deep thought Monday

Posted in #qanda by skepdadblog on March 15, 2010
Tags: ,

Monday in Australia: time for the majority of the serious “issue” programs on the ABC.  I was a bit slack today and only watched 2 episodes of #qanda; last week’s with Richard Dawkins (and some other people) and tonight’s with Miranda Devine, a couple of pollies, Waleed Aly and the first atheist I’ve ever thoroughly disliked, Catherine Deveny.

Waleed was his usual mix of insightful win and pointless academia; the token politicians the usual mouthpieces for party propaganda (though Bill Shorten was tolerably human), that ridiculous Deveny woman about as funny as syphilis, and Miranda… well.  Miranda.

I come across Miranda a lot, as my usual newspaper is the SMH.  I rarely agree with her.  Tonight, I felt a twinge of sympathy.  I paraphrase the question put to her on climate change:

Q: Miranda, you’re a climate change denier, how can you live with yourself?

A: Actually, I agree that the majority of credible scientific evidence supports climate change.  I don’t argue that the climate is changing.  However, I do wonder if the action that’s being proposed to counter it is poorly thought out.


I may not have got that exactly right, but that’s the gist of it. Again we see that climate change is a sacred cow that may not be questioned.  Is it not scientific, is it not skeptical, to ask for evidence that the proposed solutions will actually be effective, socially responsible on a global scale, and that the unintended consequences of those actions have been properly thought out?  Does this evidence exist?  I certainly haven’t seen any, and I would dearly love to be shown it.  It seems to me that we have collectively made the jump from “it’s happening” to “we must do something about it” to “we must do THIS” when we’ve only really just now established good evidence for the first part.

Waleed defined conservatism well; not nostalgia, not resistance to change; but as a preference for considered, measured and responsible change.  Conservatism: thy name is skepdad.

All you in the twitterverse that castigated me as a climate change denier: you call yourselves scientific?  Shame on you.  Point me to evidence that there has been serious thought given to the efficacy of the proposed solutions to climate change and their potential unintended consequences.  Stop using the perjorative “denier” to shut down debate about this issue.  The debate needs to be had, because we’re going down the path of knee-jerk policy to suit knee-jerk public opinion.