"I think the following line from your subscriber's email on climate change says it all:
""The causes of climate variation over geological history are well understood and have nothing whatever to do with the warming the earth has experienced over the past 60 years."
"That is a mighty claim. It is abundantly clear to me that we are only scratching the surface in terms of understanding our climate and climate change. Isn't there still an ongoing debate about the Medieval warm period?
"It is clear from historical records that there was a flourishing wine industry in Britain at that time, yet the "science" has had some difficulty accommodating that situation. Remember the so called "hockey stick" graph?
"From a behavioural perspective, I think it is useful to recall mankind's recent and very exciting Y2K crusade? If we so completely misunderstood a technology that we created, how can anyone believe that we now fully understand something as complex as our climate and climate change. The Y2K hysteria was driven by vested interests and the media and to some extent I feel that history is repeating.
"We are also reminded daily how good we are at understanding economics!
"Another worrying aspect of this debate is the notion that you have to be In or Out, a Believer or a Non-believer. To raise a doubt or question is to be labelled a Heretic. That is conducive to argument, not the healthy debate that is required.
"None of this justifies complacency, but we should keep our wits about us and proceed with caution.
"Keep up the great (and balanced) work!"
"I will hold my hand up and say that I am a sceptic on global warming. The Browning newsletter, that gets a lot of air time on Fullermoney, is a must read and reinforces the fact that mother nature has a much bigger hand in climate change than most people realise, because press coverage is muted at best ; suppressed is a better word!"
"Congrats on an excellent refutation of today's "email of the day" (possibly in the hollowed(sic) halls of the IPCC, where the facts are never allowed to get in the way of their "truths"; for as we now know, they have many of these to trot out to underpin their bullying attitudes.)
"In many ways you should view this as a cry for help from the bewildered. The author cannot understand how someone such as yourself, with a proven intellect and a track-record of, yes, extraordinary scientific record - "science" being a methodology (or used to be) not a sacred calling - hasn't leapt onto the "warmist" bandwagon.
"Your sin is not what you were made out to have said (with hammy editing and malice aforethought), but that you are keeping an open scientific mind; rather than blindly following his "scientific" calling…..in my experience, largely followed by the opportunistic promoters of corporates, causes and countries (the Triple C) seeking to position their patrons to catch the next "new wave". Al Gore, anyone?"
"You gave a fair rebuttal to the "climate change" respondent. I thought you had worded your initial comments too carefully. I was surpised to see people hold such strong opinions (and twist quotes) on someone who took so neutral a view. Excellent pushback."
"Religion" can't cope with agnostics/atheists…"
David Fuller's view One of the reasons why climate change and global warming are such emotive topics is that the consequences if we (the global community) make a mistake on this are terrifying. This leads too often to a very unscientific polarisation of views and inflammatory rhetoric.
On the one hand, we could spend a huge amount of money, saddling ourselves with ever more taxes, weakening our economies in the process, for a very uncertain gain, either because the risks have been overstated or the causes of crop failures and melting ice are mostly due to Mother Nature.
On the other hand, we would only have ourselves to blame if our children's and grandchildren's futures were gravely compromised by our complicity in global warming and failure to do much about it.
I have spent a career looking at trends, and I do not like the trends that I see on climate change and global warming, whatever their causes. Also, I do pay attention to the scientific debate on this subject and an overwhelming number of those who I consider to be mostly rational, successful and very experienced members of the scientific community are extremely concerned about mankind's contribution to global warming. A handful of books providing a more appealing outlook do not offset the weight of scientific opinion in my view. Also, I find it difficult to believe that greenhouse gasses produced by mankind's enterprises would not contribute significantly to global warming.
For these reasons, I favour sensible and affordable measures to clean coal, promote alternatives to oil based fuels for our cars, subsidies for the development of renewable energy, a graduated increase in pollution control standards, and nuclear energy. These will not solve all our manmade planetary problems but they seem both justifiable and affordable to me.