Inane Thoughts: Diary of a Frustrated Writer – On Science

I’m very excited today. I’ve got tickets to see Robin Ince’s Uncaged Monkeys tour, with the excellent science hunks, Brian Cox, Ben Goldacre and Simon Singh. I may have to take some spare oxygen and some sort of device to catch me in mid-swoon. This is the middlebrow intellectual’s equivalent of a Take That reunion tour, except that all of these scientists probably don’t privately hate each other.

I exaggerate, but I have become a lot more attuned to the importance of science recently, mainly due to the brilliance of humanist writers like Kurt Vonnegut, but also having to frequently defend my allegiance to those who adhere to the scientific theory of man-made climate change. I am probably heading into murky waters in attempting to write about this; when it comes to facts I am no George Monbiot or Ben Goldacre. I’m probably not even as good, science-wise, as climate change denier Ian Pliger (he’d probably out-fox me on the science – his degree would probably trump my GSCE Double Award). I am pretty sure I’m better than James Delingpole, although I’d imagine he’d be more stentorian than I would in any debate.

Getting back to the point in hand, I just cannot understand, unless you’re a climate scientist, that you would be able to understand whether or not the current trends of global warming are caused by man-made emissions. I’ll be honest, I’ll go with the peer-reviewed consensus on this i.e. that the current trends are caused by man-made emissions. I mean, I’m not an evolutionary biologist, but I think I can safely say that Intelligent Design is a load of old cobblers. I’m also pretty sure that climate change deniers are not “maverick” figures along the lines of Galileo or Albert Einstein. Sometimes the mainstream scientific opinion must be right. I mean, no-one who’s gone back on the whole Earth-revolving-around-the-Sun thing is labelled a “maverick thinker” are they? No, they are labelled a mental, hopefully a harmless mental, but none-the-less, massively wrong.

Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure the deniers currently have the best catchphrases when it comes to winning the arguments. In the face of complex arguments and a myriad of data, the deniers have: “The Great Global Warming Swindle”, “The Climate Hoax” and “Whatever happened to global warming, eh?” whenever they have to put a woolly scarf on. The man-made climate change supporters (er, hang on, that doesn’t sound good does it?) have Al Gore and George Monbiot as their public faces. Al Gore. He’s so boring that the deniers can continue to have the support of Sarah Palin and still believe they’re onto something.

The deniers also have Melanie Phillips of the Daily Mail on their side. She maintains that carbon dioxide forms a relatively small proportion of the atmosphere and that most of the atmosphere consists of water vapour. Genuinely. Essentially she believes that fish can live on land and that we are living in Kevin Costner’s Waterworld.

Sometimes it’s easy to know who to believe.

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