Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Australian Editorial - Climate Change

You might be forgiven for thinking of The Australian as a propagandist on the payroll of the current aussie govt. The strident editorial tone of this paper when it comes to any disagreement with the aussie way is extremely annoying from regional politics, NZ defence and of course GHG's and Kyoto. Don't ya just love this bit?
For starters, the jury is still out on what is happening to the climate and what is causing it. Distinguishing recent small changes in temperatures from natural variability is an inexact science. The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen, but it is only one of many greenhouse gases and it has less impact on raising temperatures than the amount of water vapour and clouds in the air. There is controversy over how temperature is measured and the accuracy of the results. Given that political and economic solutions are needed to tackle climate-related issues, maybe it is time most climatologists took a bath.

Wow, i'm so glad that the newspaper editors found the time to grapply with the extreme mathematics needed to understand climate modelling and the ludicrously advanced chemistry involved in gas, gas-liquid equilibria and the high end physics needed to understand the planetary albedo feedback mechanisms on re-radiation of energy. Phew - and they had time to ramble on about something else...
If you want to lose sleep tonight, the phrase:
...the jury is still out...
is C&P from the US creationist fundamentalism movement driving evolution (and science in general) out of their secondary schools. In fact, most of the Australian anti-GHG effect proponents seem to be following that recipe book of debating tactics (not to be confused with reasoned debate) step by step.
As for politics and economics being needed, that is indeed true but these are mechanisms for action and change, not the process by which you decide what should be done. There is a reason why most of the major fish stocks have been fished out of existence or rain forests are cut down for furniture wood - kickback politics and bad economics. The tragedy of the commons replayed over and over again...


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