Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Climate change in the Economist

The latest issue of the Economist has a comprehensive special report on climate change. While a few parts of the report suffers from the same old problems - blurring the line between evaluating the science and evaluating what to do about the science (the intro is just bizarre), the "he said, she said" method of reporting that inevitably gives too much creedence to the few critics of the science, loose use of the word uncertainty - it is on the whole well done.

What really sets this report apart from others that harp about scientific uncertainty is the conclusion: "The uncertainty surrounding climate change argues for action, not inaction."
The lead editorial calls for the introduction of either a carbon tax (more efficient) or a carbon cap-and-trade system (more likely). It then takes aim at the Bush Administration:

"Although George Bush now argues that America needs to wean itself off its dependency on oil, his administration still refuses to take serious action. But other Americans are moving. California's state assembly has just passed tough Kyoto-style targets. Many businesses, fearing that they will end up having to deal with a patchwork of state-level measures, now want federal controls. And conservative America, once solidly sceptical, is now split over the issue, as Christians concerned about mankind's stewardship of the Earth, neo-cons keen to reduce America's dependency on the Middle East and farmers who see alternative energy as a new potential source of energy come round to the idea of cutting down on carbon.

Mr Bush has got two years left in the job. He would like to be remembered as a straightshooter who did the right thing. Tackling climate change would be one way to do that."


tim said...

I was discussing GCC with my wife. Both of us think this is the greatest con ever done with science attached to its name. I am just looking maybe fourty years from now we will find out who started and why. Take away all natural climate flactuations the rize in global tempetature over last centrury that can be contributed to CO2 is .16 centigrade. This is negligible noize.

I don't think I can convert anyone from this cult of GCC. Personally I have converted. But, I am a scientist by training, and trained to detect BS.

DeSmogBlog said...

Yes, all that "negligble" noise coming from the National Academies of Science of 16 countries and 99.9% of climate scientists. The only hoax that will be uncovered will be when these "skeptical" sientists are called to the stand 40 years from now. BTW your BS detector is broken

Simon Donner said...

Shame to lose someone. The other cultists and I were just about to do some chanting.