Robert Sharp agrees with The Euston Manifesto, except that it has no clause about wearing sandals and saving the planet.
I’ll admit, I did spill some muslei into my beard when I first read it. Thank goodness my khaftan can be machine-washed.
DK’s point is that scientists do not all agree on climate change, and that it is wrong of me to announce Judgement Day so quickly. I might point out that “nothing is proven yet” was a staple of the apologists for Stalinism and Nazism… but that is a point of little interest, especially as I’ve used the “nothing is proven” stance myself in other debates. The question of whether climate change is indeed happening remains. Whether it is detrimental to the planet as a whole, and humanity in particular, must therefore be a point of substance.
I cannot resist the temptation to say: If I am wrong, what will be the harm? But this is also a difficult argument. To begin with, it sits on the same slippery slope as the Bush/Blair “God will judge me” mantra. Hypotheticals can be dangerous things. If actions to combat climate change do not involve military interventions in the middle-east, they will certainly involve massive economic restructuring. Someone will be harmed, and we cannot take such decisions lightly, based upon the environmentalists’ equivalent of Pascal’s Wager. Those of us who believe that climate change is happening, and is bad, need to convince others through the presentation of convincing facts.
This is not to say that DK is not being (I think) beligerent and wrong in his assessment of the issue, and his representation of mine.
One of the many problems with climate change is that the concensus [sic] that we are told exists simply does not.
Crucially, our taking actions to prevent climate change need not rest on a complete scientific consensus. Is there ever a scientific consensus on anything? True, “no consensus over climate change” is indeed an argument against lumping climate-change-deniers in with Holocaust-deniers. It is not, however, an argument for inaction, or for abandoning one’s own critical eye! There is still a great deal of evidence to suggest that the observed increase in average global temperature is the result of human industrial activitiy. There are also thousands of scientifically observed examples of temperature change causing habitat change. I am hardly behaving in an irresponsible manner when I infer that this habitat change is undesirable, and we should at all costs avoid it. Pointing at my sandals is an irresponsible smoke-screen. Far better to compare the arguments and evidence of those on both sides of climate change debate, and see who is most convincing. Every time I’ve done this myself, those who claim that global warming is real and bad have been more persuasive. I am not a reactionary… and there is enough of a consensus for me, at least.
But where my fellow Edinburgher makes his biggest mistake, is in his implication that I did not think of him when I typed my late night response to the Euston Manifesto. That he should assume I could be so thoughtless and disrespectful, hurts me deep.
The group makes statements on particular issues … so one on global warming, or rather, “a shared responsibility for the earth’s resources”, needs to be in there too.
The emphasis was present in the earlier post. For all my rhetoric, my actual suggestion was pretty secular, I thought.