Climate Skepticism For Greenies

I consider myself a bit of a left-winged tree-hugging hippy who just so happens to like eating meat, believes whale hunting is fine - as long as it is sustainable, and that we shouldn't necessarily believe in climate doomsday predictions just because it seems in line with your politics.

The latter is my starting point here for my contention that Greenies should show some respect for climate skepticism.

Putting all politics aside and how much you hate Alan Jones and most climate skeptic media commentators, it is your job as representing the rational viewpoint to remember, climate science is a science, not a political ideology, it is not about a woman's rights to choose, or ending world poverty, it is just an idea made up by people who actually think about how nature works rather than football. These people are called scientists.

Scientists in general are very smart people, and take pride in being rational. However scientists are not really the Jewish superhero's you see in Hollywood movies, who have hunches and theories that seem to always be able to save the world just in the nick of time. You see, scientists are often wrong. Once they thought that light propagated through a mysterious substance called "ether", until another scientists said that wasn't necessary if you just bend the rules somewhere else instead. Similarly, scientists today believe 90% of the Universes matter exists as "dark matter" that no-one can see, feel, touch or detect even with the Nerdiest techno-gadget ever invented - yet.

That is not to say dark matter does not exist, how would I know, just that theories come and go, some are fashionable for a while then get replaced by better ideas, while some ideas end up being so good they get refined and improved -  yes I am looking at you Charles Darwin!

Coming back to climate science, I want to remind my fellow hippies that Anthropogenic Global Warming Theory is an idea to explain recent observed warming seen over the past century or so. It is not the only theory out there, and even if it is the best theory we have, it is even then not necessarily the best we can come up with.

These days, it is quite common to defend the theory of AGW with the sound observation that if you don't believe in it, then it is probably because you are an arse-hole. Looking around, this correlation does tend to hold true. People who are climate skeptics are often the very same people who give donations to right-wing political parties. They drive big cars with their stereos up loud singing "I'm an arsehole..." on their way to the Camberwell Elitist Boys Grammar school fund-raiser to send their rowing team to Venice to compete at the European Elitist Schools Rowing Tournament.
Knowing this, it is very difficult to be a climate skeptic, knowing that it puts me in this company - (except without the monetary advantages).

Yet, scientific theory is theory and comes down to scientific tests, not prejudices.

No matter how much you wish to turn gay for Bob Brown, it is your first priority to assess the merits of a scientific theory on how credible it is, and how well it meets existing fact and makes predictions. A scientific theory is not tested by consensus of scientists, or a majority of scientists. If one good scientists has reasonable doubts about a theory, then the theory is in dispute.

From my point of view I would like to point to a few holes in the theory that I see that make me skeptical.

In my next post, I look at the favourite skeptic argument of CO2 bandwidth saturation.
Warning: the article does get technical!

Argument 1: CO2 Saturation >>

2 Comments
Comment By: Steve Donohoe 2:32AM 10/3/2011
While it is obvious that the worlds climate is cyclic in nature, I find it difficult to think that approximately 7 billion people, with all their associated cars and other infrastructure, that were not here originally, have no impact on the mechanisms that cause our climate to remain reasonably stable. Thus causing the peaks and troughs of the cycles to be more pronounced/extreme. Every system has its limits.
Comment By: Gordon Rouse 6:50AM 10/3/2011
Certainly, we are deforesting the planet, we have possibly contributed to ozone depletion as well. You may have heard of the observations by meteorologists in the US after 9/11, who noted weather changes after the grounding of all flights there.

Being skeptical of the role of CO2 and methane on climate, does not necessarily mean that I automatically discount other anthropogenic effects on climate. In fact, I would say focusing on CO2 may mean we are missing the real culprit?
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