Monday, 18 January 2010

Climate Change sceptics peddle dangerous analogy

CNN just recently fired its entire science department. Not surprising, and part of a disturbing trend of myopic and distored converage of science issues. This was the topic of a panel discussion on the CBC's beloved Sunday Edition with Michael Enwright, talking about why journalists are failing the public on Climate Change. The discussion stood my hair on end after hearing a dangerous analogy proposed by Globe and Mail columist Margarat Wente. She says that media coverage on Climate Change is becoming more religious, with either side embedded in ideology. Since when did advocating that we act according to evidence become ideological? Isn't policy based on evidence and reality just... well... reasonable?

Her "religion" analogy is dangerous and underscores the failure of journalists' handling of Climate Change: that the best course  of action is some reconsilitation between two extremes. This "middlepath" is a phoney solution that insidiously suggests comfortable images of Catholics happily living beside Protestants. Perhaps greenies can have their electric cars and wind-turbines, while oil men keep their tarsands, right? Wrong, there is no compromise with reality. There is only one atmosphere, one planet, and one climate trajectory that will we eventually follow. The most credible evidence suggests that its a very grim trajectory, and any prudent response means deep GHG cuts. Would someone please tell me what relgion or ideology this view represents?

Perhaps it should be called "climate-realism", and I will keep screaming it from the hilltops. Please excuse me if I have that panic-striken, wild-eyed look of religious furvor while I do so, because so far, no political leader is doing what the evidence says we should be doing.