Sunday, 25 October 2009

Scepticism (again)

I'm happy to say I haven't seen the piece of alarmist TV propaganda (paid for, presumably, with my money and yours) skewered here by the redoubtable Gaw. If I had, I would probably have thrown something at the telly; those of a more practical bent have, I gather, complained in large numbers to the ASA, which is good. It just shows the level of hysterical stridency with which the propagation of the warmist gospel and the onslaught on the 'deniers' (see also Gaw's How to Ruin a Word) are now being conducted. As I've argued many a time, the only intellectually respectable position on the subject of anthropogenic climate change is one of scepticism. For that reason, I was especially glad to hear Clive James also making the case for scepticism on Radio 4 - making it eloquently, wittily but forcefully, while at the same time introducing a startled nation to the possibility that we might have been eating sliced golf balls in our potato crisps. The trouble with scepticism, of course, is that it is liable to get drowned out when debate is conducted - or rather evaded - in the manner exemplified by that TV ad. Perhaps, in the end, the warmist onslaught will, as Gaw suggests, become entirely counterproductive, and that might, just might start a general drift towards scepticism. Let's hope so, for everyone's sake.


  1. The impending disasterists appear to have adopted that old fascist chestnut, the bigger the lie, the more people will believe it. We need more of the King is in the alltogeterists as a counterbalance.
    Like a good whiskey, the older Clive becomes the more satisfying he gets, listening to his programme on Radio Four as he talked about his interviews with Pavarotti and Polanski was one the treats of the week.
    As for skepticism, as a lifelong advocate of healthy dollops of the stuff, I'm with you Nige, a most usefull tool, allowing our sanity to be retained when many others appear to be losing theirs.

  2. "skepticism", "whiskey": is malty a septic?

  3. just had a listen to the clive james thing on your recommendation - most excellent!

  4. I read Nigel Lawson's concise, readable and sceptical A Cool Look at Global Warming on hols this summer. I found it very convincing.

    He questions the idea of scientific consensus but the most powerful part is where, for the sake of argument, he accepts the global warming scientific case but (in my view) fatally undermines the logic of the warmists' solutions (building on Bjorn Lomberg's arguments).

    As I retain some open-mindedness, I've been trying to find strong counter-arguments but I've struggled. Most of what I've read has been ad hominem stuff about NIge (the other one). Has anyone come across anything good?

  5. I passed a group of 15-20 climate change folks in the centre of town yesterday. Posters, a bullhorn, collecting tins, outside the principal shopping mall. A recruitment drive, perhaps. They struck me as evangelists in the line of Billy Graham or Moral Rearmament and before them the Temperance Movement and before them someting else all the way back to the Neolithic.

    I'm more uneasy about this evangelical come Utopian streak in human nature than I am about climate change. A charismatic leader, a dose of paranoia, perhaps a thought crime or two (you're the sort who'd like a log fire and a few trips on an aeroplane - we can tell just by looking at you), some tribunals ... . Oh my. Big trouble long before we get to fry, if ever we do.

  6. I wonder if there's a quantifiable difference in the level of belief in climate change between protestant and catholic countries?