08
Dec
09

On air: Do sceptics deserve to be part of the climate change debate?

Yesterday’s debate on WHYS got many of you emailing, calling and blogging. We invited on the programme Iain Dale, a conservative blogger here in the UK, who is not a climate change denier but does question global warming.

the only people who think global warming is a myth are those who don’t understand it, or those who stand to lose money by taking steps to reduce their impacts on climate change.” Alex in Manchester emailed us.

Dan posted on our blog “I feel sad for those that are so willing to be fooled or fall for the hysteria created about the myth of Global Warming, Global Cooling, Climate Change, or whatever euphemism become the flavour of the day or is represented by a cuddly little polar bear. It is a LIE not supported by science but by anecdotal observations that politicians, looking for more of YOUR money,turned into statistical certainty.”


Clearly there are climate change sceptics and many feel that the word denier is loaded and does not allow people to debate the issue,  Iain Dale said all he wanted was to have an open debate.   But do sceptics have an place in the debate? or are they such a small minority that their voice doesn’t really count and they undermine the issue? Or is misinformation the tactic of the denier? like British blogger Sunny Hundal thinks?

Today we are inviting a top BBC figure to explain how the BBC covers climate change and if global warming sceptics have a place in the debate?


223 Responses to “On air: Do sceptics deserve to be part of the climate change debate?”


  1. 1 Ibrahim in UK
    December 8, 2009 at 10:57

    Should Climate Change sceptics be allowed to take part in the Global Warming Debate?

    Yes! (From Dictionary.com:
    Debate – a formal contest in which the affirmative and negative sides of a proposition are advocated by opposing speakers.)

    I think the debate will be a difficult one to present. The science must be understood by the presenter, and It then needs to be simplified to the level of the ordinary (non-scientist) viewer, all while defending the theory from criticism. Not an easy juggling act.

    (An interesting denier’s article)
    http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/climatesos/2009/12/2009124191343603151.html

  2. 2 Dan
    December 8, 2009 at 11:11

    ABSOLUTELY!!!!!!
    If the world acting in concert cannot even make a dent in the number of starving in Africa how can they expect us to believe that they can affect the global climate?
    It saddens me to see those who haven’t a scientific background hysterical in their fanaticism on this issue. Water does not melt when the temperature is below freezing but there are those that insist that the snow at the peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro which is below freezing, has melted. Do they have a pool of water in their freezers?
    They have applied stupidity to this and given politicians an avenue to increase taxes but accomplish nothing as they continue to blame “industrial production”.

    For politicians in Copenhagen this week it is a feeding frenzy to better grab our tax dollars and increasingly control our lives.

    For Al Gore charging $1200 to shake his hand, it is a chance to be further covered in green……. the Green of your money put into his wallet.

    The truth must be told and this fraud further exposed.

    • 3 Jennifer
      December 8, 2009 at 12:54

      Dan,

      I hope that it will not be simply that the facts will be overlooked in favor of the global warming outcome. I think the first thing that should be done is discussing the integrity that must be recaptured to ensure that science remains science. They should talk about data dumping and the other things that have came to light recently. They should also, as you pointed out and I have said several times, consider the many other more pressing issues in this world (like starving kids).

    • December 8, 2009 at 17:10

      Dan,

      First, an ice molecule will not melt when it is below freezing, but Ice will. Snow definitely will. There are other factors to consider other then the simple temperature. Relative humidity, altitude, wind friction, and many other inputs contribute to ice melting. In your freezer you probably don’t have wind, altitude, or any other contributing factors. As an Iceboater on Lake Erie, I assure you that I have pulled a few boats out of the ice where it had melted even though the temperature gage had read below freezing for weeks straight. Just as it is not easy to explain to the layman why it is so dammed cold outside my door when we are experiencing global warming? lol.

      Because such complex concepts are hard to grasp is the reason some scientist try to hide how they formulate data. Let us say i wanted to say the world was flat. How are you going to convince me otherwise. I can look out across the lake ad see the water is flat as a pancake. I have flown in a jet before, the world looked pretty flat to me. Your pictures of the earth can be photoshpped.

    • 5 Zizi, Leiden
      December 9, 2009 at 13:50

      The subject of climate change has been a never ending topic since Tony Blair made this announcement while he was still prime minister of Britain during Britain’s involvement in the Iraq war. One has to believe this was brought about to increase taxes to finance this war. That nearly every government has used the climate change topic to increase taxes they have made this more effective by involving the United Nations who will involve itself in anything that can make itself heard or bring in more revenue. Remember the millenium when the British scientists PROCLAIMED that computers would crash, trains would stop running, air travel will be grounded, etc., etc., because the computers could not deal with the required configurations on time, well nothing happened. The same applies to climate change. There has always been climatic changes and a 100 years from now the climate will continue changing so may the scientists just shut up and stop their scaremongering. They must know not everyone is an idiot!!!!!

  3. 6 Hilla Kakuwa
    December 8, 2009 at 11:14

    Oh world climate change is a very real thing. There are no two ways about it and nothing can really be done to control it. The copanhegan summit, the G8 and all othe summits concerning it, are just a waste.

    This is just another of those ways of Politicians trying to gain mileage in their political affairs and nothing else.

  4. 7 Hillary Kakuwa
    December 8, 2009 at 11:16

    Oh world climate change is a very real thing. There are no two ways about it and nothing can really be done to control it. The copanhegan summit, the G8 and all othe summits concerning it, are just a waste.

    This is just another one of those ways of Politicians trying to gain mileage in their political affairs and nothing else.

  5. 8 Hillary Kakuwa
    December 8, 2009 at 11:20

    I think sceptics are also affected humans, let’s give them a voice and hear what they have to say as well.
    It would be vey inhuman to deny sceptics a chance to put up their voices, who knows? We might pick one o two things from them.
    LET THEM TALK!!!

  6. December 8, 2009 at 11:41

    It is fine to allow sceptics who can talk sense about the debate but if you get people like your blogger Dan, as covered above, whose inputs clearly have no basis in reality, then you are not debating, you are simply giving coverage to the uninformed and ignorant. The fact that there is a massive industry, that over the last quarter in the USA spent around US$35 million spreading misinformation furthering the interests of the fossil fuel industry, clearly there is a disconnect in the confused messages being put out to people who do not understand the realities of anthropogenic climate change. There is an industry of doubt, run by PR companies who front up for the tobacco industry, the chemical industry and so on.
    The real problem about this debate is that most of the ‘facts’ put out by deniers are utter nonsense and giving them equal time does us all a disservice.
    So on balance, yes lets hear their inputs but space must be given to properly analyse the rubbish that is put out as fact.

  7. 12 Roberto
    December 8, 2009 at 11:41

    RE “” Iain Dale, a conservative blogger “”
    ————————————————————

    ———- Don’t know the first thing about Mr. Dale, but the above highlights a problem with the summit.

    That a man made spike of global warming has already occurred is agreed to by a large majority of the scientific community. Copenhagen is a meeting of the politicians who orchestrated the architecture of the massive global economic expansion that caused the warming spike who are charged with making a political agreement that will save us all.

    Please, I’d prefer a pistol with a bullet and a bottle of vodka so I can play Russian Roulette.

  8. 13 Vijay Pillai
    December 8, 2009 at 11:51

    yes if presented by real scientists like physicists and chemists who were at for more than 3 decades and been to arctic and madives or bangladesh to collect data and not some clever economist or mathematicans and political scientists sitting ia room ian an ivory tower and manupulate data from internet who are good with their statsitcal presentation and verbosity and not real scientific insight.

  9. 14 Vijay Pillai
    December 8, 2009 at 12:25

    I remember when a climate scientist with a doctorate in physics and an advisor to igcc who has been to archtic ,seen his photos in archic,when presented his findings to a major gathering of scientists, i put it to him at the meeting in the year 2000- is the global warming caused by humans?- he said it was a direct question ,and said yes.
    I dont need further scientifc evidence since i have heard from the real scientist and from my experience of causes of global warming since 1974 when the deforestation was going on unbated resulting in famine of 1984 in ethiopia, i came face to face of its concern for water supply. Many hundreds if not thousands of dams became useless in china as a result of building up of silt in reservoirs due to deforetation as reported in 1994..

  10. 15 Dennis Junior
    December 8, 2009 at 12:29

    Yes, the sceptics of Climate Change should be allowed to take part
    in Global Warming Debate…

    =Dennis Junior=

  11. 16 Ronald Almeida
    December 8, 2009 at 12:30

    What kind of idiotic question is that, coming from the BBC? I know there are people in the Western world who are ignorant enough to think their gluttony and greed doesn’t effect the rest of the world or that they don’t give a damn.
    But they should be given a chance to put their foot in their mouths. Especially when the Western countries claim to believe in systems like Democracy.

  12. December 8, 2009 at 13:14

    Sure, why not? There’s plenty of time. We’ll all just sit around debating whether we have problem or not whilst the Earth slides closer to ruin. We’ll chew the fat, write reports to appease the naysayers, and all the while carry on just as we are until the water is actually lapping at our feet, there’s no fuel left, no trees, no food, and mass starvation. Then when the last denier thinks we may just have a little problem, we’ll spring into action. Great idea! Or we can actually try to DO SOMETHING to change our ways for the good of all of us.

    • 18 Maxine
      December 10, 2009 at 05:36

      Well let me see – I am not convinced about “global warming” and causes of global degradation being unique to our times. But I am also aware that many people squander our pristine environment without thought and expect “governments” to fix things. We can be responsible human beings. I have a solar hot water system, use my bike most times or public transport, plant native trees in remnant bushland, changed my light bulbs to energy saving ones. My “carbon” foot print is small, we can all do something. We can stop throwing our rubbish into the sea and overfishing. There are many things we can do to help ourselves and our planet. Yes, let the sceptics join in the debate.

  13. 19 Mark
    December 8, 2009 at 13:14

    Yes without a doubt.

    This has been a one sided debate for years with the sceptics being shut out, it’s about time we got the truth and the whole truth.

    Has anyone else noticed that ALL solutions to climate change involve adding more TAX, why not make all shopping centres turn all the lights off when they close, the ones in the UK have lights blazing away all night. doing this would cut or carbon footprint but would not need an extra tax.

    Climate change is a huge con, just to generate more tax.

    • 20 Mike in Seattle
      December 8, 2009 at 19:33

      Don’t confuse science with policy. They are completely different things.

      • 21 Robert
        December 9, 2009 at 21:22

        I believe Mark was making the case that the science always seems to point to solutions(policy) that cost us money(taxes) and not save us money(conservation/shifting from one power source to another). I think he’s right. If the debate is about solving the problem, then they answers are about conservation and redefining what acceptable power sources are. If it’s about grabbing power, the answer is taxes.

        Regarding the debate, I would love to finally see the long awaited exchange between our Mr. Al Gore and your Lord Christopher Monckton. I heard Lord Monckton speak in St. Paul, Minnesota,USA and was highly impressed. Come on Al!!!!! Zip your pants up the front instead of the side for a change and put your money where your mouth is. Literally!!!

    • 22 DAVID ADAMS
      December 9, 2009 at 10:57

      I agree with Mark that shopping centres should turn off their lights after work.However the amount of carbon dioxide generated by shopping malls for leaving their lights on when they close is small compared to the amount of carbon dioxide produced by vehicles on the streets in CITIES every morning.Climate change is very real.Come to Ghana and you will realize that 4 out of every 10 people are wearing medicated lens because of the dangerous radiations from the sun.The ozone layer is depleting because of deforetation and the increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the environment.Ghana is getting hot,day by day.Yesterday,the temperature of my room was 34 degrees celsius at 12 noon.Today,it might be worse.

  14. 23 wintergreen
    December 8, 2009 at 13:20

    No we should accept without question the lies fed to us by our masters.

    Of course sceptics should be allowed.
    So far nobody has managed to produce any credible evidence of man made global warming. The “value added data” doesnt hold up to scrutiny.
    People are already losing jobs – 1,700 at the redcar steel works with that number rising to 9,000 because it is more lucrative to close down the steel works and claim “carbon credits” from the EU.
    This whole farce is turning into another WMD debacle (weather of mass destruction) and its time the politicians started to do what they were elected to do and start looking after the intrests of their voters rather than promising to give billions of our money away to bogus carbon credit companies and the other fake businesses that have sprung up around this whole foul tasting affair.

  15. 24 AMOS OCHIENG
    December 8, 2009 at 13:44

    “It is a LIE not supported by science but by anecdotal observations that politicians, looking for more of YOUR money,turned into statistical certainty.’ that is what Dan said yesterday.

    i live in Kenya, a third world country in sub Saharan Africa. it is indeed very sad that despite all the consequences of global warming someone still cannot see. and in fact someone from the biggest polluters.
    Global warming is a global issue and world political leaders are at the centrestage in saving the earth and its time they did whatever it takes even if it means TAX increase for the polluter nations they must walk the tight rope and help us attain sustainable development. and Dan must understand that the future of this earth is very important and our actions today determines the future of the earth tomorrow. where do you want us to go anywhere if you are making the earth unconducive for humane life?

    Amos Ochieng
    university student, Moi University, Eldoret-Kenya

  16. 25 Kevin PE
    December 8, 2009 at 13:49

    When I see a question such as this proposed I truly fear for the future. Are we are now entering a new era of thought control, dissident identification and censorship? The last one, we are only now emerging from, was called the Religious era. There was only one truth and woe to any who dared challenge the word as determined by its priests. Now we have a new religion – Science – whose word (facts) as determined by its priests (scientists) are similarly beyond question or reproach (infallible). If information is power, then they who control the information are the powerful. We all know what power does.
    A system of checks and balances, transparency, and above all, accountability is paramount.

  17. 26 Linda from Italy
    December 8, 2009 at 13:57

    What really annoyed me about Iain Dale’s contribution yesterday was his insistence on having a “debate”, while I take Ibrahim’s point about the definition of the word, that rather leaves out the context, which is normally on matters of principle, ideas, philosophy etc. not empirical facts, which then indeed thrusts the whole thing into the realm of politics – as yesterday’s starting point suggested, i.e. that believers are on the Left and deniers are on the Right, very much the case I would suggest in the US and UK.
    The only “debate” possible would be between scientists laying out the evidence for and against, the rest of us then would have to shut up, rather defeating the point of WHYS in the first place.

    • 27 Joe Nielsen
      December 8, 2009 at 19:45

      The point is that the analysis are open for interpretation – it is not a fact that climate change is caused by human activity. Certain part of climate change is likely impacted by human activity but the extend is not known – and any respectable scientist will admit that. The debate to me is a matter of doing the right things: we shouldn’t cut down the rain forest, it makes good sense to drive cars that consume less fuel etc. etc. But lets not make it into a religion not based on facts (which we don’t have) but good old common sense. We should always discuss cause if we don’t we end up in the same situation we were in before science discovered the earth was round, time is relative etc.

      Please don’t turn climate discussion into religion.

  18. 28 steve
    December 8, 2009 at 13:58

    I’m curious, will Obama’s EPA tax people for breathing since we emit CO2 when we exhale? Should we provide medical care for sick trees given that if a tree dies, it emits CO2?

    Something the left doesn’t like to admit, and even scientists don’t freely admit it, but the most offended greenhouse gas is WATER VAPOR. Are we going to declare water a toxic substance as well?

  19. 29 Gabriel Goah
    December 8, 2009 at 14:00

    Like every other debate, there should always be room for dissenting voice. The pro climate change camp is so overwhelming that you actaully wonder whether there are people who disagree.

    Personally I believe that sea levels have been arising for hundreds of years even before the industrial revolution!, Secondly, earth’s history shows there was once an ice age that melted away, and deserts began to form…. i can only imagine if we were living then we could have panicked! and say that the earth is about to vapourize!!

  20. 30 John costigane
    December 8, 2009 at 14:13

    The BBC is showing only one side of this contentious issue which is a sad reflection on the BBC. Objectivity in issues is essential to allow viewers to form their own opinions on the evidence. Why is objectivity missing in all BBC efforts on MMGW?

    The recent exposure of possible bad practice at East Anglia University should be investigated by independent scientists to get to the truth, whatever it is.

  21. 32 Luci Smith
    December 8, 2009 at 14:18

    I guess that being a debate, everyone should be allowed to participate, but I find it extremely irritating to have to listen to the likes of Bjørn Lomborg, the Danish climate sceptic, to has been given large sums of money by the Danish Government to pursue his disinformation.
    Seen here from Copenhagen, I can only say that the sceptics will be able to say, “No, sorry I was wrong!” when it is too late to do anything,

  22. 33 DavidCOG
    December 8, 2009 at 14:21

    Should creationists be allowed to take part in the genetics ‘debate’? No, of course not.

    Same applies to the Deniers. They are not sceptics, they are anti-science ideologues who reject all evidence and science that runs counter to their beliefs. They are unreachable.

    They need to be shut out of the conversation, just as flat earthers, moon hoaxers and creationists are. They can rant all they want on their blogs, but they have no place in the debate about what to do – because the debate about whether global warming is real ended long ago amongst climate scientists. Now it’s just a matter of “how bad, how fast?”

    • December 8, 2009 at 15:39

      You have touched a very real, and frightening point there. I see with increasing ferocity and speed the amount of Evangelical Christians doing everything in their power to deny all sciences. They pay extreme amounts of money to find some quack doctor or crackpot “scientist” to support their useless drivel, and the world should not forget how terrible things were when the Church (Catholic) actively persecuted all scientists, and I feel that this “modern” scientific denial trend is going to end just as terribly for those of us with a working brain.

  23. 35 Maccus Germanis
    December 8, 2009 at 14:24

    With current trends, you may as well ask if skeptics should lend credibility to what is only called “debate” for convenience sake. One wouldn’t want to appear authoritarian while fudging statistics to suggest that each exhilation of a peasants breath is itself a pandemic.

  24. 36 Andy / stepdad
    December 8, 2009 at 14:29

    Firstly, if people don’t have evidence to back up thier point or a reasoned argument they resort to name calling. Gordon Browns “flat earthers” and Milliband “irresponsible” reply to Nigel Lawson come to mind.

    Flat earthers, if I remember my history were in the majority and it was the round earthers that couldn’t be heard.

    Secondly, has anyone thought that it is the Perihelion of the Earths orbit that could be causing the change? 11000 years ago the Perihelion was in July, now its January In the Northern hemisphere, making winters warmer and wetter.

    Thirdly as the Met office proved with its BBQ summer prediction, a forecast longer than a month is just guess work at best, how can anyone confidently predict temperatures in 40,50, or 100 years time?

    Yes the climate may well be changing and we may be able to do something about it. But for God sake give us some credit and give us a balanced report and information on the subject and not continual pictures of cuddly Polar bears swimming in the SUMMER melt.

    • 37 Kenn
      December 8, 2009 at 19:36

      `I think that the climate is changing… its kind of what it does, it changes.

      But i highly doubt it is ALL because of us. We have been dumping pollution into the air yes, but a few volcanoes blowing up dumps far more of the same gases then we ever have in our entire history.

      Also there is this giant nuclear powered ball of gas in the sky that has certain variable cycles, which we know know are coming to a max state and beginning to decline. As well as the orbit of the earth, the tilt of the axis, and so on and so forth.

      The people that dismiss the one thing in our solar system that generates all the heat and light as “minuscule part of the problem” don’t make any sense.

      And beside, data from the past 150 years? I refuse to believe that people that still relieved themselves into holes in the ground had a peg on the thermometer to the point that we know its gone up .6 degrees.

      Anyone ever try to get an accurate reading from an old school thermometer?

      “What temperature is it?”
      “Somewhere around 80-85”

  25. 38 patti in cape coral
    December 8, 2009 at 14:43

    Yes, climate change skeptics should be allowed to take part in the global warming debate, even though the interaction between the two sides seems fruitless, and more about being right than about understanding the issue. I don’t understand why measures to ease (combate, eliminate, whatever) climate change have to cost so many tax dollars. Shouldn’t the types of things that are advocated for the environment and climate change in general actually save us money? I don’t understand how things like creating less waste, eating less meat, running our air conditioners and heaters less, carpooling, etc. costs us more. Shouldn’t this greening be a win/win?

    • 39 Mike in Seattle
      December 8, 2009 at 15:16

      Not if you run a coal power plant, Patti.😉

      • 40 Kenn
        December 8, 2009 at 19:41

        Mike,

        Even people who run a coal plant WANT the demands on the grid to be lessened.

        Having done a few projects for the local power companies here (that uses coal plants) they want to be able to sue less energy so they don’t have to build any more plants. They are working on smartgrid and smarthome technology to be able to keep everything running on the same amount of power.

        We have subsidies from the power companies here to put in solar panels, place smart meters, add energy efficient AC systems and programmable thermostats (which they supply and install for free) in order to lessen the load on the grid.

        In the long run it saves them money from having to build more plants and repair overworked ones, and the consumer who sees a drop in their power bills.

      • 41 Robert
        December 10, 2009 at 05:10

        Or one of the thousands of people who work in the industry.

  26. December 8, 2009 at 14:43

    It is through debating and discussing topics that we are better able to learn the finer points of our own opinions and the deeper reasons for them. intelligent, honest scientific debate is necessary, but those who claim that global warming or whatever euphemism is appropriate today is a hoax cite little to no valid science to back up their side.
    The question “Is climate change real?” is an absurd ignorance anyways. The climate changes in natural cycles and always has. The question really should be more akin to
    “what is changing, where is it changing, and what can be done to minimize difficult or tragic outcomes?”.
    Science DOES show, irrefutably, that some parts of the globe are warming faster than we had ever anticipated while OTHER parts are getting colder and anticipating a mini ice age, at least according to articles I’ve read on Pravda.RU.

  27. 43 gary
    December 8, 2009 at 14:51

    Should you ask fans at the local football pitch to discuss an oncologist’s approaches to the treatment of cancer? By all means let us debate! Bring to table evidences of your understanding of climatology, the kinetic isotope effect, glaciology, meteorology, palynology, dendrochronology and all the other little paleoclimatology -ologies, along with an understanding of current meteorological modeling software (or indeed any multivariate system supercomputer modeling experiences), a nodding acquaintance with Milenkovitch cycles and other climate-forcing stuff, the Earth / Moon orbital variations, oceanography, and last, but not least, an open mind. Oh, and bring food and clean undies; we will be here a while…

    It’s been done folks. The Ian Dales of the world cry “open debate” because 99+% of people who have an opinion will wish to share it, and like almost every other opinion of – well let’s say the opinion of your favorite team’s striker concerning the usefulness of the Vinca alkaloids in the treatment of leukemia –they will be practically worthless (and just consume time we do not have).
    Sorry folks.
    g

  28. 44 Linda from Italy
    December 8, 2009 at 14:57

    One thing I have noticed recently is that the deniers or gainsayers if they prefer, is that they seem to have come round to the idea that the globe is in fact warming up – something that previously, most of them wouldn’t accept at all, but the sticking point, which is where the politics come in, is that is being exacerbated, if not 100% caused by the human race, and mainly those sections who have produced and/or are producing the most CO2. In other words, the polluter pays and since the first nations to industrialise have been at it longer than, say, the Chinese, they have to pick up the tab.

  29. 45 guykaks
    December 8, 2009 at 14:58

    A big Yes !i feel the skeptics a times have points to make too.we live in a democratic world and anyone is free to make his sentiments heard..But warning to this skeptics who dilly dally around with their aloof gossips.We take our environment first and other things come second.

    • 46 Mike in Seattle
      December 8, 2009 at 15:32

      Data is not democratic, and neither is science. When was the last time a nation held an election to determine if special relativity was real?

  30. 48 steve
    December 8, 2009 at 15:11

    @ David

    They are not antiscience. Take any class in the history of the hearth, and you’ll see it has warmed up, and cooled down many times, on its own, before humans even existed. To say that humans are the ONLY cause of climate change, what the left is saying, is an outright, total lie. Now you’re trying to slander anyone who questions that particular lie.

    How did earth warmup from snowball earth, where most of the entire surface was covered by ice? No humans existed, and it obviously got warmer because much of that ice melted away. How could that happen if humans are the ONLY cause of climate change, like people like you claim?

    • 49 Mike in Seattle
      December 8, 2009 at 15:41

      This isn’t a left or right issue. Science isn’t a political endeavor and you do it a great disservice by framing it in such a way.

    • 50 Gary Paudler
      December 8, 2009 at 16:35

      Steve makes a good point. When there were no people on earth, people were not responsible for climate change which occurred very slowly over millions of years. But the changes that are happening right before our eyes (if our eyes are open) will change the lives of every being on earth.

  31. 51 Mike in Seattle
    December 8, 2009 at 15:15

    Any view which can be supported by a fair and complete reading of the data should be allowed. Those are the only views that matter, and those who are simply “asking questions” or simply have no background in the matter should spent the time doing research rather than offering uninformed opinions about the matter.

  32. 52 Roy, Washington DC
    December 8, 2009 at 15:30

    All sides should be allowed to take part. That’s what makes a debate a debate.

  33. 53 Mike in Seattle
    December 8, 2009 at 15:31

    Also, I believe that we need to be wary of the technique of “hearing all sides”. Here in the United States it’s common to hear two representatives who are given equal ground futilely argue for a few minutes and nothing gets resolved. We need actual resolutions, and we need to stop acting like the data swings both ways. It doesn’t. Data isn’t fair and balanced to every point of view, and we need to start discriminating against those views not supported by the data.

    Look, we don’t have episodes of WHYS debating the color of the sky at noon on a sunny day. We don’t hear from those that think it’s orange or plaid. It’s blue, and anyone who looks at the data (that is, look up) can see that for themselves. We need to treat climate change the same way.

  34. 54 John in Salem
    December 8, 2009 at 15:36

    No. The debate was over a long time ago. Models were created based on human activity and predictions made back in the 50’s and 60’s and the results have exceeded those predictions. The political debate regarding what we should do about climate change does not alter the scientific consensus. The questions about how much natural flucuations in climate are adding to our influence or vice versa are interesting but irrelevant.
    The point at which we could have done something meaningful about it, however, is also long past. The people meeting in Copenhagen have science advisors telling them to prepare for the mass migration of billions of people as sea level rise begins to accelerate along with worldwide desertification and crop failures and that’s why the talking there is all about money.

  35. 55 Dan
    December 8, 2009 at 16:03

    @Glenn
    The uninformed and ignorant are those that accept “scientific” data that we now know to be biased and corrupted.
    Applying common sense, a rare commodity these days, to this issue reveals that there are underlying agendas pushing this global warming nonsense.
    I remember Global Cooling, the world was supposed to run out of oil in 1976, the world’s food supply cannot support 5 Billion people (there are now over 6 Billion) and mass starvation and riots would occur etc…etc.
    The truth can be found by peeling away the nonsense and revealing the underlying agenda.
    Again though I ask that if the world cannot solve the hunger in Africa despite TRILLIONS of dollars put forth, who really believes that we can change the climate of the globe?
    I believe that corrupted data is used to produce the desired conclusion and I am not alone in that belief as those who are skeptical are increasing rapidly.

    • 56 Mike in Seattle
      December 8, 2009 at 16:48

      Dan, the idea of Global Cooling was brought about by a single journal article that was quickly rebuffed in the coming months. Why didn’t you read any of the follow up work that was done several decades ago?

    • 57 Bardly Geek
      December 8, 2009 at 19:59

      Uhm, Dan…
      “hunger in Africa” and “starvation” are almost synonyms.
      The vaunted agriculture of the USA runs on fossil fuels… surely finite, and thus not sustainable.
      Don’t be so sure that the ecosystem can sustain even 5 gigapeople.
      That something has lasted 30 (or N) years hardly proves that it is sustainable.

      • 58 Robert
        December 10, 2009 at 05:44

        “The vaunted agriculture of the USA runs on fossil fuels… surely finite, and thus not sustainable.”

        Speaking as an American farmer, it is true that modern agricultural methods are dependent on the petrochemical industries production of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. I farmed organically for a few years and found it to be too labor intensive and the yields were much less. You can’t feed the world with organics. For this reason, it is important to burn less and find more crude oil. The notion that we can somehow stop drilling for oil is childish and irresponsible. American has, in total, the largest reserves of oil on the planet if oil shales, sands, and all offshore resources are considered. The green river shale formation in Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado holds over 2 trillion barrels of oil reserves which, if we focus on agricultural production and the other things we use it for(which is literally everything we in the Western World do) the American agricultural model is sustainable for the long term until we develop ways of producing oil by other means. What makes it unsustainable is foolish people in the USA voting for people who restrict the production of crude oil.

  36. 59 DavidCOG
    December 8, 2009 at 16:17

    steve,

    Your argument is one of the most stupid in the Denier’s copious catalogue of talking points.

    Just because the Earth has warmed and cooled for natural reasons in the past does not mean that humans are incapable of changing the clime now. We have increased atmospheric CO2 by ~40% in the past ~200 years. The planet is responding exactly as expected: it is heating up.

    Before broadcasting your ignorance, try reading some science.

    • 60 D from Indiana
      December 8, 2009 at 17:08

      Where is evidence proving the earth would respond to the increased CO2? Where is the proof that only humans are responsible for the 40%? References please.

  37. 61 Gary Paudler
    December 8, 2009 at 16:27

    There are no credible climate change skeptics. I am a skeptic. I am unwilling to accept a theory or conclusion without informing myself, examining the evidence, understanding the science and understanding the motives of the parties involved. Real scientists are inherent skeptics. There is nobody like that among climate change deniers. Journalists who think that they are being balanced or impartial by giving voice to climate change deniers – and allowing them the mantle of respectability that the name “skeptic” affords – are not being good journalists.
    If 100 doctors tell me that I’ll die unless I have my appendix removed and one car salesman says “aw, don’t worry about it”, should I give the advice of the salesman the same consideration as the doctors?
    The debate is over, has been for decades, the facts are well-known, well-understood, represented by ample, solid evidence and inaction or obstruction makes it more likely that the lives of billions of people, and every other species, will be miserable.

    • 62 John costigane
      December 8, 2009 at 16:54

      There are 31,000 scientists who dispute the climate change scientist grouping. If you follow their comments you will find that many of the supposed certainties of the AGW view are shown to be suspect. After reading these, I find the use of ‘denier’ or ‘vested oil interest’ by you, and your ilk, to be an affront to science, and to truth.

      • 63 Mike in Seattle
        December 8, 2009 at 16:59

        Why haven’t any of those 31,000 “scientists” published a single peer-reviewed paper disproving this whole thing? They seem awfully lazy to me if they can’t be bothered to do their own research to provide evidence behind their points.

        That is of course, if those 31,000 people are actually scientists and not people simply signing an online petition.

      • 64 Gary Paudler
        December 8, 2009 at 17:20

        Who are those 31,000 scientists? Please lead us to a single peer-reviewed paper
        by one of them published in an established scientific journal. I and my ilk would like to know about all credible evidence.

      • 65 Kenn
        December 8, 2009 at 19:47

        I gave you links to some of the papers last time you brought out this ‘peer review’ nonsense argument.

        Did you take the time to read them?

  38. 66 D from Indiana
    December 8, 2009 at 17:03

    If skeptics aren’t allowed to take part in the debate then it wouldn’t be a debate, would it?

    • 67 Gary Paudler
      December 8, 2009 at 17:22

      Precisely D, there are no skeptics, there is no debate. Only deniers and obstruction.

      • 68 Robert
        December 10, 2009 at 05:56

        “Why haven’t any of those 31,000 “scientists” published a single peer-reviewed paper disproving this whole thing? They seem awfully lazy to me if they can’t be bothered to do their own research to provide evidence behind their points.

        That is of course, if those 31,000 people are actually scientists and not people simply signing an online petition.”

        I believe I sent you this link yesterday, Gary.

        http://www.petitionproject.org/

        It goes into fairly good detail on who these people are and their credentials.

  39. 69 Anthony
    December 8, 2009 at 17:04

    Why not? All I’m asking for is some good proof that this is man made. All the things I have read and seen doesn’t seem to add up to man made climate change.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 70 Mike in Seattle
      December 8, 2009 at 18:13

      Have you actually looked for proof? Have you picked up any issues of Science or Nature? Did you glance through the IPCC report? What have you looked at?

  40. 71 Tom K in Mpls
    December 8, 2009 at 17:20

    Everyone involved should have a say. And that is everyone. No matter how this goes, it will hurt some people. The key is to know what is happening, what we can do that will be productive, and what will be least damaging in the short run. With this knowledge we can make a responsible choice. If you look at history, the extremes, both ends, are usually wrong.

    At this point I believe it is best that we keep on trying to save money and build more intelligent new businesses and products. This economic mess may be a great environmental blessing. Waste and excess based businesses are failing the most.

  41. 72 T
    December 8, 2009 at 17:24

    Yes. But ONLY if they can actually carry on a factual debate:
    No screaming heads
    No childish arguments
    And no think tank/corporate talking points.

    In addition, a suggestion for WHYS (and the MSM). If you really want a balanced discussion, please challenge these people when it’s obvious that what they’re saying is blatantly wrong.

  42. December 8, 2009 at 17:25

    The scientist’s most troubling adversary is the “stupid question”. Yes there are plenty of them despite previous reports.

    There is no doubt that humans are causing a warming affect mostly by use of fossil fuels. The law of conservation has been accepted for a couple of hundred years in one form or another. Fossil fuel is stored “potential energy”. Burning it causes heating problem in multiple way. in the Earth’s core it acts as a cooling mechanism. Second we are adding heat to the atmosphere. Third the product produced by burning it adds a thicker blanket to the atmosphere. Therefore, trapping more heat on the Earth’s surface.

    Should “skeptics be allowed to participate in a debate? It depends on the venue. I would ask should democratic candidates be allowed to participate in republican primaries. If a conference of believers want top come together to talk about how they can change public policy to reflect their beliefs, then they should be allowed to do so without the distraction of skeptics. When the policies are debated, it will then be time for debate between the believers and the skeptics. May the best science win?

  43. December 8, 2009 at 17:26

    Ross,

    I do think you give the sceptics too much air time. I have heard at least two programs when they dominated the hour. This is because they want to be heard, but they do not want the scientist to be heard, and I perceive that they are generally rude and interrupt everyone else. Frankly this is not what I would consider a reasonable discussion.

    The globe is warming, but even more deadly to us is the pollution caused by many of our industrial practices and by the gasoline fueled vehicles. I have not heard anything on World have your say about that issue. Many modern illnesses are probably caused by this pollution. The sceptics are very vocal and obviously love to monopolize the conversation.

    World have your say seems to often let the more radical of fthe wall speakers dominate the program under the false belief that this makes good radio. Frankly I have begun to turn off the program when that happens. I would much rather hear a thoughtful and learned discussion of issues.

    Thanks
    Margaret

  44. 75 T
    December 8, 2009 at 17:30

    If you have global warming critics on, please ask them some or all of these questions:

    If it’s not true, then why would all of the scientists who say it is throw away their careers?
    Can you name one “respected scientist” who says it’s a lie who ISN’T getting funding from a corporation?
    If the politicians are in it only for the money, then why aren’t you demanding that they resign? Maybe because you have no proof. That’s why.

  45. 77 Abdi in Mandera Kenya
    December 8, 2009 at 17:32

    The so called “world leaders” in copenhegan are just wasting their time in denmark.They always hold conference that cost million of dollars to find a solution to problems faced by this planet and yet their is no congerete agreement that they will reach

  46. 78 Lynn from Oregon
    December 8, 2009 at 17:34

    Whatever the cause the climate is getting warmer. Our human contribution is the ONLY part we can impact. It makes sense to at least try to implement changes to reduce carbon emissions. Let future generations argue about the details.

  47. 79 Donna
    December 8, 2009 at 17:35

    Yes allow the skeptics. How can you debate without the skeoptics? They bring new thoughts and ideas to the table even if those may not be based on science. We humans have only been keeping records a short time – perhaps this is just a readjustment to our world course I enjoy hearing the skeptics sometimes they make more sense than the so called experts and the science

  48. 80 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    December 8, 2009 at 17:42

    When the glaciers and ice caps are gone and coastal towns and villages round the world are underwater, there will still be sceptics, just as there are still sceptics about the Theory of Evolution, without which Theory the life sciences could not proceed.

    Sure, let the sceptics jaw on, while the rest of us pay attention to the science that proves everyday that the world is warming, and while the rest of us try to do what we can to control our own behaviour and that of our governments to lessen the effect of humankind on this weary old planet.

  49. 81 Tony from Singapura
    December 8, 2009 at 17:44

    Yes – the deniers are both required and welcome.

    I think the media has dumbed the arguments down too much , so the deniers are required to bring back the balance and correct mythes.

    Example of dumbing down is there now are people burning Bio-Fuels (which produce CO2) and thinking they are saving the world.

  50. 82 paul8222
    December 8, 2009 at 17:52

    Sent an email @ inaccessability of blog & bulletins-no reply; however problem sorted now (Q.E.D).

    Of course sceptics must be included (a) it is democratic which BBC reckon they are (b) like extremists e.g. BNP they will only plead martyrdom if excluded – pragmatism.

    Anyway I get slightly cynical about some of the bent assertions of global warming-there is a glacier (I think in Greenland) which is advancing not receeding!

    • 83 Bardly Geek
      December 8, 2009 at 19:43

      A rumor of one glacier? What about the rest of them?
      Advancing while accumulating or just galloping out while losing mass?

      There is one glacier which is building: it’s in the caldera of Mt. St. Helens. It is not very big as glaciers go, and it has well-known reasons for behaving differently.

  51. 84 steve
    December 8, 2009 at 17:56

    @ Tony

    But when people use biofuel, the growing up the biomatter takes up CO2, so they balance out when they burn it off. That’s different than using gasoline, which just emits the CO2 without some sort of compensation other than normal CO2 usage my photosynthesizing plants/algae.

  52. 85 Roseann in Houston
    December 8, 2009 at 17:57

    Let’s compare how BBC treats those who are skeptical about evolution in spite of all the scientific evidence that the world was NOT created in 7 days. Here in the US there are large groups of people who use the same arguments used by the climate change skeptics to refute evolution (no proof, fake science). Over the past year I have heard BBC discuss evolution skeptics many times, and they almost always give the context for the skepticism (non-scientific religious views, contrary to all scientific evidence, etc.) But BBC gives the views of climate change skeptics the same (or more) time and respect as the scientists when it comes to climate change…THAT makes it uneven. Let’s hear from skeptics, but I think BBC has the responsibility to point out the context for them going against all current science.

  53. 86 CC
    December 8, 2009 at 17:58

    Elementary knowledge produces elementary ideas. The skeptic voice is partly the fault of pseudo-science and incomplete knowledge. These people know just enough to participate in the debate but know nothing. It’s an unethical application of scientific data and they are no better than scientists that are paid to get certain findings by big companies.

    One poster wrote that frozen water can’t melt (and therefore the icecaps aren’t melting) but this phenomenon can be explained by a host of things like surface temperature or increased pressure. The skeptic voice should be heard and then shot down logically.

  54. December 8, 2009 at 17:59

    A debate is a debate when facts are presented by both sides to contravene the opposing point of view. So far, I have heard FACTS from scientists and GENERALIZATIONS from naysayers… emotional generalizations designed to cause fear of the facts. Hence there is NO debate, only the impression of one.

    Should we keep the door open to SCIENTISTS who have new EVIDENCE to argue against man as contributor to Global Warming / Climate Change? Sure. We would be stupid if we closed that door. Unfortunately, there are no eminent scientists crossing the threshold with any new evidence.

    By the way, I am a skeptic; it is human nature to be skeptical, hence we all are skeptics. When the majority of humans (skeptics) are won over to accept the facts as presented, it is time for those still skeptical to look over their shoulders and wonder what they have missed and do some soul-searching as to why they have missed it.

  55. 88 Roseann in Houston
    December 8, 2009 at 18:06

    I admit that I did not listen to the whole show yesterday – as soon as Iain Dale said that he objected to the phrase “denier” because it equated him with people who deny the Holocaust, I turned off the show. This is clearly a man who is attempting to fire up people’s emotions with ridiculous statements so that they get caught up in his rhetoric. Any one who trys to draw a line between the slaughter of 6 million Jews and climate change is a FANATIC and should be given no respect. I will listen to a skeptic who can reasonably explain his/her logic, but I will not waste my time listening to someone who is trying to make the word “deny” politically incorrect.
    Skeptics – OK, Fanatics – NO!

  56. 89 Thomas Murray
    December 8, 2009 at 18:11

    Yes. I agree with Ibrahim in UK.

    Speaking as a physicist, it’s manifestly certain that the world has become dangerously overpopulated — the more people, the more we convert our natural resources to energy, the more heat we add to the environment. It’s a law of the universe: Heat acts in only one direction; that is, you can only make things hotter, not colder.

    But I regard global warming deniers the same way I view creationists; Darwin’s theory of natural selection is so evidentially solid that it can stand on it’s own, despite its critics.

    We need skeptics of every stripe, if only to keep the rest of us honest.

    –Louisville, Kentucky, US.

  57. 90 Roger
    December 8, 2009 at 18:17

    Deniers have a long and inglorious history:

    – In 1930, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar thought something he called “black holes” sucked in matter, bending time and space, clearly denying certain “facts” proven beyond doubt by Newton. He was hounded out of England by the scientific community.

    – C.J.Doppler died in disgrace after denying the “incontrovertable” Luminiferous Aether Theory and suggesting an effect on perceived frequency based on relative speed.

    – In 1870, Joseph Lister was sure his data supported the existence of tiny living organisms that caused infection and disease. How preposterous!

    – And don’t forget Galileo. It was the “scientists” who were his greater persecutors than the religious leaders.

    Insistance on the undoubtability of any theory, however widely accepted but unproven, is the definition of super-stition.

    • 91 Mike in Seattle
      December 8, 2009 at 18:29

      This is interesting, but what you forget is that these individuals carefully researched their position and provided copious amounts of evidence to support their claims. This isn’t the case with every skeptic, and it certainly isn’t the case with those who deny that man made global warming is real.

  58. 92 Anthony
    December 8, 2009 at 18:20

    Once again, we (at least me and people that I know) aren’t saying there isn’t climate change, we are disputing the cause. You can’t look at deniers of the change and deniers of the cause as the same.

    -Anthony, LA, CA

    • 93 Mike in Seattle
      December 8, 2009 at 18:28

      Why don’t you post a few peer reviewed papers that support your position? Where is the evidence for your view?

  59. 94 Bert
    December 8, 2009 at 18:23

    It depends whether this summit is supposed to achieve something, or whether it’s just meant to be a pep rally.

    Of COURSE all sides must be represented in the debate. Otherwise, if only the True Believers have a say, the measures that would be imposed globally would very likely end up being completely ineffective.

    Instead of trying to discredit the skeptics, WHYS should be asking itself why it took so long for the other viewpoints to come to light? Why did it take the “leaked emails” from East Anglia University, at the 11th hour, to bring in some sensible discussion?

    Additionally, let’s not mix up the various disagreements. Just because there is serious doubt that reducing man-made CO2 would “cure” global warming does not mean that those representing that point of view also don’t believe that climate change is occurring. Lumping all of the disagreements into one “skeptics” category is not valid.

  60. 95 Elias
    December 8, 2009 at 18:24

    Sure and why not let sceptics take part in the debate after all it is best to hear both sides of the argument with regard to climate change which has become a huge industry employing hundreds of people whose interests are at a stake.
    What bothers me as to the possibility that we are heading towards the destruction of our world simply by the foretelling of the future by the Maya some hundreds of years ago. They predicted our world as we know it would be destroyed on December 12th 2012. They were known to have created a calender that was more precise than the one we use today, combined with the fact they further predicted the time and year of their own destuction by Cortez who came from Spain or Portugal. The Mayas predicted other catastrophies whch came true. It makes me wonder if in fact that they may be right in their prediction of the destruction of our world as we know it today. Fruit for Thought.

  61. 96 steve
    December 8, 2009 at 18:30

    Humans might speed up climate change, but we don’t cause it. Those on the left won’t to label people who think that way as “idiots” and “anti science”, before they try to silence people. How long until it’s illegal to question whether humans are the only cause of climate change?

  62. 98 Mike in Seattle
    December 8, 2009 at 18:37

    I have a question for any guest on today’s WHYS who denies the human cause of global warming: which peer reviewed research and published papers can they cite to back up their view? Which papers counter this view, and how do they reconcile the two?

    I’m tired of rhetoric – if they have such great reasons for being “skeptical”, then they can cite the papers they’ve read and where their analysis comes from. It should be a trivial exercise.

  63. 99 Mr. Kawakubo
    December 8, 2009 at 18:37

    No of course they don’t. There is no debate, the matter has been settled by an overwhelming consensus of science. The framing of this issue as if it were a casual conversation about whether you like chocolate or vanilla ice cream is egregious. This is not an ethical, aesthetic, or moral debate that is up for interpretation, this is an issue of factual science. The average person doesn’t have the acumen to understand the difference, as made evident by many of the comments on this page. One thing is clear, ‘dumb objectivity’ is rampant all over the world and it has infested this show, by even asking the question. You’re basically saying lets teach creationism in school—as if it were a counter scientific argument.

    It could be useful to have a show about the moral or ethical issues involving climate change. And, whether the world is worth saving? Or, whether we have a moral obligation to save the planet? That could be an interesting conversation. But the topic of today’s show is an unsophisticated sensationalized bore.

  64. December 8, 2009 at 18:39

    if global warming is not the direct cause of increased solar radiation, why is the planet mars warming? as of last report there are no martians contributing to warming there. i would guess that the same scientists who are claiming that climate change is caused by man are also proponents of darwin’s crackpot theories which when seen in the light of the cambrian species explosion, have been completely discredited. GOD has created the proper mechanisms to ensure that our planet will survive any activity that man engages in.

  65. 102 gary
    December 8, 2009 at 18:48

    To skeptics and believers alike: Please avoid confusing climate with weather, and of citing incidents of local cooling or warming as evidence against or for global climate alterations. Warming is happening and it does so mostly at night, mostly in winter, and mostly at the poles. It is counter to the direction most paleoclimatologically studies in concert with simple astronomy and insolation studies, suggest we should be moving, so please also do not blame “natural cycles” unless you’ve spent the last few decades reviewing them. I say this in very deepest respect for every respondent (as it applies to me as well): Average humans really do not have as complete a view of climatic reality as does the average migratory water fowl, and sadly the geese aren’t talking.
    g

  66. 104 Tom K in Mpls
    December 8, 2009 at 18:48

    Many here choose to not think about the various skeptic views. I am a skeptic. Many will now assume I don’t believe we are seeing a warming trend that will likely result in serious local climate changes and substantial changes in ocean levels. To a small degree, I doubt the accuracy of historical temperature estimates. To a large degree, I doubt our understanding of what series of events brought about these changes. And I have massive doubts in our ability to understand how the interactions work and therefore to understand what we have caused and what nature can benignly absorb.

    Archeology is full of cases of cities dying or disappearing do to natural causes both violent and subtly relentless. This will continue. There is no right or wrong to this. It is human nature to resist this. But there are no guarantees.

  67. 105 Linda from Italy
    December 8, 2009 at 18:50

    The gainsayers have had a large piece of the floor since the leaked/hacked e-mails hit the headlines, but I do think they are getting more than their fair share and this is now a rather similar situation to the nutty Creationists insisting that the Adam, Eve and the snake story be treated with equal respect as evolutionary theory and even be taught in science lessons. Most of us (I hope) see this lot as a lunatic fringe, but it seems that the global warming flat-earthers are now being afforded too much credibility, not least because of the vested interests involved who are trying to build this into some sort of mega-conspiracy theory.

  68. 106 James
    December 8, 2009 at 18:52

    The refusal to listen to others, is a sign of a week conviction! It is in most of us! We must over come our fear of different opinions! Only then can we really start to learn from others and history?

  69. 107 Roseann in Houston
    December 8, 2009 at 18:52

    To Anthony and those who (as Anthony puts it) aren’t saying there isn’t climate change, but are disputing the cause – let’s assume for just a minute that you are correct, that man isn’t causing global warming. Why would that change anything? Are you saying that man shouldn’t change what is naturally occuring? Are you saying that we should not build damns and divert water to Los Angeles (were you say you live) so that huge populations can flourish in what is naturally an arid climate? That we should let forest fires that were started by lightining (natural causes) in the foot-hills around L.A. burn uncontrolled? That we should not innoculate children against polio and childhood diseases? I could go on, but I think I’ve made my point. We either accept nature’s rule or we don’t – if we stopped messing with nature and let natural diseases and catastrophes take their course we would have a whole lot less people on the planet and we might not have global warming. But since we mess with nature on a daily basis there is no way to separate what we have done to the earth from the changes that are occuring…so we have a responsibility to “mess with” climate change.

  70. 108 steve
    December 8, 2009 at 18:55

    @ Eric

    Well, Mars might be warming because though it’s atmosphere is 1% as dense as earth’s, it’s almost entirely CO2. However, given water vapor is the most plentiful greenhouse gas here on earth..

  71. 109 Billy in Florida
    December 8, 2009 at 19:00

    I would like to start by challenging Mr. Dale’s assertion that the term “denier” is linked to the holocaust. I believe it is perfectly legitimate to call a person a “denier” when they are clearly ignoring the vast majority of evidence. His argument was clearly an attempt to politicize a perfectly appropriate use of a term to make him seem like he is being marginalized unfairly.

    Science is not a public debate, it is the application of carefully studied fact in repeatable experiments built off each other to find an accurate model of natural systems. The vast majority of peer reviewed studies conclusively show drastic changes in climate since the industrial revolution. If a scientist could provide a legitimate, verifiable, and compelling alternative theory it would be given the same consideration as any other theory. However, no evidence by any climate change denier has yet stood up to scientific scrutiny or effectively disproved enough established studies to make a difference in the current model. The model isn’t perfect, but the beauty of science is that it’s constantly attempting to improve these models.

    Deniers continue to take information which they are neither qualified to analyze or trained to understand then distort it to suit their world view. Mr. Dale does have every right to be skeptical but if he does so in the light of overwhelming evidence on the basis he doesn’t understand that evidence, that makes him an idiot not an intellectual. When he has an understanding of weather patterns and has published peer reviewed papers on the subject which support his theory, or can at the very least indicate sources that have, I’ll agree he has a legitimate place in the debate. Proclaiming ignorance like a badge of honor does nothing more than obstruct necessary reform and study to help us deal with the issue.

  72. 110 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    December 8, 2009 at 19:01

    Its a debate alright. Naturally it has always been having more than two sides though there should be two or else it should not be a debate. Its good hear them. Man has a major impact on what we see in the world today. In my lifetime alone, there has been major changes all of which cannot be attributed to nature alone.
    From what I learn there are more skeptic even about the summit on climate change. In some aspects of it, I am a skeptic. I believe that we are not behaving responsibly when it comes to reverse the man made effects and are passing the buck to a small clique of politicians and scientists. I believe all of us should be involved.

  73. 111 Dan
    December 8, 2009 at 19:01

    @Anthony
    Thank You….an island of sanity in a sea of hysteria.
    If there is a cause for what is happening with our global climate are we the cause?, Is it cyclical? What has the lack of Sunspots have to do with it? The Earth’s magnetic field is changing and that may also contribute.

    One thing is absolutely certain and that is the politicians in Copenhagen are emitting more pollution than 20+ nations and they will accomplish nothing.
    Not one politician is a scientist but ALL want to take more of our money to spend and put in their pockets.

  74. 112 Sair in Vancouver
    December 8, 2009 at 19:04

    There are sceptics and there are conspiracy theorists (notably in some of the messages above) BBC WHYS have done a fabulous job of airing the views of the sceptics which is important to allow an unbiased debate about such a crucial topic. You have done well BBC and I hope you continue to give each side a fair say in the future.

  75. 113 Mr. Kawakubo
    December 8, 2009 at 19:04

    The crux of the issue is: the amount of skepticism is not commensurate with reality. Our collective culture has become so obsessed with conspiracy, and so hungry for it, that even issues long ago proven are up for debate in the public forum. The reality is: climate change skeptics (of the science) are not skeptics in the true sense, they are not intellectual skeptics that have an inquisitive philosophical nature, they are not evaluating all areas of life, morals, tradition and culture with the same allegedly open-minded scrutiny. This skepticism is a smokescreen, it is marketing ploy. And, too many of us have fallen into its clutches, as we have seen recently with the vaccine debate.

    It is a game, and now the game has shifted from attacking the science of climate change, to attacking the semantics and structure of what it means to have an intelligent objective debate! They have turned the argument into one of free speech—when it is nothing of the sort. We have all run along with them, thinking they have a point. They have no point! Skeptics can do their thing, they can talk amongst themselves. When climate change skeptics develop a substantial and rigorous scientific theory, then they can actually be said to be debating science. But currently they are kicking up dust with their poorly made shoes.

  76. 115 mers in Oregon
    December 8, 2009 at 19:11

    It is the job of a responsible media (like yourself) to fully disclose the “credentials” of any sceptic (and any advocate for that matter). It is a further obligation to expose any ulterior motives (be it political, financial, or otherwise). In my opinion WHYS does a poor job in fully informing their listening public of the basis on which sceptics declare themselves to be experts.

  77. 116 Kyle
    December 8, 2009 at 19:12

    Galileo was skeptical of the Earth being the center of the universe, so yes, I think everyone should get their say.

  78. 117 D from Indiana
    December 8, 2009 at 19:12

    Even if global warming doesn’t exist, I still think it’s important we use the technology, information and wisdom we have now to change our energy consumption for the future.

  79. 118 Shannon in Ohio
    December 8, 2009 at 19:12

    What I always find striking about many of the sceptics is that they fail to come clean about the fact that their views are religiously motivated. I appreciate the fact that one of your panelists drew the parallel between these climate change deniers and those here in the U.S. who reject evolution.

  80. 119 David / Portland, Oregon USA
    December 8, 2009 at 19:13

    A house in a residential neighborhood is on fire. 100 fire experts who have gathered around the blaze estimate that the temperature of the fire is 2,010 degrees F. There is strong anecdotal evidence to suggest that the fire because the family was deep-frying a turkey in their garage with the door closed. There is a consensus that the fire is dangerous, and that it will surely burn the house down if it is not put out, and that the danger also exists that the fire may spread to other homes nearby, and so it surely must be put out to prevent further damage.

    On the sidelines are five other fire experts. They argue that due to the color of the flames, the fire is possibly just under 2,000 degrees F. They also have “evidence” that no turkey was involved, but that it is possible the family may have put up their Christmas tree early with too many old lights and overloaded the circuit. They note, too, that it there is a strong possibility that no other homes will be damaged, because after all there is no wind, and the nearest house is 25 feet away.

    The 100 fire experts agree that the fire is dangerous and should be put out immediately. The five experts in the minority believe that the danger is exaggerated, and that valuable resources should not be expended to put the fire out, because after all, it will burn out on its own anyway because that is the natural way of things.

    You live in this neighborhood. Who do you suggest we listen to?

  81. 120 Tom D Ford
    December 8, 2009 at 19:13

    ” Iain Dale said all he wanted was to have an open debate.”

    That is one of the tactics of the deniers, to try and reframe the discussion as a “debate”. Science deals in facts, politics deals in debates.

    There is no “debate” about the facts of science, there is only proving or disproving a theory by gathering facts and evidence.

    These Conservative Denialists want to cast “Doubt” and so they try to say there is a “debate” when there is not.

    You can “debate” politically about what to do or not do about climate change.

    Does anyone “debate” that gravity exists?

  82. 121 Jairo Viotto
    December 8, 2009 at 19:14

    Environmetalist talk is strongly related to fanatism, and fanatics do not consider the right of who don’t agree with them to express their opinion.

  83. 122 Charley in Portland, Oregon
    December 8, 2009 at 19:14

    Whether or not we like them, many skeptics have significant political & economic power, especially the “Religious Right” here in the states.

    These people must be engaged in a respectful, but forceful debate; lest they redouble their efforts to resist and sabotage any governmental actions to address climate change.

  84. 123 Lady Jane
    December 8, 2009 at 19:16

    Here’s the problem with the fifty-fifty style of debate scheduling: it appears when two people with diametrically opposed views have a chance to go at one another that both opinions are equally privileged.

    On American television, someone who represents the complete fringe is allowed equal time with someone who has information, science, and common sense on their side.

    There needs to be some way to declare: Person A holds opinions that are backed by the majority, and Person B holds opinions that are backed by 2 or 5 or 10 percent of the population.

    So, for example, when someone righteously decides not to immunize their child because of some bogus science perpetrated over the world wide web, it needs to be stressed that this is a minority opinion–and what’s more, holding such an opinion and withholding immunizations for their child puts the rest of children at risk.

  85. 124 steve
    December 8, 2009 at 19:16

    Didn’t you have a show with a Taliban member, a terrorist, on, and you had a show questioning whether he should have been allowed on? It seems like you have more issue with allowing a skeptic on that with letting a terrorist on.

    Someone who questions whether humans are the sole cause of climate change or less worthy of an opinion than a terrorist member of a group that made women covered head to toe and blew up statues of Bhudda?

  86. December 8, 2009 at 19:19

    I think it’s vitally important that global warming skeptics be allowed onto programs like WHYS. There are many skeptical viewers who won’t tune into your program unless “their side” is represented. If, for every one on-air skeptic, there are one thousand silent skeptics in the listening audience, maybe ten of those thousand might hear both sides of the debate and find themselves seriously considering the merits of the other side for the first time.

  87. 126 Fred in Portland
    December 8, 2009 at 19:20

    It’s not having that having climate change skeptics on is a bad idea, but i’ve yet to hear one skeptic who had any scientific data that proved anything other than climate change. When the best arguments that skeptics can produce are:

    “I don’t understand about climate change”

    “The scientists haven convinced me yet”

    “If it’s cold in the winter can the climate really be changing?”

    It just proves the collective ignorance of skeptics in the arena of climate change. I think it would be amazing to hear from a climate scientist, like one with a PHD in the study of any area or system that affects or records climate on earth who is a skeptic of global warming, because it appears that any reputable scientist that examens the data are convinced that the climate is changing. WHYS and other agencies could take a lesson from anthropology papers where the person interviewing states their biases and funding up front.

  88. 127 Ian from Arizona
    December 8, 2009 at 19:21

    How can you have a debate when everyone agrees? You can’t; it’s just “preaching to the choir”.

    And since when does having a different opinion make someone “ignorant”?

    Perhaps, just perhaps, the “skeptics” are justified in their opinion. Perhaps they have been reviewing the information and are not convinced. Perhaps they don’t blindly believe what they hear and are seeking solid, scientific facts.

    I am still waiting to see any solid, scientific facts that prove that humans are causing global warming, or climate change, and that it is not just a natural process

  89. 128 Mr. Kawakubo
    December 8, 2009 at 19:21

    Gary (BBC guest’s name?) is completely and utterly wrong, when he implies journalists have the simple task of reflecting what is going on externally, and simply reflecting all sides. Journalists have the obligation (if they want to be any good at their job) to seek objective truth irrespective of what debate is going on in a society. Journalists don’t simply repeat or rehash information, they also must evaluate the quality and the reliability of the information and its source.

  90. 129 Bardly Geek
    December 8, 2009 at 19:22

    It is imperative that skepticism be considered.
    A skeptic might put forward an alternate hypothesis and experimental data falsifies one or both hypotheses.
    That is how science progresses.
    However, that does not mean that the process should be done in the public forum.
    Given the general lack of scientific interest and ability of the public,
    it is far better to primarily report hypotheses which are have not been shown to be false.

    It is reasonable to ignore some voices.

  91. 130 Rhett
    December 8, 2009 at 19:23

    Does anybody ‘deserve’ to be covered in the media? Climate scientists are published and otherwise presented by the media because they have an immense body of work and decades of hard data to back up their theory. Skeptics have made no scientific argument and have nothing that stands up to review. They have their place in discussion but it’s not on par with a scientific argument. Skeptics haven’t earned their airtime.

  92. December 8, 2009 at 19:23

    The question is whether “skeptics” should be given voice. Of course! That is what science is about. You continue to argue that deniers should be given voice. There is a huge difference! A denier will stand with water up to his or her chin and deny the rising water. A skeptic is a person that has been told the water is rising and they start measuring to see if this is true because it’s difficult to believe.
    Deniers should NOT be given voice as if they were skeptics. The only reason they are important is to warn the real skeptics that there are lunatics out there.

  93. 132 Jacob Harris
    December 8, 2009 at 19:23

    Yes, they should be marginalized and removed from the debate.
    We don’t give other pseudo-scientific nonsense like eugenics or phrenology a place at the podium because they have no basis in reality and at their worst are socially corrosive.
    The same is done with not giving media air-time to ultra-right and ultra-left wing groups in political debates in most countries.
    Just of any of these schools of thought or political movements represent a danger to another group of people, or in some cases whole nations, we should not allow the global warming skeptics to have a mainstream voice because they threaten humanity as a whole.

  94. 133 Tom D Ford
    December 8, 2009 at 19:24

    The thing is, you don’t put on skeptical scientists, you put on politically ideological skepticals and the politicals are not qualified or knowledgeable to talk about the science.

    Political ideology has to do with belief systems, not science. Science deals in facts, ideologues deal in fantasies.

    I”d welcome actual scientists discussing why they disagree.

    I’d welcome political ideologues discussing why they disagree.

    But the two just don’t mix.

  95. 134 Billy in Florida
    December 8, 2009 at 19:24

    Hi Ross,

    I am still listening and I do believe they have a place in the debate provided they provide EVIDENCE. The problem I have right now is these deniers are NOT scientists and do not actually debate. Debate needs rules and fact in order to provide any kind of effective resolution. The deniers come in with suppositions they want disproved which is not how science work. Ignorance should not be given the same regard as knowledge and that is what the current coverage is providing. I just want to see expert opinion being distinguished from some guy named Fred in the pub saying he doesn’t get it.

  96. 135 Eric (san francisco / KALW)
    December 8, 2009 at 19:25

    We have people who are ‘Skeptics” of vaccines. We still have people denying that HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. We have folks that deny that the Holocaust killed about 6 million Jews.
    One peer reviews paper say there is no “climate change”?

  97. 136 Mohamed
    December 8, 2009 at 19:27

    I am from Maldives, and there isn’t any other nation that is currently getting affected by the climate change issue more prominently than our small nation.

    Therefore giving more weight to the type of people who tries to stifle efforts to reduce the effects that are being observed because of the fact that THEY ARE NOT SURE IT IS A PROBLEM doesnt have any practical answers to the question my people are facing.

    May be the skeptics can come back to the debate when they have got enough scientific evidence to show that nothing is changing and or that this heating is good for the world population and humans at large.

    Be practical – it will get you more good than ideology.

    We cant afford to let the debate go on!

  98. 137 Mike in Seattle
    December 8, 2009 at 19:27

    Look, I’m all for skeptics airing their views, they simply must be held to the same standards of evidence and experience and qualifications that everyone else is held to.

    Why should I listen to someone discuss the problems of computer modeling when they have no training in the mathematics and computer science required to construct and analyze them in the first place?

    Also, we need to separate the science and policy discussions. Just because one doesn’t like a potential policy doesn’t mean the science is wrong.

  99. 139 Thadius Kernmantel
    December 8, 2009 at 19:27

    Overwhelmingly science has demonstrated that global warming is happening and it is caused by humans. There is no real debate among scientists. If half of the population is skeptical about global warming, the blame is partially due to scientists not doing a good job of educating the public.

    That said, when you have a show with one scientist and one skeptic, it grossly favors the skeptic simply because listeners think that half the scientists believe in global warming, half do not. This is akin to the intelligent design/ evolution debate in the US. Many people think that the concept of evolution is a hotly debated topic among biologists. It’s not. In fact it’s not debated at all by scientists. Same goes for global warming.

  100. 140 Frank
    December 8, 2009 at 19:28

    I don’t think it matters whether humans are responsible for climate change or not, or if climate change exists. The economy is rife with “externalities” – the unnacounted-for impacts on the ecology and environment that escape our price system. For example the production of honey by beekeepers results in a positive externality of pollinated flowers, whereas paper mills result in the negative externality of river pollution – both fail to be included in pricing of the end product. For this reason the economy would be improved by regulating the ecology anyway – and the world would be better off. Even if we ignore these factors, human control of the ecosystem is a reasonable, arbitrary social goal. After all, it makes as much sense as starting wars or sending men to the moon.

  101. 141 steve
    December 8, 2009 at 19:29

    While they’re at it, why don’t they try to stop plate tectonic too, so there are no more earthquakes or vulcanoes? I think it’s VERY arrogant to think that humans could be the only cause of a changing climate, especially when you ignore the history of earth’s geology which shows so much evidence of switching from hot to cold without any humans even existing.

  102. December 8, 2009 at 19:29

    You have to consider that the discussion about climate change does not only take place on the BBC’s programme, but also on all the other media companies, that makes the topic to appear tiring and repetitive.
    Secondly I’d like to comment on the role of sceptics in this debate. As a broadcasting station you have to be impartial, that also means to talk to sceptics.
    And actually this is a balancing act, because on the one hand you have to take care on the one hand that you don’t deny climate change or make your audience to deny, but on the other hand as a journalist you also have to include those sceptics in discussions or debates. In my opinion so far the BBC did quite well in manhandling this purpose.

  103. December 8, 2009 at 19:30

    The idea that climate change “skeptics” are a minority opinion is unfortunately naive.
    Many so called skeptics, or rather deniers are often part of large special interest groups who have been profiting for decades on the current behaviors that are generally considered to cause climate change.
    Too often the news media, including the BBC do not describe these denier/skeptics as the special interest group they are. Who do they represent?
    The deniers need to be shown in context. Who pays their bills and what, specifically is their agenda?
    It’s not necessarily just a point of giving voice to all sides. People need to be informed of who the voice is they are listening to.
    Thank you,
    Christopher

  104. 145 steve
    December 8, 2009 at 19:31

    @ Eric

    You cannnot compare vaccines, HIV and climate change to a historical event.

    People who question vaccines are concerned with the mercury preservative use in them. Are you going to say with a straight face that mercury can be anything but bad for you?

  105. 146 Joshua Standig
    December 8, 2009 at 19:32

    The perceived “debate” over whether human activities are leading to global warming, has largely been fabricated by some major oil companies, using the template formerly used by tobacco companies to create confusion and “debate” over whether cigarettes cause cancer…
    abetted by some of the very same ad agencies who were employed to create that self-serving, specious “debate” over that other scientifically well-established health crisis.

  106. 147 Able to Think for Myself
    December 8, 2009 at 19:33

    World Have Your Say: the program where the misogynists, fascists, fundamentalists and anti-science haters of the world can be guaranteed they will be heard shouting down the world’s rationalists.

    Of course climate change deniers will always have a place in the “debate” on your show, because your producers consistently prefer ARGUMENTS to FACTS.

    Climate change deniers don’t need facts. Your show intentionally eschews facts. You consistently avoid statistics, studies, experts, or anyone else who actually knows what they are talking about.

    I cannot wait for the day when the BBC finally cancels your program. Please, please, please, BBC, think of something better to broadcast than this mindless tripe.

  107. December 8, 2009 at 19:35

    Why even ask the question? If you have an open forum, anyone with access will submit an opinion.

    Instead, why not be rigorous about who you invite to participate. Skeptics seem to suggest the models are inconsistent, deniers rant that the facts are just not facts. Generally, neither specify the models or data they disagree with. Bring on well informed scientists and policy makers who can cite studies, explain how the the models work, and why there are variations in models.

  108. 149 Bert
    December 8, 2009 at 19:35

    I keep hearing “we need to take action.” WHAT action? That’s the point.

    For example, do reduce human-generated CO2 expecting THAT action to solve global warming, or do we take measures such as builkding seawalls where they are needed?

    Reducing CO2 emissions is great, and I think we should do that regardless (to a reasonable extent), but WILL NOT change the climate. Our contribution to daily CO2 exchange is tiny. That’s why it’s important to KNOW what you’re doing. Instead of just taking action without clear direction.

    • 150 Bert
      December 8, 2009 at 19:41

      Or here is another way to look at it.

      IF you spend all your efforts reducing CO2, and it turns out NOT to affect global warming at all, the Maldives will end up underwtare anyway. So how about addressing that problem?

      Again, I too agree that limiting CO2 is a good idea regardless. But images of melting glaciers will continue to occur. So “taking action” should mean taking the CORRECT action.

      • 151 Kevin PE
        December 8, 2009 at 21:43

        Bert, yours is the voice of reason in a truly noisy tin drum. I really wonder if the masses understand what is required other than repeating over and over “we must reduce CO2 levels”

  109. 152 Alexander in Portland, OR
    December 8, 2009 at 19:35

    Science is based on the idea that nothing is certain until proven wrong. There MUST be a rigorous movement to prove the idea of man-made climate change as false. Without such a movement, the whole foundation of science is lost. Consensus does not imply conclusion.

    Einstein found a flaw in Newton’s theory several hundred years after his ideas were published. What gives these so called “science advocates” the courage to say there can be no debate?

  110. 153 Dan
    December 8, 2009 at 19:36

    @Mohamed
    Even if this debate ended today there is nothing that will happen immediatly…..NOTHING.
    This is not like turning a light switch off and if we are able to tamper with the climate who knows what other ills we will create.

  111. 154 David / Portland, Oregon USA
    December 8, 2009 at 19:36

    I realize that my house on fire analogy goes to the merits of the global warming argument, not the nature of the argument itself and whether skeptics should get equal time, whatever that means.

    What we’re seeing happen here is the residual intellectual fallout of old school journalistic conceptions about telling “both sides” of the story, which assumes all sorts of foolish things: That there are only two sides of a story, and that both sides have equal merit, etc. It ignores the complexities of life, of reality. Reactionary political forces, particularly in the United States, have (perhaps unconsciously) have latched onto this conception and are are attempting to do two things: To elevate religious ideas into the realm of science (thus, creationism must be discussed along with evolution) and to remove the science from global warming so that it becomes more of “fair and balanced” contest. Not all debates are created equal. In terms of the revelation of truth and fact, not all debates are the same. The media need to understand that, and act accordingly and thoughtfully.

  112. 155 Matthew in Texas
    December 8, 2009 at 19:36

    The debate has been taking place for the last 30 years! The current “skeptics” are simply keeping an obstructive foot in the door to keep the rest of the world from progressing. The debate has been had… let’s progress finally!!!

    MATTHEW – TEXAS

  113. 156 Chad in New York
    December 8, 2009 at 19:37

    Journalism is not simply an airing of views. It is the reporting of facts – or is it just an opinion that men landed on the moon? Just because the climate change skeptics are well funded and noisy is no reason to take them any more seriously than you would Holocaust deniers or believers in a flat earth.

  114. 157 atbean
    December 8, 2009 at 19:37

    I am looking at a shocking National Geographic map of ice that was polar bear habitat and fishing grounds. It is gone.

    If the skeptics have actual legitimate scientific data to share about what to do about the visible situation we are in right now, then by all means, include them in the debate.

    I would like to hear more discussions about the visible signs of climate change and what those effects are, and what we should do about them. Saying “pro climate change” vs. “skepics” is about egos and people, when a proper debate about climate change would be about facts.

  115. 158 Josh
    December 8, 2009 at 19:37

    First: I believe that global warming is real.
    Second: a majority of scientist agree that global warming is real, and that the cause of it is human activity. A majority of scientist used to believe that the atom was indivisible, and were wrong. We cannot leave any stone unturned, so all debate and input must be taken seriously.

  116. 159 Gene in Oregon
    December 8, 2009 at 19:37

    Thabo Mbeki denied the link between HIV/AIDS and poverty in South Africa. As I recall the media didn’t stand genteely by and allow for endless debate about settled knowledge on the impact of disease. What’s the difference with climate change skeptics?

  117. 160 Arian
    December 8, 2009 at 19:37

    Of course sceptics must be heard, especially as this is a fundamental right of the individual and a vital part of democracy. Furthermore, scepticism and its voice will urge scientists and the field of science on the whole to strive forward for answers, making the evidence, hopefully in favour of the argument that climate change is happening, become more and more viable and evident. We must include and not exclude in order to stimulate and develop debate, research and climate change solutions as effective as possible. The debate must be a lively one and not become stagnant!

  118. 161 Tom D Ford
    December 8, 2009 at 19:39

    Comparing Human Caused Climate Change Denialists to Holocaust Deniers is completely appropriate because if the worst case Climate Change scenario is allowed to happen the effects will make the Holocaust look like a comparatively small thing.

  119. 162 Joern
    December 8, 2009 at 19:39

    I want skeptics to understand:
    It does not even matter if global warming is man-made.
    The effects will be devastating. If it´s man-made or not.
    So we have to minimize global warming

  120. December 8, 2009 at 19:39

    It seems incredible to me that it’s under discussion wether or not a part of the society should be allowed to participate in a public debate.
    For me it’s far from being proved that climate change is mainly caused by co2 emissions, and I don’t think this makes me guilty of anything.
    We have come to a point where people think that co2 is harmful for people, and forgetting that co2 is a main part in photosynthesis. They confuse “co2” with “co” because all of the “climate movement” is blaming co2 to incredible levels forgetting, for example that co2 is invisible.
    I miss more arguments and less scaremongering
    Regards. Jaime

  121. 164 Maria from Oakland
    December 8, 2009 at 19:39

    We would all most benefit from informed debate about any issues- that means all who come to the table have done their homework about the topic at hand, so the conversation results in greater information for the public good.

  122. 165 Andrea Dancer
    December 8, 2009 at 19:40

    A Vancouverite (Canada) in Prague wades in…Of course minorities have a right to air their views, regarding how contentious, but to say any radio or a similar media is “without an agenda” is to also deny a healthy scepticism.

    Who ends up on, how questions are framed such as the term “sceptic”, and even the question on the blog — Do they “deserve”…is loaded. Yes, journalism needs a deep rigor about how they are framing and furthering debates, a more careful consideration of how levels of complexity are brought out.

    Debate doesn’t happen in a vacum. I simply don’t hear enough from scientists on both sides of the multi-sided issue evolving in people’s understanding of climate change.

    But I appreciate your opening the door…

  123. 166 T
    December 8, 2009 at 19:40

    Memo to WHYS: I think you’re misunderstanding when some listeners complain about global warming skeptics.

    They’re not saying censor these people. Instead, they’re saying please show some balance in the presentation. If a skeptic says it’s not real, why can’t Ros (or whoever) follow up on that:

    Why do you say it’s not real?
    What proof do you have that it’s not real?
    Are you a trained scientist in this? If not, then what facts do you have to make a statement like that?

    And THAT’s not being done enough.

    • 167 Alexandra Myers
      December 8, 2009 at 20:15

      That I agree with, wow, yes, because if a scientist says something they are expected to give the name of a study! which has been rigorously done, whereas “skeptics” (who really just don’t want to lose the right to drive their car 5 blocks down the street, & unfortunately are just not sufficiently evolved or educated to know better) are allowed free rein! I would like All news outlets to respond to this idea, I will try to get that out more myself.

  124. 168 John
    December 8, 2009 at 19:40

    Unreal.

    the vast majority of the so-called skeptics have no basis for an opinion; they aren’t scientists and cannot site reasonable research to support their assertions – in fact, they don’t bother, since the BBC and others give them a platform to stand on anyway.

    And all of us should be concerned about those who assert that poluting the world is a good idea; they are fighting for the right to pump poison into the air, and then to assert that it’s not harmful.

    Unreal.

    John
    Cleveland

  125. 169 A.J.
    December 8, 2009 at 19:40

    The opinions of climate change skeptics or deniers should be given as much weight and taken as seriously as are those who have strong religious beliefs. Most religion is based on folklore and stories passed down over ages. Very little, if any verifiable facts exist as proof. In order for the opinions of the skeptics to have any value, just as in the debate over evolution, the science of global warming must be either ignored or it’s validity lessened. Yes, their opinions should be heard and then given as much consideration as creationism or intelligent design are in the evolution debate. Science trumps all stories and conjecture.

  126. 170 Gilbert of Corvallis
    December 8, 2009 at 19:41

    Its quite disingenuous to squelch debate on the subject of anthropogenic global warming for decades and then claim that there are no responsible informed opponents. How many scientists will risk their careers even trying to get their papers published in a peer reviewed publication? If forums like WHYS fail to sponsor responsible debate, you can guess where the debate will take place.

    Gilbert of Corvallis (Oregon, USA)

  127. 171 Brian
    December 8, 2009 at 19:42

    Having a “debate” about whether climate change is real or not is like having a “debate” about whether or not smoking is unhealthy. There will always be economically and politically motivated actors who are committed to denying well-validated science–often, debates on these topics inherently give disproportionate weight to these disingenuous or overly-skeptical critics.

    It will be exciting when the conversation shifts to how humanity is working to normalize the climate.

  128. 172 Heather
    December 8, 2009 at 19:43

    Climate change is not so much a scientific debate it is a debate about what action to take. Part of the problem is that no one, especially in a developed country, are willing to change their lifestyle, (make less money, have fewer things) for the good of the whole world.

  129. 173 Irene Heitsch
    December 8, 2009 at 19:45

    Yes, people can pick and choose what they read on the internet. They pick and choose what they want to hear and they want to hear that there is no global warming and they can keep on pigging out on natural resources and they don’t have to use their brains and they don’t have to show any respect for those who do use their brains..

  130. 174 Tom K in Mpls
    December 8, 2009 at 19:45

    One clear advantage with internet news, is you can easily follow up any point you wish. It is possible to go beyond the clips other services provide. The others do provide a starting point.

  131. 175 Mr. Kawakubo
    December 8, 2009 at 19:45

    Paddy doesn’t seem to understand the complex argument you just presented him with. He didn’t answer the question, or even grasp the question. That was made clear from his response. He doesn’t understand that truth stands alone, and separate from just reporting both sides. That there is objective truth, and that is the end goal of journalism regardless of what either side says. I am terribly disappointed if that is the BBC’s stand. Is this the official policy of the BBC? To just report sides equally—without striving for intellectual objectivity?

  132. December 8, 2009 at 19:46

    The skeptics’ arguments are senseless. If they are wrong, the consequences will be dire. Even if right, we need to reduce hydrocarbon use anyway for numerous other reasons, and the alternative energy revolution is forging ahead to produce a cleaner environment and entire new industries for economic growth. What’s the point of arguing?

  133. 177 Stanley Grenz
    December 8, 2009 at 19:46

    If you were told by the pilot that the airplane you were about to get on had a 90 per cent chance of crashing before the flight was finished would you get on it.? I think very few would and yet we dismiss the 90 percent figure as not relevant when it comes to climate change

  134. 178 Bob Fulton
    December 8, 2009 at 19:46

    For years people have been concerned with global warming or global cooling and what we can do about it, but no one can accurately predict tomorrows weather. It is important to include sceptic in this debate otherwise we will never no if we are simply subcoming to our own paranoia.
    In a system that as complex as global weather for anyone to limit the debate is unwise. Only a fool stand on a mountain top and claims absolute certainty.

  135. 179 atbean
    December 8, 2009 at 19:47

    I think that images speak infinitely louder than words. People in the US sat up and paid attention when a little boy was trapped in a weather balloon because the air waves were filled with the story.

    I wish the media would flood the screen with drowning polar bears and starving farmers and inuits– even though they aren’t personally affecting us, these are human interest stories that would keep us in rapt attention if more people knew about them. They happen to also be issues that are relevant to us as indicators of problems that will be affecting us all in the future.

    • 180 Alexandra Myers
      December 8, 2009 at 20:11

      I agree it is a big problem that these things are not being covered, it makes them seem like they aren’t happening when they’re not covered!!

  136. 181 Dan
    December 8, 2009 at 19:47

    Ros,
    Your guests made 2 improper statements:
    1. “There are many truths”
    There is only ONE truth but thyere are many opinions
    2. “Science is never 100% certain”
    The TRUTH is that Science must by definition be 100% certain otherwise it is not science.

    • 182 Tom K in Mpls
      December 8, 2009 at 19:55

      Truth is based on personal perspective. There are many truths. Facts are provable issues. There are many related facts.

    • 183 atbean
      December 8, 2009 at 19:55

      The core of scientific research is having an open mind about your experiment and recognizing that your results may be able to be reinterpreted in different ways. Science is about the perpetual search for evidence, but nothing is ever 100% proven. Even gravity is not considered 100% true, because science always leaves room for debate.

      That is what makes science more credible than pundits, in my opinion.

    • 184 patti in cape coral
      December 8, 2009 at 19:58

      Hi Dan – I can’t remember exactly what my daughter said because it was a difficult concept for me to grasp, but science is not at all by definition 100% certain, ever.

    • 185 Bardly Geek
      December 8, 2009 at 20:19

      @Dan: …”Science must by definition be 100% certain”…
      No, it doesn’t.
      Science deals with uncertainty.
      We call our best ideas theories, always keeping open the possibility that there is a flaw in the theory.
      The most certain idea you can find in science is that a given hypothesis is false: the data falsified it.

  137. 186 John in Salem
    December 8, 2009 at 19:48

    Hold on a second, Paddy.
    Are you saying that if this were 1960 and the issue of radioactive fallout had proportional numbers of scientists warning about the dangers of fallout and sceptics claiming it was beneficial, you wouldn’t take a side? Not even if you weren’t letting your own child drink milk with Strontium 90 in it?

  138. 187 Brad
    December 8, 2009 at 19:48

    OF COURSE they should be part of the debate! If your ideas cannot stand the light of day then they do not deserve to be believed.

    ALSO many people believe in climate change, but think the world ending apocolypse based on the East Anglia lies are NOT TRUE and will not happen. Thus the real debate is whether we are in danger in ten years or 200 years and it is important that we be right about that.

  139. 188 steve
    December 8, 2009 at 19:48

    I’m curious, how did the various guests get to their destinations? The guest in Prague is either from South Africa or Canada, I forget which. Did he fly there? Was that worth the CO2 released, or when Al Gore flies around in his private jet to warn people about global warming?

    How much greenhouse gasses were released for you to get to your location, especially the people going to Copenhagen?

  140. 189 Evan (Oregon, USA)
    December 8, 2009 at 19:49

    We can debate whether or not the climate is changing until the cows come home. But as usual, I think we are missing the point. Every day we pump billions of tons of pollution into the air, the water and the ground. Whether or not all this stuff causes the climate to change, we know it’s bad for us and we know it’s bad for the planet. We call it pollution for a reason. Regardless of the temperature outside, we MUST reduce pollution in all forms if we want ourselves and our planet to remain healthy.

  141. 190 Brad
    December 8, 2009 at 19:51

    Brian-

    PLEASE! There is a huge debate about hopw fast we are in danger, and whether other drivers will come in faster and thus the “problem” is either much smaller than advertised, or even irrelevant.

    How did that consensus around global cooling work out in ’70’s? The coming ice age was in my text books as a kid!!!!

    http://www.forbes.com/2009/12/03/climate-science-gore-intelligent-technology-sutton.html

  142. 191 Douglas Patton
    December 8, 2009 at 19:51

    I think the real problem is we are only hearing from the extreme point of view on this issue. These kinds of programs only show the rabid opponents and the foaming at the mouth proponents of the theory of climate change.

    Where are the middle of the road points of view? Where are the people who are skeptical of the scare tactics of both arguments?

    Of course they aren’t in the media because they aren’t controversial enough to provide us with infotainment.

  143. 192 Chintan in Houston
    December 8, 2009 at 19:52

    Ros,
    Climate change is not a social issue. It’s a scientific issue. In social issues the minorities are the oppressed ones and their voices need to be heard.
    If most scientists do not believe in UFO’s the media does not let the people who believe in UFO’s a stage to sell their views.
    Similarly in the topic of climate change there are overwhelmingly large number of scientists that believe in global warming hence the media is actually hurting the right cause pursued by these scientists by giving voice to the naysayers which allows them to sell their propaganda.

  144. 193 Tom D Ford
    December 8, 2009 at 19:52

    What we need are scientists like Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman who were very good scientific explainers. They could explain in everyday terms and language what all the higher mathematics and physics meant.

    Even the skeptical scientists need good explainers.

    Most regular non-scientistific people just fade their brains out when anyone even mentions science and math, and the Denialists take advantage of that.

  145. 194 Eric (san francisco / KALW)
    December 8, 2009 at 19:53

    your denialist guest (1) rudely interrupts your other guests and (2) claims that people are shunning the media for the internet. The internet is THE home of crank opinions on everything.

  146. 195 Getnet
    December 8, 2009 at 19:55

    Scientific debate should always be welcome. And what happened to dissenting scientists (at the University of East Anglia) cannot be condoned. But the overwhelming agreement among scientists that human action is responsible for much of global warming should be listened to and we should not waste more time before taking meaningful action. This dissent of a small minority of detractors reminds one of the case of the previous South African President, Mbeki, when he was vacillating about action on AIDS doubting the overwhelming scientific evidence of its causes. Yes, skeptics should be part of the debate, they have the right, but action to them but do not get astray.

  147. 196 Ms. Hill
    December 8, 2009 at 19:55

    “Weather” we believe in climate change or not, there is a very real change going on in our climate. We can all agree that most of the changes are due to things we are doing to our planet. We are using up our resources natural and man-made at an alarming rate. People are going hungry, thirsty, etc. We need to change our habits. There will always be people who disagree for the right side or the bad side. Let’s wake up humans we need to do some changing for humanity.

  148. 197 Judy in Seattle
    December 8, 2009 at 19:58

    To compare global warming skeptics to the Holocaust deniers is offensive at best. the comment did not warrant air time.

    • 198 Alexandra Myers
      December 8, 2009 at 20:09

      Climate deniers get air-time & people are dying because of it, & will continue to for some time even if we make big changes fast, which we likely won’t, & it will be a much bigger Holocaust than any we’ve ever seen. Why is that future worth defending?

  149. 199 Frank
    December 8, 2009 at 19:59

    In economic terms, everything unrelugated that is somehow affected by our actions is an ‘externality.’ The climate change “debate” is really just about to what extent and how exactly we should regulate the ecology. Regulation means that this cannot be anything else but decisions on what should be taxed, what should receive government subsidy, and how institutions should be established or empowered to manage these things.

  150. 200 jens
    December 8, 2009 at 20:03

    the sweet irony is the sad fact that the maldives will be washed over of we decide to reduce CO2 by what ever means or not, since the current levels can not be reversed for about 100 years. so instead of fixating about the levels we might want to start discussing how we deal with consequences.

  151. 201 Donald
    December 8, 2009 at 20:03

    A lot of the problem with “skeptics” and the global warming debate is the difficulty of defining what they are skeptical ABOUT. Al Gore in his film and talks focuses on the skeptics who doubted whether there was any global climate change happening at all – the so called “deniers”, who are more easily marked at very right wing, promoted by the oil and coal companies, but nobody seems to focus on the other MUCH MORE PLAUSIBLE (in my opinion) position, which does not disagree with the observation that there is some sort of climate change occurring, but they are skeptics about the cause, and its future effects – two VERY important issues.
    Blaming man-made CO2 for climate change, and predicting disaster for life on this planet as a result of observed climate change are two very plausible positions. And yes, there ARE years of data in place to take those positions – as the historical data CAN be EQUALLY validly interpreted to reach those conclusions. What we are arguing about is the understanding of the total complexity of understanding the worlds weather. And anybody who has relied totally on a weather “forecast” knows, this is NOT an exact science, yet people who blame man made CO2 for climate change are claiming to forecast weather not days in advance, but in some cases, over a hundred years! Get real!

    I say follow the money – it is the nuclear industry that stands to benefit most from blaming CO2 for climate change, and a true skeptic should be very wary of any so called scientific studies from scientists linked to big-physics, and nuclear related research institutes. But if you did that, the majority of the research, and certainly practically all the earliest papers purporting to link man-made CO2 to climate change would be regarded as doubtful.

  152. 202 Alexandra Myers
    December 8, 2009 at 20:04

    Opinions should be at least be referred to & represented by their numbers because this is such an important issue for those for whom humanity has no better explanation for the terrible things that are happening to them & why should skeptics be more represented than them. Those who are suffering the most don’t have telephones do they?

    So, for the question posed by the show – as to how they should conduct their coverage, the biggest thing BBC has to do on the one hand is to be continued to allowed to exist – as the vested interests in denying the imminent climate Holocaust (it will be more than equal to the one that happened to 6 million!!) are more violent & aggressive than those who don’t desire to live this way, & I wonder, or I doubt, that purveyors of the truth would be allowed to exist if they took sides. While the time is not now to argue, they do have to remain impartial to opinions. But, they do not have to remain impartial to suffering, or that the bulk of educated people (I hope) know what is very very likely going on, & I would strongly advocate BBC & all other news outlets that can to do their best (& I mean best) to represent the telephone-less voices.

    If anyone thinks Westerners deserve a louder voice they should be sent to the Maldives or Bangladesh for a real dose of reality. I think it should be a civic responsiblity to be informed, but our world is still so corrupt & Neanderthal it just isn’t on yet.

  153. 203 patti in cape coral
    December 8, 2009 at 20:04

    It has been said that the majority of climate change skeptics are evangelical christians? Is this true? That’s strange to me considering the bible charges christians to be good stewards and responsible for God’s creation. Even if they don’t care about the future of humanity, shouldn’t the earth they believe God made be sacred and worth taking the trouble to care for?

  154. 204 Donald
    December 8, 2009 at 20:07

    whoops meant to say – And yes, there ARE years of data in place to take those positions – as the historical data CAN be EQUALLY validly interpreted to reach THE OPPOSITE of those conclusions.

    And I could have added that it is very hard to separate cause and effect from historical data alone. To see the difference, true science insists on an experiment to prove the causal link where we change something in the equation, but becuase we are talking about the whole world weather here, such an experiment is very likely practically impossible, So we are stuck with making a value judgement, not a scientific one…..

  155. 205 viola
    December 8, 2009 at 20:08

    Should skeptics be permitted to be in the discussion. Well, Duh! Of course they should. People have to be convinced and they won’t be if dissent is stifled. If action must be taken, it will be regardless of how people feel about it. Guess who would get the maddest if action wasn’t taken and they suffered the consequences? Then the argument would be: “you should have convinced me. You should have protected me.”

    The conspiracists may have it right. Climate change narrative is being used to nudge (or bludgeon?) people into accepting the lower standard of living that will be the almost certain result of the “orderly transition to a non-carbon based economy.”

  156. 206 Alan
    December 8, 2009 at 20:16

    On climate change or any other subject, responsible journalist have an obligation to distinguish between informed and uninformed opinion, between expert and amateur opinion.

    In most policy debates, where issues are complex, journalists need to report the distribution of informed or expert opinion on a subject. In science that expert opinion is expressed through peer-reviewed research, which the IPCC summarizes conscientiously.

    In many policy debates, uninformed or amateur opinion (e.g. the angry person on the street) deserves a voice and should be reported. But it should be identified and not confused with informed or expert opinion.

    Journalists always need to ask and report the basis of both concurring and dissenting opinions. If someone claims to be an expert, they need to be able to point to the basis of their opinions.

    Multiplication of uninformed opinion (by journalists, lobbyists, or mobs) does not make it expert, merely louder.

    Being informed rather than louder should win both coverage and debates.

  157. 207 Seth
    December 8, 2009 at 20:19

    The conversation is missing one salient point. Those who seek to discredit climate change (whether it is happening, or whether it is man made, etc.), are taking advantage of the mainstream media. They know that the media wants to present a two-sided argument, so they provide the “other side.”

    It doesn’t matter if their facts or opinions are invalid – all they need to do is encourage the position that there is a debate where none exists, and the media will do the rest for them.

    I deeply believe in free speech, and would not seek to silence anyone’s opinion. However, in this case it is the climate scientists who *we* appoint to make conclusions about global warming and its effects (we contribute to their education and fund their research). It is their opinion that matters.

    If the media wants to present a debate, they should bring in two groups who are equally qualified to have the debate.

  158. 208 jens
    December 8, 2009 at 20:33

    it is not denail which is the issue here. i personaly do not believe that we humans are soley resposnsible. yes we contribute, that is certainly the case. the issue is that the globe is warming and it ultimatly does not matter who is more or less responsible.

    what matters is how we deal with it. any other discussion is just talk about a fact that is happening, without addressing how to deal with it

  159. 209 Dan
    December 8, 2009 at 20:51

    Ros,
    Obviously I am a skeptic but this was a good show. Thanks!!!

  160. 210 Admiral Akbar
    December 8, 2009 at 21:59

    No! Absolutely not! The debate over global warming is to be reserved only for the properly trained apparatchiks of the European Socialist Welfare state.

    Only individuals like Obama’s science adviser and global warming alarmist John Holdren, who in his 1977 book titled “Ecoscience: Population, Resources, and Environment. (San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company, 1977) declared:

    “Such a comprehensive Plenetary Regime could control the development, administration, conservation, and distribution of all natural resources, renewable or nonrenewable…not only in the atmosphere and oceans, but in such freshwater bodies as rivers and lakes…The Regime might also be a logical central agency for regulating all international trade…The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits…the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits. (p. 943.)”

    should be allowed to these conferences. Because clearly, the sceptics don’t know what they’re talking about.

    So hop in your limouisines, eat your caviar wedges, and let’s hope that Hopenhagen 2009 will save the world!

  161. 211 T
    December 8, 2009 at 23:14

    Working and listening to radio online. And I figured it out!

    How come so many people are global warming skeptics? It’s all an act. They’re putting out talking points to try and discourage lots of people from acting on it. Meanwhile in Europe, the carbon trading commodity market is the #1 market.

    Which means that while these skeptics love to have a go at the “greedy” politicians, they’re the ones who are greedy.

    That’s global capitalism for ya.

  162. 212 Amber
    December 8, 2009 at 23:24

    I think that regardless of whether you believe in climate change/global warming or not, everyone needs to be taking steps to treat our earth and other living beings better. Humans are so much about waste, everyone should be able to see that this sort of lifestyle isn’t doing any good for anyone (except those who stand to make a profit off of excess waste!)

  163. 213 Tom D Ford
    December 9, 2009 at 01:32

    I am reminded that before Oil was discovered, whales were nearly hunted to extinction for their Oil. That changed the life in the oceans. Now we have a sort of analogy in that we have nearly hunted and burned Oil to extinction, to the detriment of humans and other life on the entire planet.

  164. December 9, 2009 at 01:50

    Yes, skeptics should be given a chance to present their views. We should think about the points they say too. But at the end of the day, truth is truth & it should be given more importance than the views of sceptics.
    Dr. Krishna Kumari Challa

  165. December 9, 2009 at 04:11

    The issue of climate change is affecting directly or indirectly everyone (living and non-living things) on this mother earth. In order to come to one accord in finding durable solutions to these issues, it is important to allow every one have their say. We are in the free word where we have got to listine to everyone. Most important of all, if we are serious about the resolution of the problems driving climate change, we have got to adobt some ideas of reciprocity. This means, we have to discuss with the climate change sceptics and come to one accord as to how do we work for sustainable solution.

  166. 216 archibald
    December 9, 2009 at 05:58

    It is like inviting atv riders to a forest and beach conservation summit. All people who deny the impact of human beings on the climate and environment are only seeking to rationalize and selfishly justify their gluttonous tendencies toward overuse and consumption just for the sake of the luxuries they do not want to give up. Crying about a lower standard of living is designed to rile those who ignorantly pursue that carrot the wealthy have always dangled in their faces, the promise of a better standard of living, with hard work and giving up ones life for the greater capitalist machine, success.
    There will be no future for anyones standard of living if we do not change our wasteful habits and embrace total conservation of our dying world.

  167. 217 martha
    December 9, 2009 at 07:02

    Including sputtering bloggers like your Dan is not to have a debate with skeptics but merely to pander to angry populist and conspiracist rage, looking for any target to oppose “elites.” Skepticism is not enraged denialism based on gut feelings,; rather to deserve the name, it is an informed dissenting opinion by someone up to date in the appropriate fields of inquiry,
    It speaks poorly for the BBC’s judgment, I am afraid, to give ranters more than passing mention. And I am always appalled when I tune in to the World Service to hear that absolutely inconsequential US version of a back bencher, Southern California’s right-wing Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher, whom you have given air time to very very often over the years but who, outside of his benighted bailiwick in Orange County, is never paid the least attention. On this occasion he literally ranted and raged against science and scientists who have bad news to bring us.
    The BBC should not abdicate its role to investigate and report on the best in rational and informed opinion, on this and the very few other issues of critical importance to our planetary well-being, despite your increasing trend toward sensationalism.
    Your admirers expect no less of you (though it is virtually never to be found in your rah-rah business coverage!)

  168. 218 Pablo Velarde
    December 9, 2009 at 07:46

    I can´t believe this is being debated in the BBC of all places:
    Freedom of speech was once resumed in a sentence: ” I may hate whatever you´re saying but i´ll do whatever´s necessary for you to have the right to say it freely”.
    I don´t like climate change denyiers nor his arguments.
    I don´t like apocaliptic enviromental preachers,
    i don´t like religious zealots,
    I don´t like….. millions of opinions differents to mine but denying anyone the right to intervene in a debate is the first step to totalitarian thinking

    • December 9, 2009 at 15:10

      Pablo,

      Should members of a drug cartel be allowed to participate in the debate and creation of drug laws? They have opinions and rights to free speech right? The meeting in Copenhagen is not being held for debate over the whether it is real or not. This is the “what to do about it” phase.

      Imagine you have to take your 3 yr old to the doctors. you spent 10 minutes explaining where you were going and why. It is 45 min away. How long would it take to get there if every time your child was allowed to stop you and ask the same tired questions all over again. “why are we going to the doctors? I don’t want to get a shot.”

      It is tiresome to keep stopping to answer, “How do I know that negative climate change is drastically influenced by humans? I don’t want to give up fossil fuels.”

  169. 220 Kevin PE
    December 9, 2009 at 09:01

    The time for climate debate is over. As one of your guest scientists pointed out – the Copenhagen Conference is not about whether climate change is happening, but what are we going to do about it? I assume the majority of scientists attending the conference are climatologists or related. Their input will be to convince the politicians to act now. However this is where I begin to have reservations; with respect to their expertise in climate, can these scientists advise on what technologies to follow? Surely the baton must now be passed to the Engineering, Physics, energy and electrical experts. The globe applauds their (climatologists) invaluable contribution, but unfortunately the focus and much needed funding must now be diverted to the above technological disciplines with the science of climatology now a monitoring function as the research is pretty much wrapped up. The next conference I expect will comprise mostly of Physicists and Engineers and hopefully we can expect some exciting new innovations pretty soon as much needed funding begins to shift to these fields.

  170. December 9, 2009 at 14:46

    I love the argument from people who say “well, it’s going to happen, we have already affected the climate. why should we bother to stop. Humans aren’t the only reason.” Let us say you’re stuck in your house, it’s on fire. The fire department shows up. Do you want them to say, “oh well, it is already on fire. No point in putting it out now. ” An age old adage goes something like, “if you find yourself stuck in a whole, the first thing you need to do is stop digging.” The next step is to try and figure your way out. But you will never get to step 2 if you don’t stop digging.

    With intellect like that I am always amazed we have made it this far in evolution.

  171. December 9, 2009 at 21:23

    I have no objection to a serious scientific debate on causation. I have very strong anger when WHYS puts up a couple of slick and snide people arguing against global warming to talk down to a couple of low key, diffident, people who know the facts.

    The history of the world’s coming into an ice age or going out of one involve very small changes per year or per century. When agriculture was invented, some 12000 years ago (opinions vary), Earth was much colder. Temperatures rose very rapidly until around 10,000 years ago and then evened out. Temperatures went a little colder around the time of Christ, and got much warmer around 1000 to 1200. There was something called the “Little Ice Age” around 1600, but there is some argument about whether all areas of Earth were cooled or whether there was some roaming pattern of hot and cold spots that made whole areas such as Europe suffer together but may not have bothered other areas at the same time. The recent rate of ascent of temperatures makes it look as though we may be heading for a level of global heat that has not been seen since around 140,000 years ago. The argument from most scientists is that the increase in greenhouse gasses is enough to account for the rise in temperatures. The failures of their models have been on the side of being too conservative.

    Even if extraterrestrials are beaming a cosmic heat ray at Earth, should we be doing things to exacerbate the problem? Or should we be doing everything possible to keep Earth livable? Those who deny global heating remind me all too much of the smokers who deny that tobacco smoke is a potent carcinogen.

    Let’s have debates between qualified individuals who can act like adults, not sarcastic talk show “entertainment” loud mouths.

  172. 223 miss minx
    February 25, 2010 at 12:19

    Great blog! lots of interesting comments and debates going on as well – climate change is happening, and for those who don’t believe, it’s ignorance – the ‘selfish gene’ takes over.

    check out this blog if you’re interested in this
    http://ecohustler.co.uk/2010/02/13/climate-sceptic-you-do-the-maths/


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