The Passion of the Climate Change Debate

I do not know why people who do not accept that climate change is happening and that climate change is made by humanity’s actions get so excited when others comment on or explain their views of climate change. It is hard to understand this because the debate about climate change is essentially a scientific debate, not a religious debate or even a philosophical debate.

Either climate change is happening and is man-made or climate change is not happening or if it is happening is not made by man. That is a simple and logical position and as such discussing climate change should not lead to deep feelings and emotions because the discussion is essentially one about what is or is not a scientific process. Now I accept that the ramifications of climate change or the ramifications of humanity trying to prevent climate change when climate change does not exist can be very serious for humanity.

If climate change does not exist then humans are wasting money and effort on trying to prevent it with the only possible advantage in trying to prevent something which is not happening will be to create cleaner air and less pollution by reasons of actions intended to prevent climate change. This would be an unintended consequence.

If climate change is happening and is caused by humanity then I can understand people getting excited if climate change is not being addressed by humanity because the consequences may be dire and drastic. The difficulty is that no one can predict when those consequences will come into being. It may be they are already being; they may not affect humanity so hundred years.

A person with great scientific training and background may reach the conclusion that man-made climate change exists. Such a person may give measurements of certainty to that conclusion. No rational person would measure certainty to 100% because in this case there can be no empirical proof or mathematical proof of anthropogenic climate change.

Another person with equally deep scientific training and background may reach the entirely opposite conclusion. Again it is in the nature of science and science is after all a rational subject, that the degree of certainty for the belief can never be 100%.

This being so I fail to understand the passion of the debate about climate change. Of course it is an important debate and may well be the most important issue that humanity has to debate and reach of view upon, but such views are not assisted by passion and emotion in the argument.

This is not an argument that will be won by those who speak loudest or longest.