‘Post-normal science’ is perfect for climate demagogues — it isn’t science at all | James Delingpole

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‘Post-normal science’ is perfect for climate demagogues — it isn’t science at all

March 4th, 2010

No it’s OK, I didn’t mind one teeny tiny bit that Matt Ridley wrote an entire Spectator cover story on Climategate and the blogosphere last week without once mentioning the name of the brilliant Spectator journalist who broke the story on his Telegraph blog, and popularised the name Climategate, and got 1.5 million hits in one week, and whose anti-eco-fascist bulletins now have a massive following from readers all around the world who keep sending him emails like ‘Thank you for saving us from the horrors of ManBearPig’ and (I’m not making this up) ‘Someone should put up a James Delingpole statue in Trafalgar Square’. Because if I did it would be really petty, wouldn’t it?

What does bother me, though, is the number of people who imagine that Climategate was only ever just a little local difficulty involving a few men in anoraks at some grim fenland redbrick. Or that the ‘overwhelming scientific consensus’ still stands that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) represents the greatest danger of our time. Or that the integrity of institutions like the Royal Society, the Met Office and the Hadley Centre is not in doubt. Or that there’s nothing wrong or scary or downright suicidal about the Cameron Conservatives’ lunatic green agenda. Or that there must be some truth in this man-made global warming thing — or why else would so many scientists believe in it?

(to read more, click here)

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4 Responses to “‘Post-normal science’ is perfect for climate demagogues — it isn’t science at all”

  1. Manuel says:March 4, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Well, here’s a thought for any Tory planners out there.

    I live in Richmond Park constituency, a seat that the Tories really need to win.
    I also have a profound loathing of Liberal Democrats. I have a special deep hatred for former MP Jenny Tonge and her simpering respect for suicide bombers. I have slightly more respect for her replacement Susan Kramer as one of the few MPs who claim no expenses at all, but I still hate them.

    And this election is a good time not to assume that a Lib Dem vote is just a harmless protest vote for your nice local MP which won’t really matter, because it will. If we’re not careful, whatever that leader of theirs is called may well wield huge and idiotic influence.

    But despite all that, and even though it really could make a real difference, I’m still not going to vote for eco-loon Zac Goldsmith.

    I imagine their planners are assuming that people like me will vote for them anyway, but they’re wrong. This stuff matters.

  2. TP Davis says:March 7, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    James,

    I’d like to hear your opinion on where the UK ought to be heading in terms of our long-term energy security. I don’t buy the ‘Peak Oil’ fear-mongering, I believe there are quite probably hundreds of years worth of fossil fuel reserves left in the world for us to exploit. Nevertheless North Sea oil production, which underwrote the Thatcher-Blair booms, has been in decline since 1999. Norway, our current main supplier, will go the same way before too long. Other smaller oil producing regions are following suit and in not too many years the vast majority of available resources will be concentrated in a few, far-away, politically insecure countries. And Canada.

    Therefore, I am concerned that our economic and political stability are likely to the threatened by an over-reliance on imported fossil fuels. In light of this, the idea that we must (a) use our fuel as efficiently as possible and (b) develop our generating power through non-fossil fuel means seems reasonable enough. The more we reduce demand, the less we will be subjected to the demands of the oil and gas demagogues in the Kremlin, Tehran, Tripoli and Caracas.

    In my reading of the situation, this is the main reason why de-carbonisation of our economy sits atop our political agenda.

    It is quite possible, I admit, that you are right in terms of the climate change debate.
    I am not about to challenge you because I, like you, am not a climatologist.

    However your polemics run the risk of doing more harm than you realise.

    I am concerned that your anti-climate change rhetoric is blinding us to a very real and potent threat to our future political and economic strength. An inevitable outcome of your attacks against the UK’s de-carbonisation will be a future legacy of an economy hopelessly dependent on a few fossil-fuel rich countries, with no bargaining power, left behind in the global technological race to develop high-yield post-fossil power generation.

    Yours,

    Tom Davis

  3. James Delingpole says:March 7, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    @TomDavis Tom, in the last six months, I have probably written around 200,000 words about Climate Change. Do you honestly think that given all the time effort and thought I have put into this issue that I would have missed the blindingly obvious point you present to me as though it were some devastating counterargument which undermined everything I have said?

    If AGW isn’t happening – and it most likely isn’t, at least not anywhere like to the dangerous degree the IPCC claims – then it is not the business of “scientists” or politicians to claim otherwise in the name of some greater social good known as “reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.”

    What is so wrong with fossil fuels? When they run out we adapt. That’s what mankind does.

    And by the way, have you looked into the efficacy of “alternative energy”? It doesn’t work and it will never work.

  4. Tom Davis says:March 9, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    James,

    thanks for answering.

    “blindingly obvious point”

    – true. But little mentioned in the media, and worth asking. I asked your opinion on the issue, what is it? Or point me to whereabouts in your 200,000 words you have discussed it.

    “If AGW isn’t happening – and it most likely isn’t, at least not anywhere like to the dangerous degree the IPCC claims – then it is not the business of “scientists” or politicians to claim otherwise in the name of some greater social good known as “reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.”

    – My point is the two issues- AGW & energy security- get conflated by histrionic media coverage such as you generally provide. They are separate issues and ought to be treated as such. It just so happens that broadly similar solutions are being proposed for each. I wan’t to know what your opinion is on how we avoid geopolitical checkmate such as I described.

    “What is so wrong with fossil fuels? When they run out we adapt. That’s what mankind does.”

    – agreed. However, isn’t it better to be ahead of the curve? Exactly what type of ‘adaptation’ do you envisage? When should it be implemented? or do we wait until the last last drop of oil runs out before reacting? Again, I can only see your anti-AGW rants muddying the real issue and slowing this process down.

    “And by the way, have you looked into the efficacy of “alternative energy”? It doesn’t work and it will never work.”

    -hmmm, people used to say men couldn’t fly. Then they said men couldn’t fly to Malaga for a fiver. Look at them now.
    Quite a surprising attitude for a Libertarian Conservative! What happened to free enterprise and innovation?

    Tom

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