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Saturday, March 17, 2007


Anne Stott

That was below the belt, Clive. Philip told me he was with the others, he didn't know where to go but got in the SUV as directed! Perhaps he can offset against this the fact that he commuted using British Rail/Connex/Network South East for more than 30 years. And still does.

Anne (P's wife)

PS We both really like your blog.


Isn't he being a little stupid?. Since the nay-sayers believe that Global Warming doctine is an error, or perhaps a con, why on earth would they want to decline the lift?

Anne Stott

I'm answering for Philip because he's stranded in New York because of snow! He doesn't deny the reality of global warming though he thinks climate change is a more scientific and less politically charged term and so uses it instead. His point is that climate is essentially a chaotic system which is always changing and always will. He doesn't deny that it's good to conserve energy(we drive a small energy-efficient car ourselves) but he believes that it's crazy to isolate one factor in the complex mix that is climate change and to imagine that by reducing CO2 emissions we can PREDICTABLY manage climate.

Edo River

I didn't hear or read the debate.
When the wife of the party choosing, in effect, to dilute the image of the current global situation ie, "Climate change", summarizes a characterizaton of the other side's argement as "It's crazy to isolate one factor...."
then I think it's time to suspect the intentions, or motives of Mr. Stott's qualifications to speak scientifically.

PS. It's called the "straw man" strategy. And it is somewhat annoying to use it in front of an educated readership.

Anne Stott

This is my last comment on the subject as I'm only summarizing Philip's views and am certainly not qualified to engage with the nuances of the debate. I didn't mean to imply that everyone on 'the other side' (not my expression) isolates carbon dioxide alone but some people do and insofar as they do this, their position is flawed. So there is no straw man. But enough ... I have my own life to live.

Jason W. Solinsky

Its not a straw man. All the major current proposals to deal with global warming are either focused on or dedicated to reducing CO2 emissions.

If you agree with Stott's point, that we don't know enough about the climate to reasonably conclude that it can be controlled by reducing CO2 emissions, then its hard to see how you can agree with these proposals.

I think that advocates of the position that global warming is a crisis have become more than a little bit two faced.

On the one hand you have activists who characterize the science by saying that, absent immediate action on reducing CO2 emissions, our planet faces environmental catastrophe.

On the other hand you have the scientists, who have never published any peer reviewed paper saying anything remotely like the above statement, but who egg on the activists and keep their mouths shut when Al Gore predicts 20 foot rises in sea level and the public believes it.

If the activists' position is a "straw man", then the scientific community has a responsibility to stop them from misrepresenting the current state of climate understanding.

I suggest to you that not only is the mainstream scientific community not interested in making the activists adhere more closely to the science, but that there are substantial consequences awaiting any scientist who does water down the activists' message (in terms of getting papers accepted, grants and tenure).

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