[permaculture] Fw: New Cumberland BC Cumberlander Article: How should the world respond to climate change?

Toby Hemenway toby at patternliteracy.com
Wed Jan 13 13:46:19 EST 2010

Pieces like this show a fundamental misunderstanding both of what 
science is, and of the problems that we encounter when science is used 
in the service of public policy. It's very obvious why people who 
question anthropogenic climate change run the risk of being labeled as 
deniers: There is a huge and well-funded lobby who want to continue 
business as usual, and those who are trying to do something about 
increased CO2 levels have good reason to fear them. But from what I see, 
most people questioning climate change really are in the pockets of 
business interests, and the few that are not seem to be grossly 
overstating the so-called hysteria and hate-speech they are 
encountering. The hysteria that I can see--such as the ridiculous noise 
over the "suppressed emails"--is almost exclusively coming from the 
"deniers." Did anyone actually read those scientists' emails? I did, and 
they are simply the wishes of some scientists that the data could be 
impossibly strong, because they knew, and regretted in writing, what hay 
the deniers would make of the normal ambiguities that are present in all 

Any scientist--and I was one for 20 years--knows that the science in any 
subject is never "settled." The deniers, like the creationists and 
intelligent design advocates, take advantage of the fact that in 
science, there is always a large cloud of data points and many of them 
are outliers that, if focused on, can be used to muddy the essential 
trend that the data are revealing. They claim the "hockey stick" graph 
has been discredited. Not at all; it's just been hammered at by 
lobbyists who select outlier data to cast doubt on it. And since 
scientists' hypotheses are constantly being modified in the face of more 
sophisticated analysis, to a lobbyist, that can be used to suggest 
weakness. The parallels between the way evolution and climate change are 
being presented are virtually complete. Both are as well "settled" as 
science ever is.

The author of that article wrote that we should "investigate all manner 
of information source in making up your own mind," and that is nonsense. 
Much of what's being written about climate change is garbage. Science is 
not a democracy where all ideas deserve equal attention. The press and 
the lobbyists make great use of this dissimilarity between science and 
politics and say we should have "balance." When the data run 100:1 in 
favor of one idea, that 1% does not deserve equal time unless it is 
unexplainable under the current paradigm, and climate change outliers 
don't meet that criteria.

When there is so much at stake, where science meets policy, it's a shame 
that so many with axes to grind take such advantage of most people's 
ignorance about how science works.


fdnokes at hotmail.com wrote:
> From: Cumberland BC Cumberlander 
> Sent: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 10:43 AM
> To: fdnokes at hotmail.com 
> Subject: New Cumberland BC Cumberlander Article: How should the world respond to climate change?
> Global · Climate Change section 
> How should the world respond to climate change?
> Dwayne Rourke
> I wonder if any of you have had the experience of simply questioning people about their assumption that global warming is human-caused, only to be immediately labeled as a "climate change denier" and relegated to the same category as "holocaust deniers" and their ilk. Yikes! Excuse me for living!
> To the great disappointment of people I thought were more open minded, I have questioned the authoritative pronouncements of people like Al Gore, the IPCC and its many proponents locally , such as columnist Ray Grigg. Such questioning has put me into entirely new relationship dynamics with these people.
> It seems to me that anyone who espouses to be an authority on climate change or any other matters, but who is unwilling to face up to scrutiny of their basic assumptions, deserves to be further challenged and challenged deeply. My concerns are amplified if these same people are alarmist in their presentation of what they deem to be the facts of the matter. 
> Al Gore is set to profit billions of dollars from the consequent alarm generated by his "educational" endeavors. Challenges to his public pronouncements have revealed a number of glaring untruths, not the least of which is his dramatic use of the infamous and now completely discredited "hockey stick" graph regarding the relationship between CO2 and global temperature rise.There are more untruths woven into Gore's presentations. An Al Gore Google search will reveal them to you if you are interested.
> If you have been dubbed a "climate change denier" whilst aspiring to investigate all manner of information source in making up your own mind about how to deal with climate change, you will be especially interested in the following CBC: IDEAS audio interview (podcast link, below) with Larry Solomon, author of the book The Deniers: The World Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud.
> >From the CBC website:
> "The science is settled" is now the mantra of climate change activism. Those who disagree are either in denial or in the pay of an oil company. But long time environmentalist and energy activist Lawrence Solomon says no, the science is not settled. He talks with Ideas producer David Cayley. 
> For CBC podcast, click HERE. 
> To view this and other articles, or to unsubscribe from this service, visit Cumberland BC Cumberlander at http://www.thecumberlander.ca
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