Sunday, December 06, 2009

Be careful who you call a flat-earther Gordon

If anyone needs proof of how out-of-touch the Prime Minister is with the electorate, they need look no further than his recent statement that: "we mustn't be distracted by the behind-the-times, anti-science, flat-earth climate sceptics".

If Gordon Brown, Ed-Milliband and all the other arrogant "we-know-better-than-you" Ministers had an ounce of common sense, they would work a little harder to convince the rest of us why we should be paying trillions of dollars to prevent climate change rather than labelling all of us as idiots.

In fact a large number of us are not deniers, we are merely unconvinced. And climategate (followed by the attempted excuses and cover-ups) has not helped to convince us any further.

I am no scientist (and nor is Gordon Brown one the last time I checked), but the following is unclear to me:

1. Why haven't global temperatures risen during the last ten years?
2. Even if climate change is occurring, it's by no means clear to what extent man is responsible (even warmers don't agree)
3. And even if man is in some way responsible, how will heavy taxation that slows economic progress solve the problem? Surely developing cleaner, more efficient technologies is the solution? I can't imagine the Chinese giving up on economic development for the sake of climate change?

In fact the biggest tragedy of the whole climate change debate is the fact that it's presented as a trade off between economic progress and the environment. Do the government have to tax us out of flying and driving? Is it not possible for example to develop high performing yet environmentally friendly cars and planes?

Unfortunately, many of those in the warming camp have an anti-capitalist, anti-technology agenda, and long for us to return to some kind of pre-industrial age. Sadly, the real victim of all this will be the environment. Issues that most of us agree on such as conserving finite resources, improving air quality, reducing landfill, and preserving our beautiful countryside or drowned out by the obsession with climate change. Yet instead of focusing on measures that can be quantified (e.g. recycling), we are focusing on something that is impossible to quantify. The result is a wasteful 12 day conference at which there is unlikely to be any agreement and at best a very weak agreement that few governments will even bother to keep to.