Another example of Censorship of Skeptics

The blog Zone5 (written by an environmentalist who is thoughtfully sceptical of global warming) has had an article taken down from what has been one of the more moderate pro-CAGW blogs. I left the following comment

The removal of your article is another small example of what you were writing about. Any attempt to offer counter arguments, or to criticize, is being shut down. This is true of blog comments or of peer-reviewed papers. But enough of the negative. Your article made some excellent points, particularly on Al Gore’s movie

First he misrepresents the science by claiming we are facing near certain doom, then he completely downplays the kind of changes we would have to make to prevent catastrophe if we accept the worst case scenario.

It is the crux of what I consider to be the problem of the climate change agenda. I believe there is quite strong science to back up the claim that a doubling of CO2 will cause about one degree of warming. Maybe the climate models are right, and this effect will be doubled or more by clouds feedbacks (though the virulence with which scientific papers that suggest otherwise have been attacked, and a similarly weak rebuttal suggesting the opposite praised greatly, suggests this is an Achilles heel). However, your comment on Al Gore’s film neatly summarises the issue in general. The potential effects of climate change are over-estimated in two ways – of magnitude and likelihood. The most important magnitude is time. For instance, the potential sea level rise is treated as if it would be in metres per year. So fast that large areas of land would be swamped before the harvest could be brought in. But even if global temperatures rose by five degrees in a generation (very unlikely), the resultant sea level rise would be sufficiently slow to relocate homes and agriculture, or to build dykes. People’s ability to adapt to rapidly to changes are remarkable, as emigrants from Britain to Australia (or from Asia to Britain) can testify, yet this is vastly underplayed.

The downplaying of effective policy issues is, if anything, even worse. It is assumed that with a little extra tax, everybody will switch to electric cars or bicycles, and plug a few drafts to cut heating bills by 90%. All this until we get a technological breakthrough in a few years to allow super-abundant carbon free power and near costless power. If Britain (or the EU) takes the lead, then everybody else will follow. No problem about over-running on costs, or pursuing the wrong type of green energy. No concern that a million or more families will enter fuel poverty every year, whilst still failing far behind on emissions reduction targets.

The overplay of risks / underplay of policy costs was put in a more sophisticated way in the Stern Review. I have attempted to analyse this at

https://manicbeancounter.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/climate-change-policy-in-perspective-%E2%80%93-part-1-of-4/

Please continue to encourage people to think for themselves and compare the various perspectives.

Is this another example of shutting down any sort of dissent, like the increasing dogmatism & extremism of sceptical science? (see here
here
here).

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1 Comment

  1. Aldas Nabazas

     /  21/09/2011

    Being ‘shut down’ on both zone5.org and thinkorswim.ie I am pretty sure same faith would follow if I start bringing up moral questions here.
    When EGO is exposed it starts to defend itself.

    Reply

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