Sunday, December 10, 2006

Rex Murphy Gone Mad

If you read Murphy's nonsensical Globe and Mail piece, then you would conclude my title makes me an environmental elitist. What a dinosaur:
Altogether too much of the condescending vanity and ego of those who know they are saving the Earth...

The current theory of global warming has a veritable global industry of support and propagation. Its proponents are calling for massive and swift intervention in most of the world's economies, with concomitant political and social implications on a scale that is difficult to imagine.

Before those commitments are made, before the route to a solution is hammered in steel, it is surely the moment for the most diligent and neutral assessment of all the science, and the policy projections flowing from that science. It is emphatically time for the most scrupulous and disinterested inquiry to determine the solid core of what is really known about the subject, separated from the great clouds of speculation, advocacy, geopolitics and calculated alarmism that overhang and shadow that core.

And what is the likely characterization of someone who in the very spirit of science calls for disinterested analysis and scrupulous measurement of what, actually, we really do know? Why, "climate change denier," of course.

I know -- and it doesn't require a science textbook to learn it -- that the first sign of a weak argument is the attempt to shut down any argument. Extreme rhetoric is the front line in the defence of frail logic. I also know there is no science of the future: We may decorate reports with graphs and charts, and conjure pages of the most exquisite and arcane equations, but the very best we can offer on climate a hundred years from now is a series of sophisticated and ever-ramifying probabilities that are themselves subject to a myriad of unforeseeable contingencies.

Who will undertake the difficult task of sifting the real science from the alarmist advocacy, who will draw the boundaries between climate activism and cold analysis

Murphy treats the overwhelming science as though biased information. Murphy calls out for a "neutral" assessment of the evidence, implying the numbers are skewed by scientists who have a personal stake. What utter rubbish. All science starts out as theory, a theory gains legitimacy through measurement and testing. The reason why global warming has become an "alarmist" proposition is because the evidence suggests rapid change, not subjective conclusions. The only serious debate, apart from the rogue nutjobs trying to make a name by balking at the evidence, is whether science hasn't underestimated the scale, scope and timeframe. We are well past if, the most forward politicians are already taking about "adaptability".

Murphy argues that those who try to shutdown debate do so because the argument is weak. Apparently Murphy has some law that he extrapolates onto global warming. The real reason why people resist the "debate" is because the "debate" is over. Quite frankly, the earth doesn't have time to address the doubting Thomas' arguments and therefore we ignore. Call it arrogant or elitist, but I call it common sense. The hard reality is we can't waste energy on appeasing radicals, so the attitude with the "deniers" should be "get out of the way". I laugh at people that don't believe in global warming, if that makes me self-righteous, fine with me dipshit.

This situation is urgent, critical, desperate, alarming, worrisome. The core of the scientific community is now focused on impacts, adjusting time frames and scopes, not rehashing old news. If the Rex Murphy's of the world are waiting until every single scientist in the world comes to universal agreement, then they demand the impossible. I'm sure you can still find a few scientists who dispute the effects of smoking. Rex Murphy can have his opinion, so no one is censoring anybody, but if it's all right with him, this elitist concludes it's irrelevant to the "debate".


That guy said...

Ah, but you don't fully appreciate the Laws of Rex Murphy:

(1) If he hasn't thought of it personally in his own brain, it can't possibly be right.

(2) If he hasn't been paying attention to something until now, it can't possibly already be settled.

Steve V said...


Thanks for the clarification.