Climate Change

I’m willing to bet that you, dear reader, clicked on the link to this page with a certain sense of outrage.  Climate Change seems to be one of those topics that, even more so than religion and woo, is absolutely taboo.  Anyone who doesn’t dance to Gore’s fiddle is an evil denier.

Not so, internets.  You’ll get no such easy target here.  Deal with it.

I set out to discover the best truth I could about climate change, and I’m still making up my mind.  If that’s hard for you to swallow, then you have likely not made this journey of discovery yourself.  Those who have would understand the need to do so.  Those who have a position without having made this journey have no right to their opinion; as it is not theirs, but a plagiarised and credulous mantra from their favourite “expert”.

My mission is to establish a defensible and evidence-based opinion on the following topics.  I shall update my current status and link to relevant posts that have helped me arrive at my position.  My starting position (as of 19 Feb 2010) is also listed for posterity.

Issue 1: Is the earth’s climate (as distinct from weather) warming?

The assumption being that if the climate is not actually warming, we are probably wasting a lot of time and money unnecessarily.  Warming: science or woo?

Starting Position: The majority of credible evidence appears to support a warming climate.

Current Position: Unchanged.

Issue 2: If the earth’s climate is in fact warming, is this warming likely to be catastrophic to the planet or its species (including humanity), on a large scale?

The core point being that the likely impact of warming must be assessed, as this will inform the urgency and extent of mitigation/reversal strategies.  Are we talking a couple of beachfront houses getting wet basements, or Mad Max II?

Starting Position: Uncertain.  Subjective view is leaning towards non-catastrophic and mitigable impact.

Current Position: Unchanged.

Issue 3: If the earth’s climate is in fact warming, is the warming anthropogenic (caused by mankind)?

This is an academic question really, as catastrophic warming requires a solution regardless of its origin, but it does have implications for the efficacy of specific solutions.

Starting Position: Uncertain, but some credible evidence, and subjective view, points to anthropogenic influence.  However, I have many questions about other possible influences, including the cosmological.

Current Position: Unchanged.

Issue 4: If the earth’s climate is in fact warming, and that warming is likely to be catastrophic enough to warrant action, will the mitigation/reversal strategies being proposed be effective?  Are they legitimately achievable?  Furthermore, are they socially responsible on a global scale, and have unintended consequences been properly analysed?

The core points being that ineffective action is worse than no action; that unachievable strategies are wasteful; and that careful risk management is required to minimise the chances of either making the problem worse or creating a worse problem.

Starting Position: No consensus and little consideration of efficacy.  Much wishful thinking about achievability.  No notable consideration of unintended consequences.  Incomprehensible opposition to nuclear power.

Current Position: Unchanged.


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