Sunday, June 22, 2008

Words & Deeds

It's a survey, so we grab that pinch of salt now. But, considering it's in the Observer, one does tend to take note:

Poll: most Britons doubt cause of climate change

Especially as it does rather serve what I bang on about. Which as an aside shows how polls, and consequent editorialising, can easily be selective.

I don't propose to argue one way or t'other about CC, or even the ProbablyManWorsenedNegative variant I subscribe to, but this does beg the question as to the credibility and effectiveness of all those who have taken to 'educate'/influence the public in this matter. And ask why 'they' (well, to an extent, 'we') are proving so poor in getting their messages across. Which leads me to their qualifications to be allowed to carry on, not in freedom of speech terms, but when vast amounts of public money are consumed to fund these efforts.

On my other blog I have expressed some concern at the ongoing attempts by a few in the political and chatterati firmament to blame everybody but themselves in polls that did not go the 'right' way, often taking it to the extreme of suggesting 'other' views should be suppressed and/or that the general public is not qualified to judge. Hence I crank an eyebrow at this: 'Some environmentalists blame the public's doubts on last year's Channel 4 documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, and on recent books, including one by Lord Lawson, the former Chancellor, that question the consensus on climate change.' That's 'a' programme and 'a' book, both widely dissected by those of a more climate pessimistic nature with frankly vast resources. And the notion is the people are being seduced by such as these? There is a worrying similarity with the recent and ongoing Irish EU situation, where by having a contrary opinion there seem a really rather ugly group think being engaged upon against those who do not conform with the 'consensus'. Faced with such as this my nature is almost to kick back just for the naked obnoxiousness of the stance being taken and the uncritical homage demanded.

I have to say I have sympathy with this form Bjorn Lomborg, who '..said politicians and campaigners were to blame for over-simplifying the problem by only publicising evidence to support the case.' Of course this is a critique that can apply to (and I hate such generalist terms) other 'sides'.

Hence I find this from the Department for the Environment to be making a key point: 'The IPCC... concluded the scientific evidence for climate change is clear and it is down to human activities.' Unless there's a bit left out, is it that clear, definitive... and certain? It's all due to human activity? I remain unsure, don't recall it be proven, and hence such claims do rather cause me to crank an eyebrow at anything else such entities may come up with.

Meanwhile such as this does not help either: '...six out of 10 agreed that 'many scientific experts still question if humans are contributing to climate change'.

It all seems so all or nothing, 'if you are not for us, you are against us'. And history has shown how well those stances have served.

So here is a worrying, but frankly unsurprising finding: 'More than half of those polled did not have confidence in international or British political leaders to tackle climate change'.

Whatever the message is or should be, I remain firm in my belief the current crop of messengers need to be reviewed.