Sunday, March 18, 2007

Post-normal science and climate change

Here are two excellent posts by Melanie Phillips on the new tenor of the climate debate. Finally, advocates of AGW are admitting that the discussion is not being framed by conventional, empirical scientific method, but instead by post-normal science, driven by belief, values and ideology. And, finally, the popular media is beginning to question the motives and rationale for such post-normal science. This comes quickly on the heels of the results of the big debate in New York between three leading promoters of AGW and three prominent skeptics, which clearly favoured the skeptics -- not just because of their debating skill but because the pro-AGW team committed two fatal errors:
  • they failed to advance any scientific facts to substantiate their frequent assertions of absolute truth, and
  • they attempted to mislead the audience by mis-stating and/or lying about third-party statements which could be verified for their accuracy later.
On these grounds, the AGW team were tried and found to be wanting.
Finally, opposition to the imposition of the AGW thesis is moving beyond the ad hominem attacks and slurs. Give enough journalists enough studies to review and the mainstream public will finally get to read what specialist bloggers have been writing about for the past few years. The next stage will be the refusal of a highly-rated political candidate to wrap themselves in this particular shade of post-normal green and instead invoke the need for policy to be based on real science and for environmental policy to tackle real issues and not ecomyths advocated by ideologues.