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For Tony Abbott – An intelligent conservative’s view of climate change

February 19, 2014

Paul Douglas

When I talk to groups and individuals I tell them the truth: it’s good to be skeptical. In a day and age of hackers, scams, media spin and political lobbyists people should be skeptical – it’s a necessary self-defense mechanism these days. And then I remind them that the most skeptical people on the planet are scientists. Science is organized skepticism. The fact that thousands of experts agree on not only climate trends, but the triggers (burning of fossil fuels) is extremely significant.

Paul Douglas, meteorologist, registered Republican, and entrepreneur.

Read more of what Paul Douglas has to say here: Republican Meteorologist & Entrepreneur: Debating Cause of Climate Change is Moral and Scientific Equivalent of Debating Gravity at Global Warming: Man or Myth?

Update 2014/03/04: A coalition of prominent centre-right figures, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Bloomberg, James Wolfensohn and Michael Gove has launched an initiative to re-establish a green agenda for conservatives. Their rationale is available from the Conservative Environment Network.

Update 2014/03/12: More than two dozen of the biggest corporations in the US, including the five major oil companies, are planning their future growth on the expectation that they will need to pay a price for carbon pollution as a way to control global warming. Read more at the New York Times.


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  1. “… The fact that thousands of experts agree on not only climate trends, but the triggers (burning of fossil fuels) is extremely significant.”

    It’s a fact that since 1977 almost all medical experts agreed on the role of saturated fats in obesity and C/V disease. Within the last few years a significant portion of that community have realized that they were mislead by flawed studies and political/corporate pressure to support a food pyramid based largely on low GI carbohydrates. These scientific experts people were so convinced that saturated fats were a killer, that they forced “healthy” trans-fats on the world, only to discover two decades later that trans-fats are nothing short of poison.

    Was the vilification of saturated fat, science or not?

    Isn’t it reasonable to ask, “if science can’t even figure out what constitutes a healthy diet, how much credibility should one extend to the global climate change zeitgeist of the “anointed ones?”

    • Smudge,
      Even if it turns out that saturated fats are not implicated in C/V disease (and that’s far from a sure thing; I think your “significant portion” is an exaggeration), this implies nothing about climate science.

      Yes, scientific models are often modified, sometimes overturned, but mostly they turn out to be pretty realistic. Smoking still causes lung cancer, aeroplane design can still rely on aerodynamics, vaccines still cure disease ….. Climate science is the most rigorously scrutinized branch of science we have ever experienced. The saturated fat consensus may have been based on some studies in the 1950s – 1970s; there was never any serious alternative model, organised resistance or straight out denial movement. Why would there be any effort to test the consensus?

      Climate science is questioned constantly by powerful interests. Climate scientists keep coming up with more and more independent lines of evidence supporting the consensus. The number of studies is enormous compared with those considering saturated fats. There is every opportunity for any holes in their analyses to be exposed. The contrarians, despite claiming this evidence is weak, have consistently failed to come up with any alternative explanations.

      Your tactic is betrayed by your use of the “anointed ones” term. It’s a well-known denier meme. The absurd implication that there is a protected and privileged enclave of climate scientists whose word is taken as scripture is a devious attempt at poisoning the well.

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