The Delingpolar One has written about a compelling anti-warmist scoop in the Telegraph blogs this morning.. It’s well worth a read, because yet again it shows how an injudicious (oh alright then, deadly) combo of scientific hysteria, incompetence and hubris can transmute into a shibboleth. Nasty types, those shibboleths: never met a shibboleth I liked. An odd sect. Avoid them at all costs.
More broadly however, my problem with the entire climate debate is that I simply don’t know. If stopped in the street by some earnest clipboarder, I would answer “don’t know” to every question.
The reason I don’t know is because – like absolutely everything today – there are two contradictory and extreme points of view, called “all” and “nothing”. All we DKs are thus invited to tick is one or the other. But we never will, because we don’t know.
Tory v Labour are equally polemic articles of faith, to which I tick “irrelevant”. Because there, you see, I know: 67 years of frittered money and lost opportunities make the data irrefutable.
For United v City, I tick “United”, because while my team has a philosophy and a glorious history, City merely has a lot of money.
For Delingpole v East Anglia Uni I tick “Delingpole” because he is always right about everything, and EAU is clearly full of inane no-hopers who fiddled the data. (A large number of scientists do, and it’s called ‘ego’.)
But Liberal Right-on v Conservative B’stard I tick “neither” (or I would if it was allowed) because both Right-on numpties and B’stards irritate me enormously. And when it comes to the climate debate as a whole, I think there are numpties who, having lost the battle on socialism, are now determined to force everyone to have fifty recycling boxes and use lights that don’t work. But I also know there are B’stards who would like to press on with their earth-rape for all the wrong reasons. And both of them are crooked: they care (respectively) about only local government Unionised jobs, and the shareholders.
Further, Ozone hole v No ozone hole is a big tick for “ozone hole”, and the evidence of toxic sun-stuff coming through that hole is hard to deny.
Peak oil/gas v Plenty of oil/gas is an even bigger tick for “we’re swimming in the stuff”. Although it’s harder to get at now, new forms are coming onstream. But it suited Obama, the Saudis, the Russians and the oilcos to say we’re running short (for, oh, only about 37 nefarious reasons) so I do know about that one.
Ice is melting v No it isn’t, well, I’m a “Yes it is” chap because you can go and watch it happening fairly easily. The key question of course is “why?” and I’m a don’t know re that burning issue too. Even though it may be cooling as an issue over time.
However, in 50 years the global human population has trebled, and in the last twenty, industrialisation of a ‘dirty’ nature has doubled. So that might have something to do with it. But for the reason set out in para 2 above, I don’t know. I can’t even write “don’t know for sure”, because that would suggest I’m edging rapidly towards one side or other. But I’m not. I simply don’t know.
That said, I do know that NASA last year took some measurements at the top of the stratosphere, and these showed with alarming ease that the greenhouse effect was at most half as big a problem as had been originally thought.
Do I come out anywhere on all of this? It’s very hard to really, because I know Greenpeace to be cynical Communist liars (at the top); but I also know that every multinational pr corporate I ever met was a sociopath who would blow up the planet to get his or her bonus.
Usually, my bottom line is this: humanity always overestimates its effect and power on and over nature. But if some of this IS our fault, then an insurance policy would be nice.
I’m not sure, because I don’t know.