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Climate sceptics: enough is enough

Enough already.

Enough with the climate change deniers, the fanciers of their own scientific wit who muddy the debate with pseudo science and scare-mongering. Enough. The time for spurious, dubious disagreement is over. There isn’t any time.

That’s not just my view. That’s the view of, oh, you know, most of the scientists in the world.

And now the Australian Government’s Climate Change Commission has come to the same conclusion.

“Over the past two or three years, the science of climate change has become a more widely contested issue in the public and political spheres. Climate science is now being debated outside of the normal discussion and debate that occurs within the peer-reviewed scientific literature in the normal course of research. It is being attacked in the media by many with no credentials in the field.

The evidence that the Earth’s surface is warming rapidly is now exceptionally strong, and beyond doubt … the primary cause of the observed warming and associated changes since the mid-20th Century – human emissions of greenhouse gases – is also known with a high-level confidence.”

The report also has a well-founded dig at the climate change sceptics who have hijacked the debate here and overseas. And why shouldn’t they?

There are some who believe vaccinations are not sound medicine. But science does not believe them.

There are some who believe that the Earth is still flat. But science does not believe them.

There are some who believe that cigarette smoke does not kill. But science does not believe them.

Why are we willing to trust the weight of scientific opinion in any other aspect of our lives; and not when it comes to the greatest challenge of our short history on this planet? Healthy scepticism has a place, but scepticism for scepticism’s sake (and in the face of such overwhelming evidence) is meddlesome and dangerous.

And what would it achieve? If the skeptics are indeed right then we shall carry on our merry way, choking the world with smog nonetheless and building more coal fire power stations because we may as well. But if they’re wrong? We’ve missed the boat.

Skeptic says what?

And we’ll need a boat, because sea levels will rise. Not by ludicrous ‘100m’ as has been claimed, but by 1m in the next 90-years. Sure, the sceptics might be dead by then. I might be dead by then, but I’d always envisaged leaving a better legacy.

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1m doesn’t sound like much, but remember for example that 80% of the Maldives’ 1200 islands are less than 1m above sea level. Where would those 360,000 people go? Where indeed.

We never ask to see the credentials or the qualifications of the climate change denier. What could they possibly submit?

People may ask to see my credentials, too. And they’d be right that I am not a climate change scientist. Instead, I’m happy to refer them to the litany of peer-reviewed research by people who are scientists that tell the truth. It’s the truth as much as we can prove it, which is far and away more truthful than any denier’s protestations about everything being fine and dandy.

I don’t know about you, but I’m siding with the experts. Just like I do when I visit my doctor (a doctor’s diagnosis is better than mine) and just as I do when my taxpayer dollars get an engineer to build my suburb a foot bridge.

We have experts for a reason. We should listen to them.

Now, can we please start debating the real debate? That is: how to we reduce carbon emissions? What will work? Is a carbon tax the way to go or is the Opposition’s carbon offset scheme a winner?

Just because you believe climate change exists, and that we caused it, does not mean we have the solution to fix it. That is where our energy needs to be focused now. That is what we, as a country, need to do.

The deniers are debating whether the foxes even exist, instead of building a fence to keep them away from the chickens.

Enough already.