Monday, July 18, 2005

Global Warming and Life

Philip Stott, an emeritus professor of biogeography in the University of London, has much to say about global warming and the G8 summit in "Global warming: Common sense prevails," at spiked!:
Since the Rio Conference in 1992, the Greens and their camp-following Guardianistas have tried, with Cromwellian zeal, to employ the threat of 'global warming' to induce Protestant guilt in us all, to cap growth, to change lifestyles, to attack the car, industry and the Great Satan of America. Now it is surely time to face the facts: there isn't a snowflake-in-hell's chance of this altering real life. Indeed, it would be disastrous for the developing world, the other plank of the G8 agenda, if it did. Without increasing demand in the countries of the North, there is no way in which the poorer countries of the South will be able to grow out of their poverty. The attempt to cap growth through the environmental proxy of 'global warming' is a sleight of hand too far. Luckily, it appears that the general public has no intention of being conned.

But the failure of the Greens is not just with the public. While playing the climate-change card at the G8 Summit, the final Gleneagles' declaration shows that the leaders of the developed world have no intention of sacrificing growth and economic success for an ascetic 'global warming' religion.

First, there is the clear recognition that global energy demand is expected to grow by 60 per cent over the next 25 years, especially in China and India, and that this will require the maintenance and development of 'secure, reliable and affordable energy sources' that are fundamental to economic stability and development, because 'rising energy demand poses a challenge to energy security given increased reliance on global energy markets'. The declaration also correctly acknowledges that around two billion people lack modern energy services. As the document states: 'We need to work with our partners to increase access to energy if we are to support the achievement of the goals agreed at the Millennium Summit in 2000....

[W]hat I wrote recently in a letter published in the Daily Telegraph (2) was more true than I had imagined: 'In the UK, "global warming" is a faith. Here the "science" is legitimised by the myth. This is something that even our august Royal Society has failed to grasp. Too many of us believe we are making an independent scientific assessment, when, in reality, we have subsumed Hume-scepticism to the demands of faith.

'With respect to the science of climate change, the most fundamental question remains: "Can humans manipulate climate predictably?" Or, more scientifically: "Will cutting carbon dioxide emissions at the margin produce a linear, predictable change in climate?" The answer is "No". In so complex a coupled, non-linear, chaotic system as climate, not doing something at the margins is as unpredictable as doing something. This is the cautious science; the rest is dogma.'
Economic imperatives prevail over "scientific correctness."

Related posts:

Hemibel Thinking (07/16/04)
Climatology (07/16/04)
Global Warming: Realities and Benefits (07/18/04)
Words of Caution for the Cautious (07/21/04)
Scientists in a Snit (08/14/04)
Another Blow to Climatology? (08/21/04)
Bad News for Politically Correct Science (10/18/04)
Another Blow to Chicken-Little Science (10/27/04)
Bad News for Enviro-nuts (11/27/04)
The Hockey Stick Is Broken (01/31/05)
The Thing about Science (03/24/05)
Science in Politics, Politics in Science (05/11/05)