Monday, April 04, 2011

good reads from down under

In the wake of the floods this Spring and the continued uncertainty over the Federal government, the issue of climate change continues to be more central within Australian politics than to other jurisdictions where it has quietly slid on to the back burner (and beyond in some instances).  In a policy climate that continues to be volatile, it is gratifying that this week two postings emerged that illustrate a balanced and credible delineation of the issues.

The first is a post on Roger Pielke Jr.'s blog by Neville Nicholls which discusses the causes of the recent extreme rainfall in E. Australia. He concludes that the cause was the record La Nina event, but, no, that event is not related to AGW, nor was it driven by human induced climate change. Moreover, to conflate the true cause, the extreme ENSO, with AGW-related aspects of global warming, is not scientifically credible.

The second  was over at Judith Curry's blog and was an essay by Don Aitkin on the current state of the climate debate.  Aitken offers a wonderfully balanced summation of the contrasting perspectives of both the supporters of the AGW orthodoxy and its dissenters, offering a description of the myriad a variants inhabiting both broad perspectives.  Along the way, he offers an accurate asse4ssment of why the climate debate has faded from both public and political centrality over the past 2 yrs. and the challenges that the invigorated blogosphere discussion of climate presents to another orthodoxy, that of academic peer review.

Too often discussion and perspective are subsumed within a morass of confirmation bias, ideology and self-interest.  These two posts illustrate that intellectual discussion does not have to be that way.