Monday, 30 November 2009

Climategate – Who is being Stupid?

I have been watching the debate over the so-called “climategate” with close interest. Scientists have been caught cooking the climate data. The exchanges that have followed have been highly emotional and often vitriolic. Youtube has a range of videos produced by people taking great delight in presenting climate change as an elaborate hoax.

The same people delighting in the mistakes made by the scientists were active recently opposing wind turbines. They now see their position of opposition vindicated, but who is being stupid?

I listened to a wind protester at a public meeting recently and the argument was based on the health hazards of wind turbines. The protester spoke about wind turbine syndrome. He pointed out that there was no proof that the condition existed but, on the precautionary principle, wind turbines should not be erected anywhere near human habitation. These same people are now gleefully jumping onto the mistakes made by a few scientists, citing this as a reason not to make efforts to make the changes in society required to reduce carbon emissions. Where is the precautionary principle now?

Human society is putting the ecosystem at risk of major damage. The only solid incontrovertible evidence will be when we are living in the consequences. Climategate has exposed the human instinct to live for today, despite evidence (some of which is now tainted) that there is a need for fundamental change to protect our future.

The scientists at fault should resign and play no further part in the IPCC, but it is the people who claim that climate change is a hoax who are being stupid.

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