May 31, 2009

Skeptics From Around the Globe


Dr Peter Ridd Lecturer / Ph.D. School of Mathematics, Physics and I.T., James Cook University

"Those of you who watched the ABC’s presentation of The Great Global Warming Swindle might not have been convinced by the arguments challenging the conventional wisdom that carbon dioxide is responsible for global warming. However, it should be apparent that scientists and politicians such as Al Gore, who have been telling us that the science is unquestionable on this issue, have been stretching the truth. It seems that there are some good reasons to believe that we may have been swindled.....

....So why have we been swindled into believing this almost pristine system is just about to roll over and die when it shows so few signs of stress. There are many reasons and processes that have caused this and some of them are the same as why we should all be more than a little sceptical about the hypothesis that CO2 is causing global warming.

The first reason is that there is some very bad science around. Second, a mainly biological oriented scientific community seems to take little heed of the geological history of corals. Third, we have many organisations and scientists that rely for funding on there being a problem with the GBR. Most grant applications on the GBR will mention at some stage that a motivation for the work is the threat to which it is exposed. I confess that I do this in all my applications - it’s the way the game works.

Why does a scientist and environmentalist such as myself worry about a little exaggeration about the reef. Surely it’s better to be safe than sorry. To a certain extent it is, however, the scientist in me worries about the credibility of science and scientists. We cannot afford to cry wolf too often or our credibility will fall to that of used car salesmen and estate agents - if it is not there already. The environmentalist in me worries about the misdirection of scarce resources if we concentrate on “saving” a system such as the GBR. Better we concentrate on weeds and overpopulation and other genuine problems...."


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