Thursday, 03 December 2009


On the road to Copenhagen

“The Pedant-General” draws a map:

  • If the climate and recent changes are not unprecedented, then there’s nothing to do.  Let’s go to the pub.

  • If it is unprecedented, then we need to know why.
If we don’t know if it is unprecedented or if we don’t know why, we need to stop here until we can find out.
  • If it is unprecedented but it’s not us, then we need to question seriously if there is anything that we can do about it and the answer to that is very very likely to be “no”.

  • If it is us, we then to move into economics. Will the damage [of warming-o.g.] outweigh the benefit?  [i.e., Should we do anything about it?]

  • And even if the damage does outweigh the benefit, we still need to consider if the cost of stopping the climate change at source is less than the cost of adapting to the problem to minimise the damage.

  • And even if the mitigation does cost less than adaptation, we need to ask if our only option for mitigation is to subborn all our freedom to a putative benevolent world government.
Only if you can answer “yes” all the way down that chain can you get to Copenhagen. One misstep and you are looking at adaptation, either because we shouldn’t do anything, or it’s the best thing to do or the alternative is so appallingly ghastly, depending on which route you took to get there.
But that’s not all:  Read on, as the Pedant describes how each step of the scientific process was corrupted.

UPDATE 100610:  The post has been moved.  It’s now here.

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