Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Climate Change: the Bunter Argument

I have been ghost writing for a busy green councillor, who sent the piece on Global Warming Evidence to her fellow councillors. A Tory climate change sceptic replied. Here is our response to him:
Dear xxx

I wish most fervently that you were right in this matter, and that the community of climate scientists in the world were wrong. Maybe their measurements of CO2 levels are all wrong, and maybe the physicists have made a mistake about the heat trapping effects of that gas. It must be lovely to be able to think like that. Hey, maybe eating excessively doesn't really make us fat. Maybe the doctors are wrong about cigarettes and cancer and heart disease Maybe the vets are wrong about the ability of pigs to defeat the laws of gravity.

Although you hold a minority view, you are not alone. I know of a guru who taught that people only die because they think they are going to die. He said we kind of think ourselves into it. He got some followers too, only one of them died. But, as he said, she obviously hadn't really believed.

You spurn the so-called experts. Maybe you're right. Experts are such killjoys. "We are all going to die" "Don't do this, don't do that"....economists are the worst, and in future maybe we should discount everything they say, and spend, spend spend as if there were no tomorrow. Come to think of it, that's what we have been doing....and now we are in a mess. Still, the economists didnt warn us what would happen. So maybe the expert economists were wrong all the time, and we shouldn't have taken out all those seductive loans and 100% mortgages. er...all very confusing.

Your arguments are so persuasive, maybe I should join you. As you say, on Climate Change there is too much supposition from so called experts. That's science for you. They make observations, then come up with these silly "suppositions" to account for the observations, (hypotheses, they call them in their so-called expert language) and then they perform more controlled observations to test these suppositions. What a ridiculous way to proceed. What's wrong with reading the entrails of a sheep, like they used to in the good old days? Much cheaper than paying for all this fancy scientific equipment out of hard pressed taxpayers' money! I believe you can get a sheep for £30 or so. Or we could use badgers. There's loads of badgers lying about on the roads, doing nothing.

Your arguments remind me of the good old Boy's Own Paper. Did you use to read it? We could call our line on climate change the Bunter Argument: "Climate change isnt happening, and if it is (which it clearly is) it wasn't me what done it sir! Ouch! Yaroo!!"

You complain about the visual effects of looking at a wind turbine. Let us tear down all blots on the landscape! Why stop at wind turbines? It is those power lines that get me! Down with all pylons! As for solar power: absolutely awful!! A whole roof covered with a plate of material that turns sunbeams into electricity? It has to be a thing of the Devil. It's against nature. In fact come to think of it, roofs themselves are against nature. Rain is suposed to make us wet. Off with all roofs!

I have to disagree with you on one minor point. You say that solar power and hydro schemes will not provide the energy we need. Be careful about this. Renewables will fail to provide us with the energy we need on condition that the civil servants continue to hold renewables back. If - heaven forfend - there should come about a level playing field, then the solar income on the earth (about 25,000 [update: not so, only about 8,000] times more solar input on the planet than the total energy we actually use every day) could indeed replace the fossil fuels. So we must be on our guard, and continue to propagate the old myths such as the inefficiency of turbines.

The trouble is, renewables = energy income, and fossil and uranium = energy capital.

Funny that, isnt it? Oil &c is energy capital: solar is energy income. Economic so-called "experts" say it is wrong to spend capital as though it were income. So, to succeed in holding back renewables, we ought really to challenge the Council Treasurer next time he starts whingeing on about his precious ring-fencing, and distinguishing between capital assets and revenue. What does he know? We are free of these artificial constraints imposed by so-called experts! Let us bring the tax take down to nothing, and spend all the Authorities' capital reserves before the next election! Who cares? Only these so-called experts!

I am so glad to hear you say that there is no such thing as 'peak oil', and that proven reserves are more than all the oil yet pumped! This silly old theory that oil was made millions of years ago is so passe'. It would be so much nicer to believe that oil is being made in the oilfields right now by nice oil fairies. So we can keep on driving our SUVs forever, and so can the Chinese and Indians. We can oil (all, geddit?) be in SUV heaven. We can drive on forever! And if it really does turn out that the eco-worriers were right, it wouldn't matter, because we will be dead by the time we find out it was us wot wrecked the planet. And it's only us that really matters, isn't it?

You say "Clean energy does not exist, all forms of energy production produce by products of one kind or another. Probably the only real alternative clean energy will prove to be Nuclear Fusion, now that does excite me..... "
Dear xxx, not only does Nuclear Fusion excite you, it excites us, and it is also responsible for keeping you and me and all life on earth in tip-top conditon. Thank God for the Great Fusion Reactor in the sky! On this point we really can agree, so on this point I will remain
your long-suffering
fellow councillor

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