There are a few things I don’t understand about these rabid climate change sceptics that are tearing apart the Liberal party at the moment.
1. Why the Earth is Flat
Forget the science, forget the sceptics, forget the climate change evangelists, forget the climate cliques, cables and secret societies. The whole debate boils down to a very simple idea.
Remember 20 years ago when there were people around who were still a little sceptical about the dangers of smoking. Back then I would say to smokers, “Breathing in smoke is never going to be good for you.” All the science of the anti-smoking lobby did is prove what any person with half a brain could have figured out for themselves.
The climate change debate is exactly the same. Is cutting down half the Earth’s rainforest going to be good for the environment or bad? Is paving over a surprisingly large percentage of the Earth’s surface going to be good or bad? Digging up coal and sucking oil out of the ground and burning it is going to affect the environment, no?
There is such a thing as natural climate change, but to suggest that humans do not have any meaningful impact? Well you better start smoking because cigarettes do not cause cancer. You haven’t seen proof that the earth is round, better start believing it is flat – just to be safe.
2. Who’s your sceptic?
It continues to amaze me the impact that green house sceptics have. It seems to me that most of them are geologists who at one time or other worked for the coal or oil industry. Scientists are sceptical by nature; they have to be as they are continually having to come up with new ways of testing each other’s theories.
A theory is only valid if it can stand up to testing and experiment. In this scientific world it is very difficult if not impossible for a lie or mistake to go undetected for long. It is only after a theory has been tested by multiple individual scientists and universities that anybody outside that world ever hears of it.
The theory of man-made global warming has undergone more testing than any other theory you can think of. It is different from many other theories in that it is difficult to perform experiments on, as we don’t have more than one Earth. Instead scientists use increasingly detailed simulations. They are also able to find ways of looking into the Earth’s past, such as analysing gases trapped in Antarctic ice for thousands of years.
The average person isn’t going to understand the intricate detail of the science. We are not scientists, but we can come up with thought experiments like mine above to figure it out. We can also choose to believe science. You believe in science every day when you drive your car or use your computer. Science is more than a group of nerdy men and women, it is a system that has given us amazing things. In this world it is really the only thing we can trust.
What these liberal rebels don’t understand, is that if you don’t know you should defer to an expert, preferably an expert whose work has been backed up by other experts.
3. It All Comes Down To Warcraft
I think that the many Australian politicians who are sceptical of climate change believe that it doesn’t really matter if they are wrong, because Australia only releases 1% of the world’s greenhouse gases. This assertion appears correct when you first look at it, but under analysis it is quickly proved false. Consider this example:
A few years ago my brother and I were playing World of Warcraft. WoW was all about killing monsters. Some monsters are so big they require cooperation to beat them. For the biggest monsters 40 players would need to gather together and form a raid group. Every player would need to do as much damage as magically possible to bring down the boss.
One day my guild was completing the dungeon Molten Core. We had one more monster to kill his name was Ragnaros. We were all there ready to kill the monster, but one guy’s mum wants him to go walk the dog – now or else. So 39 of us start killing the monster and we are succeeding. We get him down to 50% health and after a bit longer 9%. At this stage people start dying and the amount of damage that the group can deal plunges down. The numbers tick down slower and slower. Finally we get to 1% and the last one of us dies.
What this example shows us is that: everybody needs to do their bit. If every other country that only releases 1% emissions also decided to do nothing – that really would matter.
4. Did John Howard Complain?
I don’t understand how the Liberal rebels are unable to follow what the majority of their party has decided. I’m not sure if they fully respect democratic tradition. The majority decide on a course of action and those in the minority have to respect it -without resorting to drastic measures. When John Howard was in charge there was no way in hell that this would have been allowed to happen. When Howard lost his seat he respected what his electorate had decided and he never complained.
The rebels are also going against what the majority of Australians want. They seem to think they know better. Or they are playing some strange political game that involves tearing apart the party they were elected to represent.
RIP Liberal party
I am not the biggest fan of the Liberal party, but I will feel sad if it does die. Australians don’t like it when political parties are unable to contain internal disagreement – look at the Democrats.
One of the things that makes Australia such a good place would have to be its political stability. I believe the two-party system plays a big part in this even if it pisses us off sometimes. One thing I am just itching to see is the polls – although it isn’t difficult to predict which way the Liberal party will have gone.
Maybe a new party will form led by Tony Abbott. It doesn’t take a climate change scientist to figure out what that party should be called…