Climate Change

It’s about the policies, not the science:

What isn’t solid, however, are all of the “fiddly bits.” How fast is warming happening? Will it speed up, and by how much? What the economic and environmental impacts be? What other factors besides anthropogenic ones might be contributing to the warming?What complex little mechanisms might slow the process down, or speed it up? And so on. It’s inherent in the nature of a system as complex as climate that these questions will be hard to pin down.

Because the uncertainty is about these “fiddly bits,” and not about the fundamentals, the worry is not about what the science says but about what the policy should be. The process by which greens dream up and then implement policies to address the problem of global warming makes the sometimes messy IPCC process look like a finely tuned, well-oiled machine by comparison.

Global greens develop stupid, horrible, expensive, counterproductive climate policy agendas, and then try to use the imprimatur of “science” as a way to panic the world into adopting them. All too often, in other words, they fall prey to the temptation to make what the science says “clearer than truth” in Acheson’s phrase, in order to silence debate on their cockamamie policy fixes. A favorite tactic is to brand any dissent from the agenda as “anti-science.” It is not only a dishonest tactic; it’s a counterproductive one, generating new waves of skepticism with every exaggeration of fact.

Yup. Every time someone calls me “anti-science” because I’m appropriately skeptical of lousy science and worse prescriptions, it simply increases my resistance to their idiotic policy nostrums.

[Update a few minutes later]

Climate scientists must not advocate policies:

I believe advocacy by climate scientists has damaged trust in the science. We risk our credibility, our reputation for objectivity, if we are not absolutely neutral. At the very least, it leaves us open to criticism. I find much climate scepticism is driven by a belief that environmental activism has influenced how scientists gather and interpret evidence. So I’ve found my hardline approach successful in taking the politics and therefore – pun intended – the heat out of climate science discussions.

They call me an “honest broker”, asking for “more Dr Edwards and fewer zealous advocates”. Crucially, they say this even though my scientific views are absolutely mainstream.

But it’s not just about improving trust. In this highly politicised arena, climate scientists have a moral obligation to strive for impartiality. We have a platform we must not abuse. For a start, we rarely have the necessary expertise. I absolutely disagree with Gavin that we likely know far more about the issues involved in making policy choices than [our] audience.

As well you should, because you’re right — you don’t.

And Then There Was One

With the (at least temporary) departure of Armadillo from the stage, the only VTVL passenger flight vehicles in development appears to be Blue Origin, with no stated schedule for first flight. In the horizontal world, we still have the Virgin versus XCOR race. At this point, given that Virgin said they’d have another powered flight in June, and it’s now August, my money, if not the smart money, would be on XCOR.

Can’t anyone play this game? It’s just suborbital, folks.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!