Monday, 19 December 2011

Man for Manne - Carter makes sense.

Wanted (by NCTCS)
On ABC's the Drum, Professor Bob Carter addresses a piece by Professor Robert Manne:

Warming denialism is in the political eye of the beholder

Robert Manne commences his essay on the human-caused global warming that he presumes to be dangerous with the statement: "For several decades I have engaged in ideological disputes".
And therein lies the problem, for ideology is the business of politics whereas global warming is the business of science.

Bob writes that, despite what Manne says,  science is apolitical. Manne promises to "outline the bare bones of that argument"
There is therefore nothing new, and much that is both old and discredited, in the list of hypothetical warming scares that Manne presents, so why is he so mystified that public opinion remains unmoved? Mystified, what's more, to the degree that a large part of his article is devoted to trying to account for the public's perceived recalcitrance about warming alarmism. Well, according to Manne the explanation goes like this.
The fault lies with "an army of climate change denialists", scattered worldwide, who are funded by the fossil fuel industries to serve their selfish and devious ends (which, obviously, include the provision of cheap and convenient energy of all types to consumers: how naughty is that).
Gee, here we are, running a fledgling political  party on a pittance. PLEASE, Robert Manne, can you get those imagined fossil fuel funding folk to fork out finances our way!
Not content with thereby having assassinated the characters of hundreds of highly qualified and meritorious scientists around the world, Manne concludes by turning his attention once more to the obstinately recalcitrant public. His intended triumphant, but actually lame, conclusion is that
Citizens of the consumer society are unwilling to risk the loss of any of their comforts. However they wish to feel good about themselves. The climate change denialists... offer them the alibi for doing nothing they so desperately need.
Well, as someone who presumably counts as both a citizen and a reprehensible denialist, you can sure count me in on that. For as Lord Monckton so memorably put it, the correct response to a non-problem – which is what the threat of dangerous human-related global warming has turned out to be - is indeed to have the courage to do nothing.
Bob wonders why Manne and other similar commentators cannot understand that science is based upon evidence, not opinion.
But some time ago now, the penny dropped for me. That penny is the fact that most big environmental scares, including especially the global warming one, are not about science, nor even about the environment. Rather, they are about politics.
And that is an art that is undeniably practised with great skill by both the IPCC and by Latrobe University's Professor of Politics, Robert Manne.