Saturday, 12 December 2009

This Week: Our Right To Reply

I watched the BBC One politics show, This Week, yesterday via the I-Player (another great BBC innovation that - whatever did we do before?) and it included, in the week of the Great Hot Air Festival, a film by the normally rather sensible and intelligent Nick Cohen talking drivel about climate change.

We sceptics (Nick did at least concede that the term deniers was offensive) were branded as idiots. Yet in the film he betrayed the fact that his knowledge of the subject is actually minimal and seems mostly derived from the Green Meanies' propaganda. This is often the way with journalists who buy the hyperbole - particularly environment correspondents. They don't bother scratching beneath the surface and just take the usual simplistic view that all of that pollution (actually just a trace gas but one we need in order to survive) must be having some effect. Well yes, possibly, but possibly not too. This is the point. It really isn't as simple as that. It's just that the Green Meanies try to present it that way.

Cohen repeated the usual guff about us being aware of the properties of CO2 for 200 years, of it being established science blah, blah blah. And this actually proves that he knows not of what he speaks. See my earlier post on 'the science' here. And then he bought into the whole in the pay of big oil nonsense and how we are propping up nasty regimes in Iran, Saudi Arabia etc. Eh?

I don't know how many times we have to repeat that sceptics are not inherently hostile to environmentalism. We can see the need for recycling, protecting the rain forests, cutting back on fishing to save the oceans. We even acknowledge the fact that we must wean ourselves off fossil fuels and research and invest in new technologies. Where we differ from the Green Meanies is in the ridiculous notion that this can all be done overnight or else the planet will boil. It won't. Cutting CO2 on the timescale proposed is absurd and impossible. And even if we managed it, it won't have the desired effect - even if the worst case scenarios (which even the most ardent warmist scientists acknowledge have been exaggerated for effect) were likely, cutting man-made CO2 to the extent currently being discussed will make no difference. Adaptation and technological solutions are key and that means we can afford to take our time and be sure about the science. Why is it that the GMs are in such an unholy rush? Is it because they know that the scientific case is unravelling?

And here's another point: have you noticed that the most ardent of the GMs are actually against the technological route as a solution to climate change. They are against nuclear power and even against researching new fusion technology - the energy source of the future. Solutions have been proposed such as these here which are viable and much more cost effective. But the GMs are against those too. Why? Because they want to curtail and control the way we live. New technology such as the new more efficient cars being developed are their worst nightmare. It would enable us all to continue with our present lifestyles with just a bit of recycling, not cutting down rainforests and cutting down on packaging thrown into the mix. That's not what the worst of the GMs agenda is all about. They want something much more fundamental and climate change is their excuse for bringing it about.

On behalf of all sceptics, I demand a right to reply to Nick Cohen's silly, insulting and ill-informed film for This Week. Michael Portillo did a good job arguing the opposite view and Andrew Neil played the role of devil's advocate (or maybe a little more?) very well. But the show always allows the Green Meanies to argue their side and never the sceptics. It's time, especially now, to redress the balance. There are plenty of high profile sceptics out there who could counter Cohen's film. And if nobody famous is available I'll do it myself. I've been on TV before - I do it for a living when given the chance. I'll be happy to do it again.

You can contact the show here to demand our right to reply.

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