Thursday, November 06, 2008

Questions every journalist should ask about global warming

Tom Nelson's excellent site provides this link to a series of questions posed by Ross McKittrick, for anyone seeking to form an opinion about AGW.

Advocates presume that realists are in denial about changes in climate. They accuse realists of being generally ignorant and, more specifically, of being ignorant of the facts on climate change. As Ross' questions indicate, climate realists are not in denial, neither are they ignorant of the facts: it is precisely because we have looked at and questioned the data that skeptics are climate realists.

  • Are humans modifying the climate? Of course we are, particularly in the changing land use of most places and the micro-climates of urban centers.
  • Does this constitute a crisis? No.
  • Is the human modification of climate the same as global warming? No.
  • Should climate change constitute the principal focus for environmental policy of any government, anywhere? No: both poverty reduction and continued improvements in health standards are far more pressing environmental issues.
But then again, why let science and human need determine policy when hysteria, politics and ideology are so much more fun.