So long Deniers, I’m looking forward

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.

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11 thoughts on “So long Deniers, I’m looking forward

  1. Thanks for the mention…

    I agree, I jumped into this debate focused on the efforts of the denial movement. And while I think it is important to track their campaigns and document their absurdities for future historians to marvel at, the “real debate” is about adaptation/mitigation.

    And not just to climate change but peak oil/energy; food and water security; threats to biodiversity; maintaining ecosystem services and much more…

    I also agree, the discussion should be informed by “hope”.

    A blogging collective? Who knows?

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      1. Hi Tim , yep better off writing about things that interest you than responding to the time wasting trolling of deneirs who come up with the same disproven arguements like the one I hear all the time “climates always changed” .
        Ive just read Clive Hamilton Requiem for a Species and its a rather sad report on humans ability to gasp the cire situation that we already face even if we stop emitting C02 now at least 2-3 C rise , and now Cancun looks just as bad outcome wise as Copenhagen .
        Look forward to the new direction and the fight against scientific ignorence in general .

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    1. I agree. I think people are coming together with similar feelings. It’s not just about climate change. It’s about how people in the Western World are becoming less happy the more they consume. It’s about living in a world with finite resources. It’s about how the most unequal societies have the most social problems. It’s about creating a more sustainable world. It’s about living in balance with other species.

      It’s about stating our case for a better world.

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      1. I’ve been suggested to read (and am planning to early next year) The Spirit Level: why equality is better for everyone. Supposedly it’s an excellent look into this very question.
        Personally, I feel ecology provides many of the principles that should support policy and the rest should be virtues that go beyond our base animal instincts.
        I’m starting on some of this in The Human Island, unwittingly, it’s actually a good intro into next year’s focus.

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  2. i am a new blogger and still learning i would like to contribute to independent blog of ideas how to deal with climate change.

    I like the word MISINFORMATION but when the people want to feel more comfortable with that misinformation than there is noting you can do.

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    1. My email is wow.the.moth@gmail.com
      Contact me and we can talk about this further. Also, the two major pieces I’ve produced (well, I’m still working on the second) under Innovation and Ecology cover some of my thinking and hoped-for approach. It might be worth a scan. We really don’t need growth, as it is applied under the current market structure, to increase prosperity. If anything, I feel it actually increases disparity, so is quite the opposite. The more ideas the better – especially where case studies and evaluations can strengthen the case 🙂

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  3. Thanks for the invite Tim. I should note one word of caution – I know a lot of stuff but I’m not very energetic for various reasons – but I’m happy to read, comment, edit, suggest stuff. I have to rely on people like you for any creative impulse.

    And I do like the idea of getting away from the denier crowd, though I do like WtD and WottsUpWithThat because they save me the trouble of actually reading the nonsense for myself. But someone has to pull together practical action and reasons for optimism. I have a whole heap of sites on my list, but far too many are like the pro-nuclear people. Focus is good, but obsession is boring.

    A bit of variety and overview with an occasional excursion into technicalities when some really interesting paper is published would be just fine and dandy.

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    1. That’s pretty much why I think you would be great for the project. As you say, we need variety or it gets boring. Mike from WtD also agrees your input (however small) would be very valuable; you have a great insight on numerous topics and are able to provide excellent criticism (as I’ve needed from time to time (-: )

      As I see it, whatever thought is on any of our minds, if we’ve read a good book or recently came across / participated in something useful, learnt about an innovation etc, we can post a few hundred words on it, or discuss it etc. With a select group of us, the info should flow through at a reasonable pace without being too time consuming for any one of us (I really would like to keep this an easy project). I’m most interested in providing well informed optimism – like the aquaculture project you linked me too on climatecrocks.

      I’m sure Mike and I would be happy to take care of the boring end of site maintenance as well. However, I still want the group to feel that they have ownership of the work. I think you have my email ( wow.the.moth@gmail just in case) feel free to contact me and I’ll see if Hank is interested also and we can bounce some ideas around as time permits.

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