Sunday, 20 September 2009

Tiny Changes To Earth

Some interesting news on the climate change front: we may not see any new evidence of global warming for another decade or so.

On the most superficial level, one could consider this good news, if we work on the theory that this represents an extra ten to twenty years before we reach the point of no return (whatever that actually is), but I suspect that that is an absurdly simplistic viewpoint. Of more interest (and this is definitely in the "bad news" category) will be how many people who have spent the last X years shouting into their keyboards that climate scientists don't know what the Hell they're doing will now suddenly clasp Latif to their bosoms, hailing him as the Almighty Truth-Seeker. Once again we return to the medical analogy; if you've just spent the last six months telling everyone the last 100 doctors you saw said you have cancer and you ignored them because doctors are idiots, it doesn't make too much sense to pop open the champagne when doctor 101 tells you you're in the clear. It especially doesn't make sense in this case, since to continue the analogy in this instance your doctor has told you you do have cancer, but its gone into remission and won't return for ten years (actually, that might be good reason to reach for the champagne, in fairness, but that's just about the difference in life-span of one person and the entire human race and the planet it inhabits).

Monbiot has already found one such person, though I've never read the blog before so I'm not sure how fair it is to single it out as important or relevant, though its apparently in the Right Wing Blog Top 100, which isn't encouraging (he's also one of the endlessly irritating "Being told you are wrong = violation of free speech" brigade, and hates both Sarah Silverman and Stuart Lee, so clearly "contemptible" is a word that doesn't go far enough), but I don't doubt this is going to creep out further into the lunaticohedron. After all, nothing says "truth-seekers under pressure to keep silent" like rubbishing an entire scientific discipline until the instant someone in it tells you something you want to hear (as well as something you didn't want to hear, that you immediately ignore), does it?

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