Calm about the wrong things • 7 February 2010 • The SnowBlog
Calm about the wrong things
26 per cent - a rise of 10 per cent in just three months - do not believe the world is getting hotter. link
I really didn't see this coming. Apparently a decreasing number of people accept the idea of manmade climate change. A couple of screw-ups and a bit of fudging by some researchers has invalidated the whole concept for a lot of people and apparently that's giving the Conservative Party some political cover to back off on their pledges to do something about CO2 levels if (when) they get into power (link). What's strange to me - so strange I can't get my head round it - is that this is equivalent to an asteroid heading towards Earth. Some people say it's big and will kill billions of people and render huge areas uninhabitable for humans. Others say it's not there or it's tiny. But then you talk to the top thousand astronomers and find they're as-near-as-makes-no-difference unanimous that it's at the very least medium-sized, will definitely create an unprecedented catastrophe for the human race and it's on its way.
But if it were an asteroid, I can't help thinking most ordinary non-scientists would be freaking out rather than confidently blasé and they'd be clamouring for more telescopes right now and demanding definite answers with frantic urgency.
And if, instead of climate changes that threaten billions, this was a terrorist plot threatening a few thousand, we'd have happily turned our world upside down attempting to combat it.
I understand that a lot of people are sceptical about manmade climate change, but very few of them truly know what they are talking about. And practically all of the people who do know what they're talking about are saying that a global catastrophe is just around the corner. We're as certain of manmade climate change as we were uncertain about Iraqi WMD and yet the response to non-existent missiles is orders of magniture greater than our attempt to protect our future. Where is our national ability to get into a lather when it finally might do some good? If only climate change was suspected of causing AIDS, cancer or Bird/Swine flu. And was exacerbated by GM crops in those who'd received the MMR jab. Then we'd see some public concern.