I thought that I would post this video of Scott Denning talking at the Heartland Institute Conference on Climate Change in 2011 (H/T Willard). It’s an interesting talk, although I don’t agree with everything he says. His basic point, though, is that there is definitely a problem and we should all be able to agree on this (although I don’t quite know why he chose to to say that CO2 emits heat, but I know what he was trying to say). If the right-wing don’t start recognising this and don’t start trying to find sensible solutions to this problem, others will do so instead. The solutions that are found may therefore both be ones that the right-wing will be extremely unhappy about, and ones that are far less effective at solving this problem than would be the case were the right-wing to engage in discussing what we should actually be doing, rather than trying to pretend that there isn’t actually a problem to solve.
After writing my post on talking politics rather than science I ended up commenting on a couple of posts on Bishop Hill. I will admit that if you focus on discussing risks and what we might consider doing, it does seem possible to actually have some interesting discussions with some people. Not all, mind you, and it was still a relatively unpleasant experience. I eventually gave up commenting there when I realised that my patience was wearing rather thin and that I was no longer really capable of avoiding saying things I may later regret (well, it may actually have been a little after that).
Now, I think that any sensible person would agree that a reasonable descriptor for Watts Up With That (WUWT) is an anti-science, hate site. It is atrocious, and I think anyone who openly associates – without comment – with that site should be really careful of criticising the behaviour of others. Despite what others have said, I did think that maybe Bishop Hill was a little different, but I now don’t think it really is. It may not be quite as atrocious as WUWT, but it’s not far off and I really should just stop commenting there. In fact, after what I’m about to say, that may be taken out of my hands. In my opinion Andrew Montford should be ashamed of the site he’s running, of what he promotes on that site, and what he allows people to say in the comments. He doesn’t have to like my opinion, and he is, of course, welcome to ignore it (as I’m pretty sure he will) but that won’t stop me from holding it.
If he (and others with similar views) are really concerned about what might be done to address the risks associated with climate change, they should stop pretending there isn’t a problem and start engaging in discussing what sensible things could be done to address this problem. If not, others will do things that they will certainly not like and that may well not be as effective as if they had decided to engage in finding solutions. You might think that I would be pleased if those on the right kept burying their heads in the sand, but I would not be. This is not a trivial issue and the more who accept that a problem exists and the more who engage in finding a sensible way to move forward, the better. I don’t really trust the left to find a sensible solution any more that I trust the right. Being forced to think of a solution in the face of opposition is – in my opinion – preferable to being given free reign to do it in isolation.
Anyway, the video is below. I’d watch it till the end; it’s clear that Scott Denning feels quite passionately about this whole issue.