Friday, December 18, 2009

Copenhagen: sustainability, science and scepticism

Copenhagen: today we get the verdict.

My view is that whatever we get, it is a beginning, something to be built on.
The agreement will be criticised, both from our side, and from the skeptic side.

Skeptics must consider the philosophy of science:

"Widely accepted" is broadly speaking the Kuhnian definition of scientific truth, and by this criterion, AGW is settled.

"Not-yet-tested-to-destruction" is the Popperian definition of science, and no science is ever 100% settled according to this definition.

Scientific theory approaches truth asymptotically, but can never be 100% identified with truth. Science can always be extended and improved upon. The computer models will improve as time goes on, hopefully tracking the changes as the increase in CO2 is stopped, and as CO2 is sequestered.

The skeptics are calling for a level of perfection that is not humanly or scientifically possible, and this approach is calculated to delay action in decarbonising, and has done so for two decades. This is the agenda of Exxon Mobile and all their beneficiaries, free market fellow travellers and dupes.

There is a choice to be made here, because this is not some academic debate that can be carried on ad infinitum. Climate change is happening faster than the models predict, and it is possible for climate to "flip" from cold to hot in a very short time.

It is very clear that decarbonisation is the safest option, as this video shows.

Patrick Michaels, who has devoted his life to AGW skepticism, has admitted that CO2 is a problem. "Global Warming is happening, and people have something to do with it".
See the Fightback video, @ 57:43. - unfortunately this is now not available,

This is the situation we are in.

If you are a committed free market fundamentalist, you will never accept the climate change facts, as they are incompatible with your ideology.

For the rest of us humans, the ability of our planet to sustain life is more important than the right of mega-corporations like Trafigura to do exactly as they Carter-Rucking well please.


Anonymous said...

Hello Richard

well done on an excellent series of posts on climate change recently

hopefully after obama's abysmal speech at Copenhagen, the Greens and several sections of the left will see him for what he is - pretty much a continuaton of what went before, just a different face that made naive people feel all warm inside for a while. More troops in Afghanistan than Bush could ever countenance and a speech more tragic than Bush ever gave on climate change.

Now where?

DocRichard said...

Hello ?Marnie?

Now where? I think we have to get all the civil society NGOs together, get very busy and draw up exactly what kind of economic mechanisms we wish to see.

I am going to put a blog together on this.