When you're sick you go to a doctor. The doctor examines you, runs a few tests and decides on a prognosis. If you don't like it, or are a bit worried, you might go for a second opinion. But in the end, you accept, especially if those two doctors agree, the prognosis and the process of treatment.
Why then do we as a society belittle and downgrade the qualifications of our scientists? Why do we assume that qualifications and accreditations give expertise to doctors, lawyers, accountants and plumbers but not scientists? Why do we decide, that without our own similar qualifications, we know better than the experts? Why are we so mistrusting? Why do we question the motives of a group of people who do not even profit from their own work output???
FAMILY First senator Steve Fielding has made up his mind on global warming - there's not enough evidence that it's real.
After talks with the government and top scientists, Senator Fielding, whose vote could be crucial in passing the Federal Government's plan to put a price on carbon emissions, has released a document setting out his position.
"Global temperature isn't rising," it says.
Senator Fielding says he would not risk job losses on "unconvincing green science" to set up a carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Frankly the whole debate over whether climate change is happening is tiresome to me. It's so fricking old and boring.
In Perth, it is June 24, and in our wettest month of the year, the one that brings us a sizeable chunk of the water we need for the rest of the year, we have had 3 rain days. On average I think its about 25 or 30.
But you know, whatever. ACTUAL evidence that the climate is changing - like a 30% reduction in rainfall for this decade ... like, more than one anomalous year record - is of no concern for those who have interest in the economic status quo.
It's tiresome to be asked to explain a whole discipline of science in two easy to understand sentences. It's tiresome that those asking don't understand that in fact, climate change science spans a whole bunch of scientific discplines and that we have only been working on understanding this seriously for maybe 15 years. Pretty sure germs took a lot longer to understand. Or ... I dunno, astrophysics? Aeronautics? But climate change science? That we have to get right the first time we try to explain it. Or the idea that we don't rigorously audit the work of each other? Or try to repeat it in our own studies. Or that we are all some unquestioning narrow minded group of thousands and thousands of people across the world.
You know what? I'm am environmental engineer. I've been studying and trying to mathematically model one kind of ecosystem since 1998. With every iteration, new questions get thrown out, new things that need to be investigated and understood. New relationships between variables are discovered to exist, to hinge on a third or fourth and fifth variable. All of which are similarly currently still being understood. Imagine constructing a mathematical model of say 150 variables, all of which interrelate in nonlinear ways and they trying to predict the weather for 3 months time, based only on the climate for the last 100 years, which is not actually well recorded, well understood and was changing.
Is it no frigging surprise then that the relationship between global temperature and the CO2 in the atmosphere is not linear? Why would you expect it to be?
And that is why Senator Fielding deserves no respect. He and his cronies scorn academia and the intellectual elite. They insult higher learning by insisting that we dumb it all down to the mediocre. And if they are allowed to win, then we deserve what we get - unimaginative, reactive, uninformed solutions that are actioned too little and too late. We have the chance to be inventive and to lead the world on this issue. We won't though and this is yet another example of the head decision makers across this fine brown land letting us all down.
While they piss around in parliament on this, the rest of the world (and in fact, at lower level govt across this country) is already planning and designing systems to cope with climate change. Check your house and contents insurance fine print next time, and tell me whether the jury is still out on climate change. Hasn't been in the majority of the science field for a good long time now.