Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Climate of Mass Destruction

One of the oft-made statements from climate change deniers is that the evidence is still shaky on whether climate change is the result of “anthropological” factors (i.e people).

Now these deniers are not exactly your balanced fence sitters; they have for the most part taken a similar, right-wing side on other issues – namely the Iraq War.

So I say, ok, let that be the barometer. So long as evidence of climate change is as good or better as that which suggested Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, then let’s agree to stop the arguing and go forth with an Emissions Trading Scheme.

After all the Iraq war has cost Australia $3billion, and has cost the United States close to $3 trillion, and has helped caused an economic slowdown in America so it can’t be any worse than what the doomsayers predict will happen if we introduce an ETS.

So let’s look and compare:
IRAQ evidence of WMD:
Based on CIA intelligence from an Iraqi defector, known to be unreliable and also an alcoholic (ok maybe there is no correlation between alcoholics and lying but still). Also no one in the CIA had actually spoken to this defector, and the statement this guy (known as “Curve Ball”) made to a US Defence personnel about Iraq having mobile production facilities used to make biological agents was made apparently while suffering from a hang-over.

It gets better.

This was revealed last year: On Sept. 18, 2002, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, according to two former senior CIA officers.

Let’s just say that again in clear language – the guy who was in charge (not some flunky, not a disgruntled mid-level bureaucrat, but the BOSS) of the organisation employed by the US Government to gather intelligence on foreign nations told the US President that there were no WMDs in Iraq. Ponder that. Ponder it long and hard.

Evidence of Global Warming:
Based on (among many, many others over the past 20-30 years) the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report. The IPCC works under the banner of the UN and the World Meteorological Organisation. The Report consists of a peer review done by around 2,500 scientists and is done in such a way as to intentionally include authors who represent the full range of expert opinion.

Also the Report, rather than taking a scare tactic, actually considers four different “families” of scenarios, and six different modelling approaches to come up with 40 different scenarios in total.

Also there’s NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which has come up with this:

CIA evidence, based on a hung-over Iraqi defector whom even the CIA Director didn’t believe.
The UN and NASA in transparent, fully detailed and open to criticism reports and studies (I’m not even going to go into the hundreds/thousands of other studies).

Even if you don’t believe in Global Warming, I think you would be hard pressed to suggest we invaded Iraq on harder evidence.

Even if you think the IPCC is flawed and contains some errors, I can’t see how you would think it’s less strong than what Colin Powell presented to the UN on WMD.

Even if you think NASA is corrupt and biased, you would still have to think its evidence is stronger than the CIA Director telling Bush there were no WMD!

And even if you don’t, I doubt you’ll argue that bringing in an ETS will result in the deaths of 4,438 coalition soldiers and 30,320 wounded, and the deaths of around 42,800 Iraqi civilians.

But then maybe the loss of human life needs less justification than does something which will raise the price of petrol by a measly 2.5 to 5 cents a litre.

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