15 December 2007

Climate Controversy

I'm really worried about the possibility I'm deluding myself about climate. I see something like this, and I'm so certain that it's basically correct.

I don't think there's another case of new science shooting so rapidly into politics that scientific conventions have huge political relevance. Nor do we have new research being shoved into school syllabuses within two or three years.

This immature science is being accelerated in this unprecedented way for political reasons, and I feel justified in opposing it for political reasons.

On top of that, there's the group effects. Like Pauline Kael allegedly not knowing anyone who voted for Nixon, I don't know anyone who believes the full orthodox media view of climate change. That's not entirely true, but the exceptions are people who I wouldn't believe if they told me it was raining, never mind what the weather will be in 50 years.

I tell myself that for every one of these people, there are several equally qualified who disagree; I know that there is dishonesty on the sceptic side as well as the alarmist side, I am fully aware of my own political bias, and yet I'm still not even able to take seriously the proposition that the argument is settled.

I reckon I'm in the top 1% for intelligence, and I certainly know a thing or two about computer modelling, but what possible basis can I have for the conviction that I am right and a whole lot of experts are wrong? I don't even have a degree in a physical science.

At least this isn't some metaphysical question. The issue is likely to be resolved in my lifetime, one way or the other. I'm looking forward to it.

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