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Why Is "climate Change" Discussed In The Same Way As A Theist/atheist Might Argue About The Existence Of God?

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AB Editor | 10:06 Thu 13th Feb 2014 | News
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Recently the language of the "debate" on climate change has struck me as quite absurd.

This morning on the BBC they had two commentators, one from each "side" and they argued about the idea of climate change, whether it existed...

... but it doesn't matter!

They argued about how it doesn't matter what we do because if we stripped back to pre-industrial levels of CO2 emissions, that "saving" would be wiped out in one year at China's current growth rate.

It doesn't matter if we're only 2% of all emissions in the world, or 20%!


Flooding and rising sea levels are bad - I'm not sure that I need to explain why this week!

High level of what gets called "carbon emissions" in the air decreases air quality and "bad air" is linked to a variety of respiratory problems and, of course, cancer.

Droughts in summer are damaging to us, it damages crops, and if it ever extends further than summer, we start getting worries about running out of water stores...

It doesn't matter if climate change exists - because these other things do, and we can attempt to deal with them, instead of arguing about whether something we cannot observe accurately exists at all or whether it's our fault!

I don't know if it's the fundamentalist Christian arguments form the US leaking into their political debate, and then into our (god killed the dinosaurs to make your car go).

Or whether it's the apocalyptic language of lefty activists who don't understand the science but do understand the power of a good doomsday scenario to whip up a bit of media throth...

... Anyway, I wondered if you're as tired as I am of the "debate" about climate change? Or wish they could change the tone of it from whether it exists at all, to something more useful - like how to ensure, whatever happens, that we don't get ruined by extreme weather in the future!


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I'm not entirely clear what point you're trying to make, but you seem to be saying "cure is better than prevention".
Prevent Nature. Now there's and interesting concept.

Are you any relation to King Canute?
// how does removing the green taxes affect those on the Thames? //

It depends if you believe that man made emissions are causing or worsening Global Warming. I'm guessing you don't so you will not follow the explanation.

The Green Tax on fossil fuel was being used to subsidise insulating and making homes more energy efficient. That would mean those homes would need to use less energy and less emissions would be produced. The Government tax the energy companies (they pass on that tax to us all) and redistribute the money raised to energy saving schemes. If emissions are reduced then Global warming will be reduced (or slowed).
Not cold fusion, which has so far only been observed in a single, highly dubious experiment -- but hot fusion, which is probably some 40-odd years away.
"Why isn't the conversation about "what are we going to do about increasingly hostile environmental factors over the next 10 years?"

I agree, we should be finding a solution and get our fingers out to do something about it. If world population wasn't expanding as fast as it is that might go some way to reducing need for more and more of everything and ensure we COULD do something about what we are faced with regarding climate change or global warming or whatever they want to call it that is a real threat to us all.
Jim360 - missing no fundamentals of the models in use; what I'd ask you as the scientist I know you are, when constructing a model how do you begin, how do you design the model you want to use?? Second to that when you do your initial model runs and the baseline data doesn't fit, what do you do?? You don't throw away over 60% of the data because it doesn't fit, you go back to review the model.
The initial and subsequent iteration of the main models in use did this, ignores most of the data because it didn't fit the hypothesis they wanted.... that's brilliant science...not.

I like your analogy on maintaining the equilibrium...
Glad you like the analogy!

In terms of the rest of your post: I think that there have been some scientists studying Climate Change who have been less than honest with the data, to be sure, but the majority view still stands. The problem is that predicting the future trends has been seen to be very difficult. I can't really go into more detail that that because, honestly, I'm not even close an expert on how the models work and what their underlying assumptions are. My interest is mainly in how clear it is that human activities will have some significant effect on the environment. Be it through large-scale deforestation, human-driven extinctions, the invention of new gases, the large-scale extraction of methane and Carbon that was otherwise locked away in oil... while the future is uncertain, our impact shouldn't be, and it should be obvious that we ought to try to do something to reverse our impact.

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