It’s time to bring civility, reason and perspective to the debate on climate change. Ironically as the debate gets uglier and we become more polarised, the science becomes more worrying. Climate change is perhaps the greatest public policy issue of the coming decades. It’s implications for national security, politics, public health and economics are profound.
Watching the Deniers is about testing the claims of climate change sceptics. Not only do they claim the sceince is “wrong”, but scientists, governments and “greens” are involved in a global conspiracy to defraud the general publc.
It’s an extrondinary claim.
As such it deserves to be critically examined.
This blog will focus on the claims regular made by commentators in the Australian media – printed, television and on radio. Much of what I will do will be fact checking with some analysis. I’ll also post on other climate related news as appropriate.
Ground rules for this blog and discussions
This blog will attempt to engage people on both sides of the debate in a civil manner. Debate can still be robust, but there are some ground rules for discussion:
- I don’t debate the science – I defer to credible experts. I trust the scientific method, the peer review process and that there is genuine scientific consensus on the issue. I may report on research and science related news stories of interest but I have neither the time nor the qualifications to engage in armchair scientific research and debate. If you have developed your own calculations disproving climate change, I encourage you to submit your research to a recognised science journal utilising the peer review process.
- Throwing a spotlight on sceptics – I confess: one of my main motivations for starting this site is to monitor the techniques used by “climate change sceptics”. Over the years I’ve noted how closely their attacks model those of over “anti-science” movements such as creationism, intelligent design and the anti-vaccination movement. This is a serious debate with far ranging consequences: thus their claims need to withstand close scrutiny.
- Bringing back Civility, reason and perspective to the debate – I enjoy robust debate – within reason. Ad hominim attacks, personal insults, appeals to conspiracy theories and threats will simply not be tolerated. I’m more than happy to engage in debate with self proclaimed climate change sceptics. However, I sincerely believe it is time to engage in a more productive and civil conversation. The debate has now reached the point where prominent scientists regularly receive death threats. It’s time to step back, treat other people with respect and focus on the facts.
- How I handle internet trolls and drive-by posters – Simply spamming this site with links to “Watts up with that?”, YouTube videos etc. is counterproductive and to be frank somewhat annoying. I’ve spent years debating creationists and conspiracy theorists and have enough insight to know that I’ll never change their minds. It may sound harsh, but if I judge content to be “spam” I won’t post it to the comments section. That’s not a discussion, that’s an information dump.
And so, let’s jump into the deep waters of the climate change debate.