Brian Fallow’s ludicrous doubts

The NZ Herald today carries Brian Fallow’s lament over a gap that’s arisen “between what the new Government is saying and what it is doing, with respect to the select committee review of the emissions trading scheme.

He says that National believes that an ETS is the way to go, but the scheme has “some design flaws” and that’s fair enough. But look, he says, at the terms of reference for the select committee!

It is the Act Party’s wish list “verbatim“, except for what he describes as “the ludicrous suggestion that the committee hear competing views on the science.”

Why is it ludicrous, Brian?

Why should a journalist trained in objectivity assert that checking the facts is ludicrous? You yourself do that every day, it’s what your profession depends on. If facts are as they were assumed to be, or were last seen to be, then nothing would be lost by a review; but if they are not, then a review will save us from unnecessary action and expense—it may even prevent action that would exacerbate the problem. But, in fact, there is good reason for a review right now, because observations and numerous recent peer-reviewed papers cast a lot of doubt on the hypothesis that man’s activities are dangerously warming the climate.

The primary contrary observation is that the atmosphere is not warming. It has shown no tendency to warm for nearly ten years and today’s global temperature anomaly is about what it was in early 1983—25 years ago. This fact can easily be seen in the UAH graph of global temperature anomalies since 1979. The dangerous AGW theory requires the air to warm, so the absence of warming for so long makes it impossible for many scientists to accept the theory.

It is in no sense ludicrous to check the facts under these conditions. It doesn’t matter how many people around the world have accepted the theory, or how great or good they are; if our own eyes and ears detect contrary evidence, then the theory is disproved—that’s the supreme power of observation. So don’t beat us with the “so you’re smarter than the Royal Society/National Association of Scientists/Nobel Prize Committee” cudgel; for, if not smarter, we are at least more observant and we are not among the deniers of climate facts.

But, more importantly for your journalism, it is disturbing that a senior journalist fails to offer any explanation for mocking the sensible suggestion to hear competing claims on the science. You ought to have explained and should yet explain just why it is ludicrous.

Or else shame on you.

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