- 97% of scientists believe we have a problem
- 50% of Joe Public thinks we have a problem.
- This doubt is holding politicians back from acting seriously over decarbonisation.
- The main explanation for this state of affairs:
a) denial is a natural reaction to any serious problem, so the uncommitted will tend to accept the "no change" argument
b) the carbon companies have mobilised to cast doubt on the science with a masterly propaganda exercise in which they have dominated both right leaning newspapers and the blogosphere.
c) free market ideology is incompatible with a co-operative global effort to decarbonise the economy, so the free marketeers have joined with the carbon companies
This controversy could be resolved by showing that the position held by the sceptics is refuted by some important facts.
The debate is thus reeled in from an infinity of niceties about dendrochronology, cosmic rays &c, to a single question:
What is the most probable effect that CO2 has have on global temperatures?
Though the science is dauntingly complex, the background can be explained by well written documentaries and articles.
To get to a public debate (perhaps a series, round the country, culminating in a Council of Trent type decision, we need first to elucidate their core case.
It is most probably this:
"The climate sensitivity to CO2 is less than 1.5*C".
The debate is now focussed on one central statement. If it can be fully substantiated, we can all relax. If on the other hand it can be refuted, in the minds of the scientific community and intelligent people who can follow the debate, the doubt can be resolved, and humanity can set about transforming the global economy to renewable energy. If the debate is inconclusive, the council must specify the additional work that must be done to resolve the question.