I am skeptical about climate change skeptics.

Due to a difference of politics I am someone who tends only to think positively about Nigel Lawson when preparing one of his daughter’s recipes. Due to an enthusiastic and kindly meant loan from a parishioner I am reading his brief cannonade against  what he disparagingly terms ‘ conventional climate change wisdom’ and am not finding that it is changing my attitude!

Of course he makes many fair points about the hysterical and manipulative aspects of some elements within the environmental lobby and warns against simplistic solutions , but the heart-beat of the text seems to contradict the title, An Appeal to Reason. It does not feel like the cool look he claims it is but a polemical outburst driven by a clutch of dogmatisms. Chief amongst these being that de-regulated free market enterprise is the root of most good. There is indeed an echo of the least self-knowing of the new atheists in his endeavour, in that he criticises his opponents for possessing a religious frame of mind- by which he means readily embracing comfortable myths in defiance of reality- just as he worships at the shrine of Adam Smith!

But you never know further reading might make me change my mind!

One thought on “I am skeptical about climate change skeptics.

  1. Here’s a website / book that is genuinely an appeal to reason on our energy use: David MacKay’s ‘Sustainable Energy – without the hot air’.
    I think it’s so good that I’ve bought a copy of the book, even though it’s available for free online – see http://www.withouthotair.com/.
    David MacKay’s main point is that we need an energy policy that adds up, and he provides the figures and calculations so we can all share in the debate about how we do it.
    But it’s not dry or dull, as number-phobics might suspect. The graphics alone would make this book worth reading.
    And it’s actually an enjoyable read. He makes occasional wry remarks which puncture the free-market worship that, as Ian says, so many climate change ‘sceptics’ are not even aware they’re doing.
    Here’s one as a taster, from chapter 29, pages 222-223, http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/withouthotair/c29/page_222.shtml

    ‘So what do politicians need to do? They need to ensure that all coal power stations have carbon capture fitted. The first step towards this goal is for government to finance a large-scale demonstration project to sort out the technology for carbon capture and storage; second, politicians need to change the long-term regulations for power stations so that the perfected technology is adopted everywhere. My simple-minded suggestion for this second step is to pass a law that says that – from some date – all coal power stations must use carbon capture. However, most democratic politicians seem to think that the way to close a stable door is to create a market in permits-to-leave-doors-open.’

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