I have got to stop reading political blogs. Especially those that touch upon climate change. My problem is that I get easily irritated when I see that someone is either misrepresenting something or has misunderstood something and i want to correct it. This invariably leads to further discussion on the topic with different opinions offered and alternative views of the facts.
This is no bad thing, but one thing I have learned from debating climate change online is that if you are talking to a doubter (for want of a better word) it is impossible to persuade them otherwise. For many it is a political issue, right versus left, and it is impossible to see outside of the dogmatic and partisan field of view. For others it is the conspiracy theory angle (see Michael Crichton) where those who believe that man is at least partly responsible for the changes in climate we witness today are part of a giant hoax.
I have yet to be let in on what the aim of the conspiracy/hoax is all about. I am not sure what power the climate scientists intend to pull to themselves. is it more funding? Surely if they are all systematically fabricating research in order to generate funding it would have been blown wide open by now. Also if the 'world' decides that there really is a consensus on the science surely that is reason to cut funding - most of the work has been done and 'proved'. Perhaps they are all being played by someone else, politicians who want to grab power for themselves or environmentalists who desperately want us all to live in mud huts again.
I just don't know. I'm obviously not on the mailing list.
Either way online debate is pretty much pointless, especially when the media and politicians undermine the science by reducing important findings to soundbites that overstress and overreach the originating science. A simple example is Global Warming - this phrase has been beaten to death because people have simplistic expectations: if the planet gets warmer on average then it must get hotter here in my home town! Now if someone like me tries to use the less loaded phrase 'climate change' it gets mocked for trying to have it both ways.
It is a dead end.