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Cheers - AE

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Exaggerate? Us?

While these clowns with their green pieces are on the roof of the palace of Westminster it might be a good time to remind ourselves how Big Eco, of which their organisation is very much a part, likes to operate now and again.

Smoothly change from predicting and ice age to predicting warming shortly after a run of cold years gives way to some warm ones, and then sic lawyers on journos who manage to interview you and get you to admit it on film.

Duck questions you weren't expecting and don't like by answering a slightly different question that wasn't actually asked, which is an old political favourite of course, and not surprising from a former politician - if indeed 'former' is the right word. And then have his microphone switched off if he carries on trying to ask that inconvenient (see what I did there?) questions.

Make shit up. Er, how can I put this? Ah yes, offer up scary scenarios using simplified and dramatic statements while not mentioning the uncertainties. Actually that sounds familiar. I'm sure someone said something like that once before... oh yes, it was Steven Schneider again. Clearly the principle has spread.

And in the meantime the BBC has suddenly woken up and noticed that global warming stopped more than ten years ago and that the climate scientists and their computer models - you know, that consensus that keeps going on that the science is in and it's settled - had no idea it was coming and can't explain it. And down under Australians are starting to seriously think about the N-word... no, it's not another racism row but nuclear power*. Is this where the paradigm shifts again, just as it did in the 70s when the scare went from global cooling to global warming? Are we going to return to the default position in science - that of caution and scepticism - or are we just going to start shitting ourselves about something completely new? In either case I hope environmentalism isn't too damaged. Yes, seriously. There are obvious environmental problems that we are able physically, technically and financially to fix, but one of my fears is that environmentalism will be the boy who cried wolf. I can just imagine a few years after the CO2 scare has blown over warnings of an avoidable habitat loss being waved away by a world that says 'yeah, sure, you told us that about the warming and the polar bears and we're not being fooled again'. If that were to happen it would not only be sad but arguably the worst offence of the whole AGW scare.

* I was once asked by an Aussie 'yeah, but would you want to live near a nuclear reactor?' I laughed and told him that the question should really have been would I want to live near a nuclear reactor again - where I last lived in the UK the nearest fission reactors were about half an hour away and there must have been ten or twelve more within another couple of hours drive.
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