They came, the feasted, and now they’re (almost) gone. This week I was besieged by a flock of climate change deniers (they now go by the name Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming deniers). All comments where made by the ardent readers of one sceptic blog and they took it on as their duty to seek retribution to the referenced ‘warmist’ (Me). I must admit, it was a nice feeling to know that in least some people were actually reading my blog.
I would write a response but other brave scientists took the whack for me, doing a much better job than I could have done. Not like they were flies that needed swatting, everyone deserves their say, no matter how many times they need to rephrase the same argument.
One thing that really interests me, however, is the risk that excellent scientists in their field could be advocating bad science. Even with 100s of publications and citations, does this mean the world should just take their word for it?
This takes me back to talk I went to last October where George Monbiot explains an encounter he had with a famous ecologist and known climate change denier, David Bellamy.
He’s also a founder of The Conservation Foundation, UK.
In April 2005, Bellamy wrote a letter to the New Scientist claiming the world’s glaciers “…are not shrinking but in fact are growing… 555 of all the 625 glaciers under observation by the World Glacier Monitoring Service in Zurich, Switzerland, have been growing since 1980.”
A perplexed Monbiot decided to investigate where Bellamy had sourced this information. This led him to the website iceagenow.com (a website that was also directed to me in the previous post through an attempt to enlighten me).
iceagenow.com (now called iceagenow.info) was constructed by a former architect, Robert Felix who claims sea levels are falling, not rising, that the Asian tsunami was caused by the “ice age cycle” and that “underwater volcanic activity – not human activity – is heating the seas.” Felix’s source for this information was from a publication called 21st Century Science & Technology by Lyndon Larouche. In 1989, Larouche received a 15 year sentence for mail fraud and tax violations. When Monbiot dug deeper to find the original source of this information we has led to a so-called “paper published in Science in 1989”. There was no paper published in Science in 1989 that contained any study about glacial advance or retreat. Monbiot brought this discovery up in a debate with an unprepared Bellamy on Channel 4 News.
It’s surprising to me that a trained scientist, especially in the environmental field didn’t research his findings. What led this influential player in conservation and nature to being so careless and yet not admitting that the evidence simply doesn’t exist?
And like Linzden, who I spoke about in the previous post, they’ve come out with these allegations near the end of their career. This also reflects the age group of the interrupters at the Oxford Union last week.
Is it a fear of death to the trained eye?
A Pew Report in 2012 showed that people over 65 were less likely to think warming is caused by human activity compared to their younger counterparts. In the study, 28% of people over 65 believed that global warming is due to human activity compared to 47% of people under 50.
From growing up living with my grandparents, I’ve seen how hard they’ve worked to get to the technological advancement they’re at now, shouldn’t they be entitled to it? We are imposing blame on their generation, could this reaction just be a defence mechanism? Or maybe it is the fear of death and the obvious reminder climate change brings with images of disasters all over the world. A bit of a put-off.
Maybe we owe it to the older generation to be more forgiving. They’ve created a world with the luxuries they wanted their children to enjoy and now it’s up to us to make sure it’s an habitable and enjoyable environment for ours.