Saturday, 3 October 2009

Silly Little Girls

Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson has played down a recent climate change incident, calling the group of protestors "silly little girls".

Um, yep.

When asked what he thought about climate change, he said he found reading about it "all rather boring".

He added: "I read the reports that come in from various scientific bodies and as far as I can work out nobody actually knows whether man is contributing to global warming or not.

"The oil will run out one day and we'll have to come up with something then, but let's not worry about it now."

He also added that he has "absolutely no guilt" about filling up his car.

He's right, of course. But in typical BBC fashion they have to imply that he's wrong, by describing his position on global warming as "provocative".


Chris Hutt said...

So Clarkson's not 'provocative'?

Hardly a controversial assertion, is it?

Bristol Dave said...

Clarkson is of course provocative, it's part of his TV persona. However, his position on Global Warming - accurately surmising that basically scientists simply don't know - is not not in any way provocative and in fact, I think, fairly balanced.

Chris Hutt said...

Clarkson -

"Of course, there is no doubt that the world is warming up but let's just stop and think for a moment what the consequences might be. Switzerland loses its skiing resorts? The beach in Miami is washed away? North Carolina gets knocked over by a hurricane? Anything bothering you yet? ...It isn't even worthy of a shrug." (Sunday Times, 16 Jan 2005).

Not provocative?

Bristol Dave said...

That's clearly meant to be sarcastic - mainly because he doesn't believe those things will happen (as I don't). The most honest answer I suspect is in the article I quoted:

"I read the reports that come in from various scientific bodies and as far as I can work out nobody actually knows whether man is contributing to global warming or not."

I believe this also happens to be the most accurate viewpoint.

Chris Hutt said...

We're obviously not going to agree on this, but for the record the Clarkson statement you reproduce isn't consistent with the scientific evidence which is overwhelmingly supportive of the man-made climate change hypothesis.

I say that on the basis that it is vitually inconcievable that the majority of world governments would be persuaded to take thie issue seriosly if the scientific evidence wasn't so overwhelming.

Climate change presents really difficult challenges to politicians and governments, to powerful business interests and to the masses of ordinay people. Why would any government take it seriously if there was any credible get out for them?

The fact that virtually every world government is now taking it seriously (although not seriously enough) speaks for itself.

Bristol Dave said...

Chris: Have a read of this - it sums up very well how I feel about it. I'd be interested to know your thoughts. Especially as it provides very good reasons as to why governments take it so seriously (namely, the ability to tax it!)

Chris Hutt said...

I've had a quick scan through the Obnoxio piece. I think some of his observations have credibility. Certainly all sorts of people, businesses and governments are looking at ways of exploiting the climate Change phenomena to their advantage, but it would be naive to expect anything else.

I don't buy his questionning of the underlying science, not because I understand it any better than anyone else but because I still can't see governments subscribing to it unless the science was pretty solid.

If the science was as weak and flawed as Obnoxio suggests then why would governments worldwide have finally subscribed to it when it presents such intractible problems for them?

The chance to tax more and extend their power doesn't explain it because there are so many more convenient pretexts for doing that.

Bristol Dave said...

So your basis for believing that the science is not only sound, but conclusively proves the man-made climate change theory, is because governments have bought into it?

Do you think Ed Milliband understands the science? Gordon Brown? In fact, do you think there is a world leader on this planet who does?

Furthermore, this requires a level of trust in the government that you believe they've bought into MMGW because they believe it, rather than because they see it as a golden goose - a level of trust I simply can't hold and furthermore one I see as frankly naiive.

The problem is, cynics say all scientific studies that disprove MMGW are funded by ExxonMobil and all scientific studies that prove MMGW exist because it's pretty much a pre-requisite to get funding from the IPCC or any goverment deparment.

So who do we believe? Personally, if the only person left is the government, and they're telling me MMGW theory is true, then I can't believe them simply based on their track record. When you take into account other factors, including recent revelations about data and models, then I find it even harder to believe. Then on top of THAT you take not only the fact that you can only claim "scientific evidence is overwhelmingly supportive of the man-made climate change hypothesis" if you cherry-pick certain studies (as the IPCC have done) and also that it's becoming fucking sick and tiring having to stomach the MMGW alarmist's constant pressure to try and make everyone feel guilty every time they switch on a fucking lightbulb, and you see why I'm such a sceptic.

WV: Theive: sums up the government pretty well, eh?

Chris Hutt said...

I didn't say that the science 'conclusively proves' man-made climate change. There is a large measure of uncertainty in the models and predictions as any serious scientist would expect. But the evidence in support is overwhelming.

Again I ask why on earth so many governments would have accepted the evidence for climate change when it has such horrendous implications for their economies?

Governments represent above all the interests of their major economic players including of course many industries that make a major contribution to climate change through their CO2 emissions.

Those industries have staunchly resisted the theory of man-made climate change and will have strongly lobbied their respective governments. Yet virtually every government in the world has come to accept the theory despite that pressure.

swindon_alan said...

Mr Hutt

There is little hope for you I am afraid.

Ok, I DO have a scientific background and training and having spent a few years looking at the evidence and reviewing what has been spooned up I can tell you that AGW is a complete fabrication. It is not a question of scientists 'not knowing' either. The ones that do know a thing or two about climate and sunspots cycles and cosmic radiation and the history of the earth all agree that man has a very small effect.

The 'scientists' who pervert themselves in the name of AGW research funding are simply sluts who feed off the like of Gore and Hansen and all of the rest of the political elite who see it as just another way of taxing us all. Wake up man.

Governments love this stuff. It gives them control. There is no 'overwhelming argument', just propaganda.

Oh and fuck off.

Chris Hutt said...

"Oh and fuck off."

No problem. There are plenty of more congenial places to debate on the web.

swindon_alan said...

You sad sad man.

You were sat there waiting for that weren't you?

There certainly are a lot more congenial places to 'debate' things on the web. Not that you understand the meaning of the word, obviously.

So pull up your Warmist stakes and yes, fuck off elsewhere. I thank you.

Chris Hutt said...

So you think debate means being abusive and liberally using obscenities, do you?

In that case I'll gladly leave you to it, although I thought Dave and I were having a reasonably civilised exchange of views before you turned up.

swindon_alan said...

I'm not stopping you having a debate with Dave.

He is fair minded which is good to see.

Unfortunately I know exactly what you are up to and it enrages me.

No apologies for how I think, feel or respond. Blogs are one of the few places left where I can say exactly what I want to.

Adam Foster-Fahy said...

"I say that on the basis that it is vitually inconcievable that the majority of world governments would be persuaded to take thie issue seriosly if the scientific evidence wasn't so overwhelming."

Inconcievable? You can't imagine how any government would need any sort of persuasion to exploit the Green Issue to pass more taxes and sway favour with the soppy middle England? What have they actually done? Ban cars? Ban plastic? Ban the concumption of non-renewable fuels? No, they've banned affordable lightbulbs and are working on a bin tax, to neatly bookend VAT to make sure you pay even more for things you want to buy.

Chris Hutt said...

Adam, I can see that having been obliged to accept what you call the Green Issue most governments will use to it to extend their power and influence as they would on any other pretext.

I can also see that the responses of governments to the Green Issue will for the most part be ineffectual token gestures which mainly put public funds in the pockets of their acolytes.

But my point referred to the fact that virtually all governments of all political persuasions have been persuaded to acknowledge Global Warming and Climate Change despite the problems doing so presents.

You may say that it doesn't really present them with problems because they will only make token gestures anyway but they are under a lot of pressure to do more. In particular existing plans for the expansion of their economies (airports, roads, coal mining/burning) are being called into question.

We still see how strongly action on Green Issues is resisted by vested interests and big business, notably in the US. I cannot see that governments would have embraced even the principles of Green Issues unless the scientific case was very strongly supported.

Bristol Dave said...

I cannot see that governments would have embraced even the principles of Green Issues unless the scientific case was very strongly supported.

Why not? It's a chance to tax their citizens to kingdom come under a pretence that the planet will die otherwise. It doesn't cost the government very much, of course, because it forces (through legislation and more taxes) it's citizens to do all the hard (and costly) work rather than doing it itself. Let's take recycling. The government could spend a lot of money, for example, on waste collection and seperation centres that collect all our waste from our doorstep, seperate out what can be recycled, and recycle it. But they don't do this, instead they force the citizens to do all the work with the threat of fines - and it costs them nothing.

Embracing the Green Issues is not a large cost for the governments of the world, it's a large cost for their citizens, but they don't care about that. So why on earth wouldn't they embrace the science, however flaky, unproven, inconclusive, or cherry-picked it is? It's a chance to tax and regulate it's citizens with a pretence that unfortunately most have unquestioningly bought.

Your naiivety on this particular point of "well if the governments embrace it, it MUST be true" is staggering.

Chris Hutt said...

OK Dave. let's look at it another way.

If governments really were convinced of the scientific evidence in support of Anthropogenic Global Warming as I'm suggesting, in what way do you think things be different to how they are?

It seems to me that the evidence of how governments are behaving is consistent with the hypothesis that they are convinced by the science. And if they really are convinced of the science we have to take it seriously.

Bristol Dave said...

If governments really were convinced of the scientific evidence in support of Anthropogenic Global Warming as I'm suggesting, in what way do you think things be different to how they are?

They wouldn't be any different. But this still doesn't mean that the government are doing all this because they believe it.

I'm not even saying the government don't believe it - if anything they're more likely to as they see the revenue generation potential.

Whether the government do or don't believe it is, to me, frankly irrelevant as I don't think a decision either way by them (especially by them!) lends weight to an argument or theory - as I said, they're fairly biased by the potential of revenue generation and legislation. And they're hardly trustworthy in well, pretty much anything they say. Iraq, anyone? Why should they be any different when it comes to AGW?

I still haven't seen any evidence strongly supporting either for or against AGW, though I'm tend towards not believing it simply because I've seen how it's been exploited by governments to tax and regulate us to a huge degree which instantly makes me pretty cynical. Some might say that it's worth taking preventative measures against it even if it's not true, which I'd agree with - up to a point. But not when I'm being raped every time I "dare" to fill up my car, or being made guilty to fly in an aeroplane, or being forced to use shitty "plink-plink-dim-for-2-minutes-then-nasty-artificial-light" energy saving lightbulbs. I think the most balanced view anyone can take at the moment - and it's now appearing that this is the view taken in rational scientific circles - is that we/science/government simply don't know. However, many people seem to have swallowed Al Gore's doctored nonsense with barely a question. The media hasn't helped though, with reference to that woman who mailed the BBC complaining that their article wasn't pro-AGW enough - remember that?

On a side note, I believe we have Maggie Thatcher to blame for all of this, didn't she get her scientific advisers to propose links between coal and damage to the environment in order to win the fight against the miners?