The cat i' the adage

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" Karl Popper (1902 - 1994)

Friday, July 15, 2005

Good news from Gleneagles

Philip Stott recalls a letter he wrote to The Telegraph:

In the UK, "global warming" is a faith. Here the "science" is legitimised by the myth. This is something that even our august Royal Society has failed to grasp. Too many of us believe we are making an independent scientific assessment, when, in reality, we have subsumed Hume-scepticism to the demands of faith.

With respect to the science of climate change, the most fundamental question remains: "Can humans manipulate climate predictably?" Or, more scientifically: "Will cutting carbon dioxide emissions at the margin produce a linear, predictable change in climate?" The answer is "No". In so complex a coupled, non-linear, chaotic system as climate, not doing something at the margins is as unpredictable as doing something. This is the cautious science; the rest is dogma.

But now he feels:

Luckily, the Green dogma has failed and common economic sense is beginning to prevail. Perhaps, quite unexpectedly, the Gleneagles Summit may prove to have been a turning point. In the words of an editorial in The Australian on 13 July (3): 'As the G8 Gleneagles summit proved, there is no consensus on how to combat global warming today or tomorrow but the bell now tolls on a decade of illusion.'

Hope he's right.


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