Doing Something about Climate Change

There is as much politics among academic scientists as there is in any elected chamber of government. Unfortunately climate change has become a subject for political chicanery, rather in the same way that economics and social policy have become sunk in the mire of politicking.

A few weeks ago sixteen leading scientists signed a letter about climate change. These scientists believe that there is no need to decarbonise our economies and that it is possible that climate change predictions have been exaggerated and a slight warming that may ensure may actually be beneficial to humanity.

They claimed that the American Physical Society held these views, and that evoked the following response from the APS:-

“Global warming is occurring” and “while there are factors driving the natural variability of climate (e.g., volcanoes, solar variability, oceanic oscillations), no known natural mechanisms have been proposed that explain all of the observed warming in the past century.”

The APS did not suggest that it is incontrovertible that global warming is human induced. The point is, of course, that human activity is the most likely explanation, along the lines of when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbably, must be true.

Of course there are agenda that scientists, needing research funding for their projects, are pursuing, just as governments and policy makers have agenda to make sure that they are seen to be “doing something” about climate change. As I have pointed out over the years in these posts, politicians are “doing something” but what they are doing is incoherent, often without end product, and mostly fails to achieve anything at all. It is a bit like Eric Morecambe, playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order.

We do need to decarbonise our society, even for no other reason than to keep pollution down, reduce dependence on finite resources and as an insurance policy against global warming. These are logical objectives and I have never heard a logical argument against any of them. We also do need to keep the politics out of climate science, otherwise we will never achieve any objective, no matter how modest.

 

One Response

  1. I am sceptical about manmade global warming because I have thought about it in an educated way and concluded that it’s possible but neither proven nor probable.

    However, seeking energy efficiency is a no brainer, as is reducing pollution and I agree with you that these aims are perfectly reasonable. No need for carbon trading and similar scams.

    However, most Daily Mail readers and Joe Public are sceptics about manmade global warming because governments jumped on this bandwagon to escalate the tax take. I suspect most ‘barrack room’ sceptics don’t understand any of the physics but just see government treating energy consumption just like cigarette smoking, alcohol drinking etc. That is, penalising it. In my view it is perfectly legitimate to use energy in transport, growing food and keeping warm.

    Unfortunately energy use has become tainted and regarded as undesirable. Almost in the same category as smoking and junk food. How rediculous. And all because of so called manmade global warming.

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