Dopey Book Review of the Day

Actually it’s from last week, but where else would it be than the New York Times?  From Wen Stephenson’s review of Mark Hertsgaard’s Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth:

The American social context too often remains the largest obstacle, Hertsgaard observes, not only to adaptation at home but to cutting emissions globally. It’s not clear how to change this, but an honest, urgent, grown-up national conversation — beginning in Washington — would be a start.

When someone of the Left urges a “national conversation” they don’t really mean a two-way discussion of an issue.  What they want is a show trial where they dictate the ground rules and then deliver a lecture that their opponents must only agree with.

Well, as a AGW skeptic (or a “denialist” to use the Left’s term) here are my questions that should be answered in this “honest, urgent, grown-up national conversation”:

  • Are temperatures across the globe increasing?  What are the measurement methods used and are they robust and reliable?  Are the data open to all?
  • If global temperatures are increasing, are they within or outside historical variations?  How are those historical variations measured?
  • If global temperatures are increasing, what dangers and what benefits might result?
  • If global temperatures are increasing, what are all the possible explanations – natural, astronomical and anthropogenic – and to what extent to these contribute?
  • If global temperatures are increasing, will the increase continue linearly, exponentially or are there natural corrective mechanisms that will moderate the increase?
  • If global temperatures are increasing, is it better to adapt to it or act to try to correct it?
  • What is the ideal temperature we should want the planet to be?
  • If there are corrective changes to be made, what are they, who will be affected and to what extent?
  • If, after we undertake corrective changes, global temperatures continue to increase, what would that say about the original AGW hypothesis?

Of course, none of that will come up in our “honest, urgent, grown-up national conversation.”  The narrative has already been written:

  • Global temperatures are increasing!
  • Mankind is responsible!  Well, not all mankind.  Not those poor Third Worlders, nor China or India.
  • The West is responsible!  Well, not the Europeans; they’ve issued bold memoranda and held heroic meetings on the problem.
  • The Americans are responsible!  Well, not all of them; after all, the Left has made sympathetic noises about the problem and we wouldn’t want to deny them their trips to exotic locales to discuss it.
  • Then it’s Republicans that are responsible!  Yes, that’s it!  Republicans!
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