Rise of the Climate Change Pragmatist
“Fanaticism is overcompensation for doubt.”
Robertson Davies (Renowned Canadian Author)
Nowadays, to admit to being skeptical about man-made global warming (particularly in some social circles) is akin to admitting to being a wife beater. It has become such an unpopular stance that even the Australian Skeptics organisation, who describe themselves as being dedicated to the promotion of science and reason are distancing themselves from those pariahs labeled as “Climate Skeptics.” http://bit.ly/blEivc
I must admit to agonising over whether I should write this post, mostly for my own personal and professional well-being. I will confess to not being any expert on “Climate Change”, however after observing from afar some of the propaganda and proposed solutions to so-called Man-made global warming, I am now at a point where they are frankly disturbing and cannot go unchallenged.
I speak to many patients day to day in my clinical practice and often discussion turns to world events. The recent spate of hot weather in my beautiful hometown of Perth, Western Australia, has led to many of my patients commenting earnestly that it is a sure sign of global warming. This sort of confirmation bias seems to pervade the general population brainwashed to believe that there is consensus amongst climate scientists about global warming. My only concern is that if you asked people in the UK about the concurrent record breaking cold spells they are experiencing they might say we are in fact heading for the next ice age. I am doubtful that the same science that struggles to predict the weather accurately for the next week can give us much comfort when trying to predict the climate in the next one hundred years.
My experience from inspecting the “evidence” behind many medical interventions is that for every study showing one conclusion there is usually another one that is inconclusive or completely opposite in its conclusions. These studies are often mired in conflicts of interest, conflict of egos, poor assumptions, poor methodologies and sometimes, god forbid, even political interference. So if the climate science community is anything like that in health and medicine we can expect it to be equally confusing and inconclusive.
Surprisingly I also have some environmental scientists as patients who aren’t as evangelical about climate change and global warming as you would expect. They argue that all the focus on global warming has been detrimental to the funding, resources and awareness of equally important and arguably much more conclusive research in the areas of marine ecology, protection of rain-forests, air and water quality.
So here is some propaganda of my own:
- Just because you are questioning the science behind global warming doesn’t mean you are against protecting the environment or even denying there is climate change.
- Just because you are against the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) doesn’t mean you are against protecting the environment or even denying there is climate change..
Instead of spending billions of dollars globally on a convoluted framework such as an ETS which is effectively a new tax that will have dubious direct effects on actually reducing carbon emissions yet alone global warming, how about establishing a multi-billion dollar global fund to support innovations in environmental science and “clean” technologies?
History records that most of the atrocities perpetrated by mankind was as a result of some form of fanaticism or another. I believe that mother nature (as a powerful yet still relatively poorly understood homeostatic system) will find balance despite what man does to it. I also believe, perhaps naively or overly optimistically, that whilst mankind has likely created many of the problems it currently faces, mankind also has the capability and ingenuity of finding the solutions to those same problems.
I doubt you will find anyone who when asked does NOT think protecting the environment is important. I am no different. I only suggest that we not get too carried away or fanatical about pushing an agenda of Man-made Global Warming and a very dubious solution in the form of the ETS to the detriment of other environmental priorities and quashing reasoned debate with emotive and unsubstantiated propaganda.
Much like with healthcare, I think there needs to be more money and resources invested in protecting all aspects of the environment not just battling global warming. I don’t think that makes me a climate change denier or skeptic, instead I’d like to think I am a climate change pragmatist. Are there any other pragmatists out there?