Thursday, 3 July 2008

You're Only Fooling Yourself

Mark Lynas, that is.

Is anyone going to argue that the following comment (from the wonderfully named 'britononthemitten') isn't on the button when it comes to 'public concern about climate change'?

Deep down, I think we all know the reality is that your average Joe doesn't give a toss about climate change and after having survived the 70's ice age, the Aids epidemic, CJD and Saddam's WMDs he's pretty much impervious to the scare tactics of "Experts".

Meanwhile - elsewhere on Comment is Free - another writer, Tahmima Anam, suggests that the Asian Tsunami (which was, of course, caused by an under-sea earthquake and had nothing whatsover to do with carbon or anything else man-made) was caused by climate change (bolding mine):
Al Gore has gone around the world with graphs and arresting photographs of the melting Arctic ice, proving that climate change really is happening. And, of course, there is the anecdotal evidence: everyone knows someone who has witnessed an extreme storm, or had their house flooded, or watched from a balcony as the Asian tsunami leapt from the sea.

Where do they get them from?

Tahmima, and everyone else who has a habit of making extraordinary claims in 'support' of their arguments, answer me this:

If you're caught making such a basic factual error in your argument, how can you honestly expect anything else you say to be taken seriously?


jmb said...

Certainly have to agree with the points you are making here and I bid you welcome to Blogpower.

mutleythedog said...

If I saw the Asian tsunami leaping from the sea from a balcony I would get the hell outta there!! I am an acolyte of JMB by the way....

Andrew Allison said...

I agree with everything you have said. So called 'experts' never seem to agree with each other anyway.

Welcome to blogpower!

fake consultant said...

i ain't no fancy scientist or nothin'...but i live in the woods, and the weather is changing--and so are the plants.

and something is making the ice caves near my own house disappear.

here's a long but quite balanced look at the thing--and the conclusion you get from the read is that it ain't proven that co2 is at the heart of this climate change...but dumping more co2 into the atmosphere than we have to probably isn't a good idea.

but beyond that, with us fuel prices heading quickly to $5.00/ gallon, green energy initiatives are gaining traction as a matter of economics as much as a matter of environmental "theology"--and that dollar and cents (or pound and pence, if you prefer) reality is more likely to gain converts to "green" generically than any other factor pounding upon the public's brain.

leg-iron said...

Fake consultant's point is a good one. Most of the arguments against alternative energy sources have been based on the expense of setting them up and their relatively low efficiency.

The latest proposals to capture CO2 from power stations adds a great deal to setup and running costs and reduces the efficiency of those stations. Add the ever-rising cost of fossil fuels and the alternatives start looking more economically viable.

Arguing for alternative energy on the basis that it'll make your bills go down (or at least not go up so fast) would work. We plebs understand issues that affect our bank balances in a way that we'd never understand, or even care about, all the science.

Persisting with the 'guilt' approach is no good at all. After more than a decade of labourites trying to make us feel guilt for everything that's happening, will happen, won't happen and has ever happened, this little voter is all guilted out.

Faced with one of these 'Oh man, the world is heating up and it's your fault' types, my reaction now is 'Does that mean you'll be dead? If so, good.'

Guilt won't work on me. Money will.

QT said...

@BP people: Thanks

@fake consultant: That's pretty much in line with my view (which I posted here):

I'm not a global warming believer. I'm not a global warming denier. I'm a global warming agnostic who believes instinctively that it can't be very good to pump lots of CO2 into the atmosphere, but is equally convinced that those who presume to know exactly where that leads are talking through their hats.

As Tim Worstall often points out, (economic) incentives matter. As oil becomes more expensive, 'green' energy will become more viable.

fake consultant said...

it's not just about money either.

have you seen the tesla?

it's an electric car that outperforms nearly all existing gas fueled fact, the new transmission slows the car down a bit, and now the 0-60 mph (100 km/h) acceleration time is up to 3.9 seconds.

it goes 350 km (220 miles) on a charge...and it costs about 2 cents a mile to drive, based on average us electricity rates.

when we thought about converting, who ever thought we could get better economy and a car that's more fun to drive?

such is the future...maybe.

Wolfie said...

These kind of twits comprise the core New Labour vote. This is the cattle which decades of secondary-modern education combined with taxing the middle-classes into one to two child families has spawned. Now if that isn't a conspiracy (see next post) what isn't?

QT said...

Tesla: Looks promising (good to see them going for something other than the do-gooder dollar), but of course as with any electric vehicle how 'green' it is depends on how the electricity is generated.

wolfie: I'm not sure what argument you are trying to make!?