It was amazing to find that many regard it all as "just another tax", some sort of plot by government to raise revenue. Indeed one of my colleages sent me a brochure full of wild claims presented in bullet form.
Despite having seen An Inconvenient Truth, and listened to a lot of debate in parliament, I realised that the facts are not at my fingertips.
Two sources stand out, The Copenhagen Diagnosis, and the Intergovenmental Panel on Climate Change. The Copenhagen document is rather fluffy and full of pretty pictures while the IPCC reports, available here, are really excellent.
Full of careful language, extensive peer review, and a range of interpretations.
I highly recommend this. I fear, as my friend Jonathan suggests, perhaps democracy is unable to deal with things like this until we are in crisis.
I've had some interesting direct responses to this little post so far. If I can summarise:
- Everyone, so far, seems to feel that the evidence is convincing that we are experiencing warming at the moment
- Having said that, one correspondent claimed that the shipping lane in the arctic that is reported to have opened up in September 2009 has, in fact been open to the Russians for a long time
- "Man" made climate warming, is a tiny effect compared to the effects of natural processes, such as us coming out of a cyclic ice age
- The whole push to have developed nations intervene on climate change is a conspiracy by the socialists to re-distribute wealth from rich nations to poor, slow development, or simply gather extra tax revenue for government purposes
- The whole push to have developed nations intervene on climate change is a conspiracy by the capitalists to make huge profits from carbon credits, which are a derivative that will let them build value out of nothing
- Many people have said "it's just another tax"
- All sorts of allegations about reports such as the IPCC report, which, to my reading is very solid, are claimed to be full of holes, deliberate distortion of data, and witheld raw data
- Finally, there is said to be a media and scientific publication conspiracy to silence doubters and take away their right of argument
Perhaps what is needed is an alternative paper, with the thoroughness of the IPCC paper, then we could weigh one up against the other by comparing their data and analysis. I'd be most grateful if someone can point me to it.
Right now I'm completely boggled by this mix of politics, science, religion and economics - what a weird conjunction!
Just noticed this on the "conspiracy of the century"...
I've done a lot of reading in the past few days and while there are a few dubious graphs about most of the criticisms are unreferenced or come from dubious organisations.
Science isn't a democracy, but Wikipedia has a great list of well known scientific organisations that have given a view. I do not see any substantial evidence to contradict the statement that "human actions are "very likely" the cause of global warming, meaning a 90% or greater probability". There are limits to scepticism.
If it isn't linked, then I think we should live sustainably any way.