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11 December 2009updated 27 Sep 2015 2:28am

Challenging climate change denial

Scientists respond to an "unprecedented attack"

By George Eaton

It’s relieving to see UK scientists issue a robust defence of their profession in the wake of the increasingly hysterical assault from climate change deniers.

The statement from 1,700 scientists declares:

We, members of the UK science community, have the utmost confidence in the observational evidence for global warming and the scientific basis for concluding that it is due primarily to human activities. The evidence and the science are deep and extensive. They come from decades of painstaking and meticulous research, by many thousands of scientists across the world who adhere to the highest levels of professional integrity.

There’s a fascinating debate to be had about why climate change denial has continued to rise despite the increasingly unambiguous evidence for man-made global warming.

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At least one reason is that many on the right instinctively dislike the taxation, regulation and supranational bodies required to prevent climate change. But because it is neither intellectually nor morally tenable to argue that climate change is taking place and that we shouldn’t do anything to stop it, they are forced to go back to the start and deny the theory itself.

Conversely, many on the left are more, not less, inclined to accept the science on climate change when offered the possibility of higher taxes and greater regulation.

Tariq Ali, for instance, remarked (not entirely unseriously) this week:

Copenhagen may be the last chance to get communist ideals back on to the global stage.

Meanwhile, Ed Miliband has written exclusively for Left Foot Forward from Copenhagen reflecting on the mood at the summit. Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy are expected to pledge today that Europe “will pay its share of a $10bn fast-track finance fund”.

 

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