Well, that seems to have got a lot of attention.
Amazing, how our supposedly tolerant and liberal society reacts to the issue of climate change in quite a scary way. It seems that some people believe that they are so right that no one else is entitled to an opinion or question a view. That is not healthy for open and honest debate.
Given that the global warming or is it climate change prevention activities are costing all of us a lot of money and indeed costing the public purse a lot of money it is only right that the subject is debated.
I have had lots of support for raising the question, far more than I expected. Many are experts, some are industrialists but most are ordinary people who feel frustrated that questioning climate change is so difficult.
Interestingly, the common message from this group is a reflection on how fed up they are with the climate change lobby. They are fed up with views being forced on everyone and using it as a trump card card without thought to cost or impact. There is also great concern about the intolerant approach taken.
There have also been lots of comments horrified that I have had the audacity to even mention it, given I am not a scientist. Well, if we only listened to experts and dead certain scientific “facts” a lot of mistakes would have been made as it seems some “facts” stop being “facts” when new “facts” come along. The fact that opinion is split and views so polarised indicates to me that a more rational debate is required.
We need to take into account the wider implications of climate change prevention measures. What is the cost to business both in regulation and as a distraction? What is the impact of the additional tax on fuel poverty? Is this making us increasingly uncompetitive on the world stage? Tax and regulation are never friends of business. Surely, turning to dealing with climate change, should it happen and for what ever reason, makes more sense.
In my travels around the world poor people are usually focused on survival rather than some vague concept of saving the human race. Having enjoyed the fruits of the industrial revolution are we really saying others should not catch up?
Some say we should lead by example. This might make us feel better but is likely to have very little affect of behaviour elsewhere. What will happen is costs will be kept low in China, India and Brazil whilst we inflict cost on our own companies. If our economy does not thrive then there will be no money for R and D to help mitigate and adapt to climate change, if it happens.
I fully support carbon reduction technology and implementation. It saves money and means we don’t run out of energy. But ……….. That is very different from the concept of “saving the planet” which should really be “saving the human race” as I am sure the planet will survive what ever happens. If we were to focus on saving money and preserving resources that is a much easier message and deals with a real problem we face right now.
So what can I deduce from my blog post and responses?
1. Some of the responses I have received have confirmed my hypothesis that any debate on climate change produces an hysterical response, often rude, definitely overbearing and disproportionate.
2. My personal blog is effective at stimulating debate. Special thanks to the Lib Dems and Labour for promoting my blog.
3. Journalists use my blog and turn entries into lead stories in newspapers. Excellent. Can I claim a fee perhaps? Over 27 pages of comment so far. Is that a record? Can’t wait to blog about our adult social care funding issues that I hope will generate just as impressive a response.
4. Opinion is divided on the subject. I have no idea what the future holds in terms of climate change and I am no clearer having listened to both sides. This means who ever is right is failing to engage effectively with the general public and business in particular. The tactic seems to be to try to shut down any debate or flood the argument with so many ” facts” that no one can see the wood for the trees ( I like that green analogy).
5. People can be very unpleasant. I had one email from Dr H who claims me raising the issue is ” redolent of the third reich”. Interesting but scary logic. Question something and you become a Nazi??? How enlightened and I believe he is an academic.
6. My blog hit rates have shot up. Fantastic. Don’t forget to read some of the other articles, in particular about the false claims the Lib Dems regularly make.
7. People who don’t usually speak out have made there views known both for and against since I raised the subject. If just one more voice is heard as a result that is great, if people can be heard through me that is fantastic.
8. The overbearing views expressed has changed my thinking. From just wanting to mildly tweak the tails of the green lobby to stimulate debate my views are hardening. Reflecting on the bullying and hypersensitive attitude I am now wondering what is being hidden. I want to think a little more about this but maybe some digging is required on who is funded by whom and for what reason.
9. It has got me thinking about how we elected politicians can better help groups that don’t get heard easily. Obviously, one idea could be to preface important subjects with ” climate change”. I might try ” climate change – the affects of funding reductions on adult social care”. More work required on this I guess.