Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Monday, 16 November 2009

Sorry Kevin again.

Rather than the abused kids that really weren't his fault I feel that Kevin Rudd could and should apologise for something that's entirely his responsibility, i.e. his anti-scientific and slavish adherence to the warble gloaming dogma and the disgusting way he attacks those who dare to express honest doubt.
Kevin Rudd went over the top last week in a speech to the Lowy institute, declaring it was "time to remove any polite veneer" from the climate change debate, which he claims is the "moral challenge of our generation".
So how's that work then, Kevin? Do you win the scientific argument by waffling that there's a moral imperative and calling us all selfish and profligate energy wasters? Do we win if we trump you by saying that morals are subjective and that you're a gullible prick in awe of Big Eco? I'm happy to be rude about it and I don't care if you drop any pretence either. If you're right you'll be just as right if you be all saintly about it. If you're wrong you'll be just as wrong as if you swear and rant and take the piss out of those who disagree.*
Then he launched an extraordinary tirade against "the climate change sceptics, the climate change deniers" who he claims are "powerful", "too dangerous to be ignored", "driven by vested interests … quite literally holding the world to ransom … Our children's fate - and our grandchildren's fate - will lie entirely with them."
To most of which we sceptics can say 'right back at ya, Kev'. There are very few world leaders who are not on message when it comes to the idea that mankind, specifically its emission of CO2 in vastly smaller amounts than all the natural sources, is making the world into a giant oven. As such it is actually you lot and not the sceptics who are most deserving of the 'powerful' label, and because of that power that you all seem hell bent on using to harm the economies of the industrialised world it is in fact you and people like you who are 'too dangerous to be ignored' and are 'holding the world to ransom' at least until either you wake up - the fate of our children and grandchildren lie with you in as much as it is they who are likely to live a meagre hand-to-mouth existence, poverty stricken in once wealthy nations, if you turn out to be wrong about this. And this charge to what might be disaster is indeed driven by the vested interests of Big Eco - companies who make wind turbines and solar panels and tide generators whose market for their products depends mainly on continuing belief in warble gloaming; the nuclear power industry, including companies that mine uranium, who see the chance to bash their fossil fuel competitors over their carbon emissions (watch the loopiest greenies twist on the horns of that particular dilemma); the makers of household greenery such as CFL eco-bulbs, hybrid cars*** and the eco-button among other things; wealthy industrialists who've invested in any or all of this stuff and who might well want to look after this investment with a few donations to politicians that may be receptive and in positions to push greenhouse policies; lobbyists and pressure groups who nailed their colours to the warming mast and would lose not just credibility but grants and donations if it turns out to be bogus; climate scientists and computer modellers whose continued funding, and therefore livelihoods and mortgage payments, depends largely on their continued usefulness to their paymasters, the various governments and (often publicly funded) bodies they all work for; newspapers and their broadcast media colleagues for whom bad news has always sold and who love this ready and apparently inexhaustible supply of scare stories and headlines as well as the green industry advertising revenue; and of course the politicians themselves who must be priapic at the opportunity to grab votes and save the world. Warble gloaming is a fucking wet dream for most of this lot and the last thing they want is some inconvenient arsehole asking why the world didn't end, or at least run out of polar bears, a few hundred years ago when it was warm enough for people to farm on Greenland and for vineyards to exist in northern England. That's what I call Big Eco, Kev, and in your terms it's a collection of vested interests who stand to lose power, control and billions upon billions of dollars if they lose this argument.

As for being sceptics and deniers... well, there are probably very few deniers as such. Most agree that mankind must have some effect even if it's so tiny that it's lost among the natural climate variability (in much the same way that not only do natural levels of CO2 dwarf man's contribution but they can fluctuate from one year to the next by a larger amount). Nor does anyone but a window licker deny that the climate changes. Opponents of AGW often point out that it's been changing for 4 billion years or so and that if a term such as climate denier with it's nasty unspoken association with Holocaust deniers is applicable to anyone it should be the tools who have this laughable belief that the climate ever was or could be stable. 'Sceptics' is a much fairer term and one that any self respecting scientist should be proud of. Scepticism is supposed to be an essential part of the scientific method. Surely you know this, Kev. You don't just assume that someone's theory is correct or their experiment is accurate, not even if thousands of other agree and former Vice Presidents claim that there's a consensus. If all the scientists in the world agreed tomorrow that objects fall at 5m/s2 anyone with a high school level knowledge of physics and access to a good stopwatch and a tape measure could go to the nearest multi-storey car park and prove every single one of them wrong by almost a factor of two. Even if there is a consensus, and there's enough dissent on AGW amongst professional scientists that you couldn't honestly say there was anyway, but even if there was it would be irrelevant if they're all wrong. So you don't assume but you check it and re-check it. You go through the data with a fine tooth comb and if, as has happened more than once in cases involving AGW proponents, the data is withheld so you can't check it then alarm bells should be ringing. You look at the methodology and try to replicate the results, and again if the information needed isn't forthcoming that alone should be cause for doubt. You try to pull it all apart in any and every conceivable way to see if it can withstand it, and by doing so we find out which theories fail and should be discarded. Science at its most basic is a Darwinian process: nothing less than the destruct testing of each other's ideas. As Thomas Huxley put it:
The improver of natural science absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties: blind faith the one unpardonable sin.
Your call, Kevin.

Incidentally, the article I quoted there is from The Age, which for Northern hemisphere types who might not know it is a Melbourne paper owned by Fairfax Media. Fairfax is kind of a down under Grauniad Media Group and are usually pretty pro green issues - they even set up the lunatic Earth hour idea with the WWF. Frankly I'm amazed that such a sceptical piece appeared in such a pro-AGW theory newspaper, particularly when it strongly criticises not only what Rudd said but also the proposed Emissions Trading Scam Scheme and the IPCC, before going on to a mini-review of a sceptical book and a few holes that it knocks in warble gloaming. The fact that this is The Age suggests that either the times are a changing and warble gloaming belief is on the wane, hence the Rudds of the world and their increasing attacks on honest doubt, or my prior belief that nothing like it stood a hope in hell of getting past The Age's editors was completely wrong and I should go on a diet of humble pie. Either way, go and have a read of the whole thing. It's fairly Oz-centric of course, but still worth it.

* Same as me. My potty mouth doesn't change whether warble gloaming is the alarmist and semi-religious fantasy that I suspect it will probably** turn out to be.
** I changed from being a believer in warble gloaming to being a sceptic a good fifteen years ago but that doesn't mean I can't possibly be persuaded to change back again, though you'd need to make a much better case than the horseshit being pedalled at the moment.
*** Mostly they don't exclusively do eco-mobiles, true, but think how much money Toyota must have invested in their hybrid range and how many people will still want them if the scare ended tomorrow. Even if they've already recouped their R&D and promotional costs etc. can anyone imagine Toyota standing up and calling bullshit whether they believed it or not? With comparatively little competition in small family hybrids surely they have a vested interest in keeping this going.
Related Posts with Thumbnails