We also changed our policies and increased safety and environmental regulation in the west since the 70s. One rarely hears about acid rain today (although I would be somewhat surprised if it didn't occur in the Virginias). People who predict tragedy are often wrong, because something is done about it. Who wants to risk proving them right in order to prove them wrong?
Well Jin-oh does say 'skeptics.' But I think there really is a difference, a significant one.
You are probably skeptical because you don't see conclusive evidence. But if you're an actual skeptic, you'll at least examine the evidence presented (if its not conclusive you remain skeptical, but if something conclusive was presented you'd probably start to change your stance); and you likely admit there are some potential problems with climate/pollution/etc.
Those religious minded/motivated are not skeptics because of lack of evidence, are not likely to examine any evidence, and think nothing is wrong. They are deniers; because they believe God will prevent it, or they don't trust science, and most of all they wouldn't believe conclusive evidence if it slapped them in the face.
Some people are skeptics, some are deniers, and there is a difference.
There are two distinct camps being described, Andy. Climate change deniers will not even look at the evidence, and dismiss anyone arguing in favour of the climate change evidence and hypothesis as "eco-religionists", or something similar. I had a discussion recently where the opponent dismissed any evidence in favour of the hypothesis as biased or eco-religion, and constantly demanded to be shown "the evidence" (despite it being widely available on sites he was directed to), yet accepted any anti-hypothesis argument as potentially (indeed, probably) true. When they dismiss all the professional research institutes and national academies of science as biased or eco-religion, then there is no evidence that they will ever accept, if it contradicts their own prejudice and/or self-interest.
The climate change sceptics, on the other hand, are often correct in pointing out specific flaws in the current science, but that does not make the general hypothesis incorrect, and ignores the risks of not taking action. Do we wait until the evidence is irrefutable, rather than just strongly suggestive? Too many sceptics seem to demand a level of evidence that is simply not possible; in doing so they demonstrate a lack of understanding of the limits of science. Science is not well-equipped for prediction; uncertainty and unforseeable variables make it a difficult task, but prediction is exactly what is required here, and, whilst we can argue over specifics, the generalities are becoming more clear. What is certainly clear is that if the predictions are generally correct, then action is needed, and that requires a combination of both adaptation and prevention/amelioration. A rational balancing of the potential costs and benefits seems to weigh heavily towards action. I am sceptical about the detail of many individual research projects and predictive models, but I do think that the weight of evidence is now sufficient to at least take the hypothesis very seriously indeed. The potential consequences of not doing so are deeply worrying, and more immediate than many people seem to realise.
I read a version of Pascal's Wager recently, rewritten to address climate change. In summary, if climate change theory is correct and we do nothing, we risk massive disruption, loss of life, and suffering. If it is incorrect and we do something, then, as we need to switch to alternative energy sources as we reach peak oil, anyway, and, as a move to lower consumption will help address other issues of finite resources, as well, along with the possible health and social benefits, then the worst that might happen is we are a little less well off than at present, but potentially living happier, healthier lives in a more just and equitable society (only potentially, mind).
For completeness, if it is correct and we do something, we potentially win by avoiding or ameliorating climate change, whilst tackling many other social, economic and environmental problems. If it is incorrect and we do nothing, we still face the problems of peak oil and finite resources, which require much the same solutions as are proposed for dealing with climate change.
I think this is one of my biggest peeves... Even if it turns out there was nothing wrong, most of the proposed steps have overall good results, and contribute to prevention of future possible problems. What legitimate excuse do people have for not making the world a little better.
A book I read once (although it was dealing with social collapse, not environmental change) described the desire for ever more detailed and irrefutable evidence as 'being hit by the oncoming truck while we were still working out just how fast it was moving'.
I am a climate change Skeptic. I have looked at a great deal of evidence and listened to the views of people (many of them scientists) who I hold great respect for. They do point out a great deal of flaws in current thinking and published climate "science"
Its not that I don't believe we have contributed to climate change, because by simply existing we must have some effect. The thing that really gets my goat is the way the responsibility has been put on to the ordinary man. In Europe and The USA there are now new taxes, and laws aimed directly at the public. There are eco police who can close down small businesses at their discretion (must be great if you own a big burger chain. You can get the eco police to close down the smaller cheaper outlets for a few bucks and thus remove legitimate competition.) and so on. Yet the real offenders: Massive Global corporations that pump out millions of tons of pollution every second are simply left to continue as if they were nothing to do with the problem.
If the political concern were genuine then there would be new laws and very tight deadlines to greatly reduce the pollution pumped out out by these corporations. We would see many factories simply closed down and we would see corporation owners facing prison sentences.
Its not that its fake. It may be real. But the methods of addressing it are most defiantly fake. Its being used by globalist to eliminate competition and increase dependence on them.
I'm really surprised more people have not noticed this.
Plenty of people have noticed this, Keith, and if you read what the activists are calling for politicians to do you would see that this is widely understood. The science and politics of climate are two entirely separate things, however. You reallly should not resort to placing inverted commas around it. There is controversy in many fields of science, yet few of them reach the attention of the general public. This is how science is conducted.
As a sceptic, you should not allow yourself to be deflected from the reality of the climate science by the criticisms of aspects of it. It is part of the scientific process that the science is constantly appraised and criticised, and there are genuine philosophical concerns about the use of modelling to extrapolate for the future (some scientists believe that this is never valid, but then how do we plan ahead?). However, you should not confuse this genuine scientific endeavour with the actions of denialists and the media sensationalists who seize on this legitimate debate in order to seek to discredit the entire concept.
The reason I put inverted commas around the word science is because for me as a non scientist it is difficult to identify the real science backed up with research and evidence from opinion and propaganda which is put into the public arena with the same gravity as the real thing. To do so I would have to spend a great deal of time (which I don't have) researching to find out the truth.
I am certain the climate is changing, since it always does.
My skepticism is really about the political attitude. It seems to me that they really do not care about the reality of climate change
Instead they see it as a tool to further oppress the working person through draconian law and tax on behalf of their globalist friends and supporters.
The real causes needs to be addressed. here are just a couple of examples:
the current drive for recycling.aimed at the general public. A large proportion of this would be unnecessary if the manufacturers of consumable goods simply changed their packaging methods.
Pollution from motor vehicles:
Since the problems preventing the manufacture and use of low polluting electric cars have now been solved car manufacturers could be made to change over now. But nothing is done because its going to cost the globalist elite cash and hurt the oil industry.
Who am I kidding. I'm not skeptical about political attitude. I know for a fact that they really only care about making more cash for themselves and their friends. They really don't give a toss about the climate.
I also know that short of raising an army, starting a revolution and taking over the world in order to make the necessary changes there is nothing I can do about it either.
So I give up. I'm just going to carry on like nothing is wrong and when the world finally collapses I'll worry about it then.
Well, of course, that is EXACTLY what they would like you to do, isn't it?
Individually, we can achieve very limited things, though that does not make them pointless. Collectively, we can change whatever we want - we just need to find the right mechanisms to do so. I would urge you to look outside the North American paradigm, and look to the majority world, where much of the most exciting thinking is taking place, for instance the recent climate conference in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Linking the science and resources of the minority world with the numbers and creativity of the majority world offers great possibilities.
The course of action you personally propose has one fundamental flaw - if we wait for thee collapse to come, then it will be far, far too late to do anything. However, it should not come to that as we are "fortunate" to have a synchronicity between climate change and peak oil, which will see politicians to take the actions required to tackle climate change, as they are significantly the same as those to tackle peak oil. We need to pressure them to act faster than that, if possible, as that will alleviate some of the hardship necessitated, but they will have to face up to it in the relatively near future.