy Express piece, Global Warming: What You Haven't Been Told, by Dr. Roy Spencer.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous JC said...

"It is really about implementing the environmentalist agenda. To the extent that you disagree with that agenda you are a skeptic."

Getting close.. and who wants to implement environmentalist programmes the most.. it's those who follow a Green and socialist type agenda.

Global warming belief is thus a badge of "progressive" social policy and in some ways a justification of such policies. After all, the theory is that only governments can save the world from more pleasant weather.

JC

8/29/2007 01:03:00 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

the real issue is not the science... whether you're a skeptic or alarmist, "is about the policy proposals you are willing to accept and not necessarily the exact beliefs about the science. It is really about implementing the environmentalist agenda. To the extent that you disagree with that agenda you are a skeptic."

Whoever said this is part of the problem, not the solution.

The problem is that the science and politics of AGW have become intertwined, seemingly inextricably. They must be separated.

One can be a believer in the science, and a skeptic about the environmentalist agenda. E.g. - Yes, the temperature will rise from 17° to 19°. No, socialism and central planning still won't work.

8/29/2007 05:25:00 pm  
Anonymous little green man said...

In the end it's a mob of people haters who want the power to force everyone to think as they think, act as they act and above all, not to ever achieve more in life than they do. The cause is the excuse.

Evil little hysterics, the lot of them. They are necessarily liars and cheats- same as all collectivists everywhere.

Little Green Man

8/30/2007 06:31:00 am  

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