Tuesday, March 20, 2007

climate change views in nz

ahh the quality of debate over climate change.
some of these are obvious spam posts but the ones that seem genuine are showing an appalling lack of judgement of cause, effect and risk management.
As one guy said, it's no big deal for the big/rich countries, we'll just roll with the punches. It's the poor countries that are going to get hammered.
Oh yeah:
  1. no-one denies it's been hotter/colder in the past. the big difference is that we weren't around then. changes to our relatively benign climate are serious because they will affect people. bugs were, are and will always be the big winners in life's marathon. doesn't mean we should exit stage left before our time...
  2. the sun is big. real scientists noticed it and have still concluded that not all the effects of the last 100 years are attributable. the maths is hard (and i'm not talking 'balance your cheque book hard, if PDE's and non-linear feedback systems are not part of your day to day vocabulary you need about 2-4 years tertiary maths just to understand what they on about).
  3. non-scientists should look toward the consensus view to try and gauge the opinion of complicated scientific problems. i can find a crackpot on groups.physics or groups.biology that deny relativity and evolution are credible, it doesn't make it true and i certainly wouldn't bet the world on it.
  4. if you are going to point to complicated sounding denials, quote the literature. last i read, of 928 papers on climate change reviewed in quality journals (impact factor >= 1), 0 showed evidence to contradict the thesis (Mooney, The Rebublican War on Science - excellent piece of pol reporting by the way **caution:refs quoted from memory are highly suspect - check http://www.realclimate.org/ for definitive references and objective reporting from actual climate scientists). It doesn't get much stronger than this.
  5. global 'cooling' was a media beatup. they are crap at doing science reporting. the herald is generally crap at science reporting.
  6. never underestimate the resources and dedication of vested interests. Big Tobacco is alive and well (ironically) despite the most concerted effort ever to ban their product.

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