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Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth


From the Conference Web Page:

Distinguished scholars from the U.S. and around the world have addressed these questions seriously and without institutional bias. Their findings suggest the Modern Warming is moderate and partly or even mostly a natural recovery from the Little Ice Age; that the consequences of moderate warming are positive for humanity and wildlife; that predictions of future warming are wildly unreliable; that the costs of trying to “stop global warming” exceed hypothetical benefits by a factor of 10 or more; and more.

Often, these scholars have been ignored, and often even censored and demonized. They have been labeled “skeptics” and even “global warming deniers,” a mean-spirited attempt to lump them together with Holocaust deniers. The truth of the matter is that these scholars dissent from a false “consensus” put forward by a small but politically powerful clique of government scientists and political allies.

Actual surveys of climate scientists and recent reviews of the scholarly literature both show the so-called “skeptics” may actually be in the majority of the climate science community. They do not lack scholarly credentials or scientific integrity, but a platform from which they can be heard. Their voices have been drowned out by publicity built upon the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an entity with an agenda to build support for the theory of man-made catastrophic global warming.

The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change is intended to start the process of providing these brave scholars with a competing platform.

And just to address the "shills for Big Oil" diatribe, from the detailed sponsorship page:

The Heartland Institute is prepared to underwrite the total cost of the program, though it is still seeking donations from individuals and foundations earmarked for this event. No funds from energy companies will be used to finance the event.

I'm not anti-environment, nor am I contrarian without reason. Rather I'm very skeptical when a "scientific consensus" is based upon the predication that we can predict the behavior of a system we have yet to fully understand. We don't "get" many of our own endemic systems and yet we've mastered the planetary whims of global climate to the point where we feed some data into a computer and reach a consensus? This skepticism is compounded by the fact that there remains a vocal scientific minority that's been vilified by many in the breathless and damn near evangelic majority. What comes of this latest conference will, I hope, provide some semblance of the more cautious "other side" of an otherwise heavily weighted coin.

4 comments:

Adrian said...

Your conclusions don't follow from your reasoning that I can see. It's true we don't fully understand the global climate system. Climate change could actually be much worse than we think, as Joseph Romm argued recently. Thus if uncertainty is based on our lack of total understanding of the system, it could be just as possible that climate change is worse than currently thought as it is that it's "not a crisis" as Heartland definitively proclaims (no uncertainty there). But you seem to be saying that "we don't know everything, so better be cautious and not do anything." Am I reading too much into your post?

We also do not fully understand the workings of the human body, a very complex system. However luckily doctors go ahead and do their thing anyways.

From the Heartland Institute's website, they look like a bunch of kooks. On their lefthand column they have an "Al Gore snowjob" picture - not generally an indication of a serious policy thinktank. I trust scientific conferences run by scientific thinktanks, not thinktanks with specific policy agendas that just happen to coincide with what they have concluded science believes...

subadei said...

Great comment Adrian.
In line with your Romm perspective, one could (and some have) argue that without what's construed as anthropogenic climate change human kind could, instead, be facing the initial period of an ice age. A bit different perspective than the typical "end o' times" scenario.

In line with [But you seem to be saying that "we don't know everything, so better be cautious and not do anything."]

No. My argument entails "we're not at all sure what's inducing global warming, nor are we certain it will persist. And so we shouldn't be passing uncertainties off as "facts" and we certainly shouldn't be designing policy around such."

"We also do not fully understand the workings of the human body, a very complex system. However luckily doctors go ahead and do their thing anyways."

I'd challenge that we understand more than enough about the human body to enact a system of medicine that is as often than not successful at preserving life.

"I trust scientific conferences run by scientific thinktanks, not thinktanks with specific policy agendas that just happen to coincide with what they have concluded science believes..."

Heh. I don't trust any "scientific think tank" that refuses to allow "disagreeable" science into their realm of study. What political entity drove the New York Conference?

Adrian said...

"What political entity drove the New York Conference?"

Heartland, obviously - they didn't put on a conference because they were genuinely worried about overreaction to climate change, they put on a conference because climate change "fixes" endanger their agenda, which according to their website is "to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems."

subadei said...

"they didn't put on a conference because they were genuinely worried about overreaction to climate change,"

Thanks for that. Now tell me with a straight face that the proponents of Global Warming ignore scientific opposition on the pure basis of the betterment of man kind. Or are they just as concerned for funding and personal redemption?

Sorry, chap. The Heartland Institute may have their own ax to grind but do you really believe that every scientist there was roped in by Conservative ideals? Every scientist is a shill for Big Oil?

Or more realistically, the scientists that engaged in the NYC conference are a tad worried about the "consensus" and so tossed their lot unto a vehicle that might deliver them to some semblance of recognized opposition.