It’s funny how the pointless public debate over climate change really sucks you in. I’ve said as much on numerous occasions over the past year and yet I persist!
What is even more strange is that I hear nothing new on a daily base from the bunch that would love to be called “sceptics”. The excellent list of rebuttals provided by John Cook or that provided by Grist should have ended much of this. Instead the whole affair demonstrates that, at least as far as the public “debate” goes, it is not really a case of question-and-answers, but rather unpopular observations and results fuelling a whole host of unrelated issues, such as a general distaste for government, progressive thinking and scientific enlightenment and the promotion of universal equality.
How often should one explain the role of CO2 as a greenhouse gas, or the direct and indirect observed changes in climate and have to endure a seemingly endless procession of self-promoted “sceptics” claiming, like the fans of intelligent design, that, “it proves nothing”?
Just as I had to eventually stop entertaining the door knocking Witnesses and Mormons with debate, I’ve come to the conclusion that the same must occur with focusing on the nonsensical arguments of climate denial. They are, believe it or not, in reality a small but noisy group – the mass that they associate with are in reality more thoughtful and open to discussion, but ultimately confused by all the hype. As numerous other blogs have demonstrated, a lot of this is the result of official media outlets – it’s currently quite lucrative to choose to write anti-science literature.
That such people use climate change denial as a guise for many other issues explains why there will be no end to this debate, for it is not a resolution that climate change deniers seek, but rather a vent, a soap box and an audience that has been hood-winked into listening to their frustrations.
It’s good to hear that finally Christopher Monckton is not being taken as seriously as he once was, and I feel the same must occur for other similar individuals. I bet you, they’ll pop-up again in other discussions ranting in the same style about agendas and conspiracies once they realise that no-one is taking their “scepticism” seriously any longer.
In the new year, I plan to take this blog in a new direction. Sure climate and ecology will play a role, but climate will not dominate as it once did. Instead, I want to discuss other issues that interest me more and should bring the real issues, discussed above, increasingly to the surface and exposing anti-science for what it is. Most importantly, I want to look at how best we can continue to enjoy a life similar to that which we already know, but one that is improved and more universal.
Sure, us few privileged individuals may choose to blindly hold onto business as usual, because it’s served us well, however, I really don’t think many of us want to. I believe many of us are aware of the fractures that have developed in affluent western societies.
That’s not to say that previous societies were better, just that; the rate of mental health issues and of homelessness in a modern wealthy city; farming that converts a forest into to dust; produce that travels further than the individual buying it (I will refuse to call people ‘consumers’ from this point on); while progress was meant to lead to greater free time and personal development, in many ways, it’s done the opposite; and many issues makes a clear case that we are far from where we should want to be.
I’ve been in conversations with Hank from Ekos2 and Mike from WtD and it is my hope that I can build some collaboration with these two clever bloggers on such issues. I also extend this invitation to Adelady, if it at all interests her, as many of her comments have broadened my work to date.
I no longer wish to focus on the forecasts and state of things, but instead provide evidence enriched hope. There are many issues facing the coming decades and centuries, but there are many possible solutions. The most important of these will be those that are harder to place a monetary value on; such as empathy, community values and environmental services. I’d like to demonstrate how these and other values will truly develop prosperity where the market has let far too many of the worlds population and the global environment down.