Tagged: climate change

Debunking Lord Monckton

In our last newsletter, we reported on a meeting where our guest speaker, Prof. John Midwinter, had spoken about climate change. The report mentioned the arch-sceptic, Christopher Monckton, who travels around the world, rubbishing the science behind climate change. Thanks to American science blogger, P Z Myers, we’ve found a lecture online by Prof. John Abraham that exposes all the fallacies in Monckton’s arguments. Please refer anyone who doubts that climate change is our responsibility to it.

Click here for the lecture as a series of You Tube videos.

Something that climate change sceptics might understand

If you watched BBC Four’s Storyville, Meet the Climate Sceptics, last week, you may have been exasperated by the arguments put forward by leading climate change deniers Lord Christopher Monckton and Telegraph columnist James Delingpole. Monckton has been to the USA and Australia to talk to the climate change deniers on TV and at public meetings, where he’s been received with huge enthusiasm. Delingpole has also been to the USA, where he’s appeared on right-wing TV host Glenn Beck’s programme, rubbishing the science behind climate change. His scientific ignorance, as displayed on another BBC Four programme recently, Horizon – Science Under Attack, doesn’t inhibit him. He had the cheek to argue with Nobel prizewinner Sir Paul Nurse, President of The Royal Society, that he was wrong about climate change. These two ignoramuses, and others like them, attract a lot of attention in climate change sceptic circles because neither they nor their audiences understand the science of climate change, and they don’t want to understand it. Unfortunately, scientific ignorance is widespread, even among those who’d like to believe that the sceptics are wrong. For many, it’s just too difficult. This is why a video by US high school science teacher Greg Craven is so clever. You don’t need to understand the science. Craven offers a simpler argument about acceptable risk; which is the greater risk, economic damage or global disaster? Watch his YouTube video, and make up your own mind.

What climate change will mean to Suffolk

1953 floodAs world leaders meet in Copenhagen to try to make a deal to prevent further global warming, why should East Anglians be concerned? Because what happened in 1953 could happen again.

In 1953 I lived on the North West coast of England, and I didn’t hear about the floods in East Anglia. I didn’t hear of them for several years after I moved here, until I became a funeral celebrant. Then I heard stories from people who were affected by the North Sea surge. 307 people were drowned, some as they slept. Hundreds of animals were lost.

In 1953, communications weren’t as good as today. The first story I heard about the flood was about a man whose parents had a small general store on the Tendring peninsula coast. He heard that there was a danger of flooding and phoned them to tell them to move onto higher ground. Thinking that they had plenty of time, they started moving their stock onto the highest shelves, and were caught by the rising water before they could escape. When their son arrived, a day or so later, he found them both lying face down in the water, drowned. He never recovered from the shock, his wife said, and was terrified of water for the rest of his life. At his funeral, some of his colleagues said they’d never understood, until then, why he wouldn’t go swimming.

Philosophy, fish, and other matters

A quick trawl through the Internet for the weekend, to keep the little grey cells going. Firstly, Dr Stephen Law, a member of the BHA’s Humanist Philosophers, has a blog that’s worth reading. Among other things, he asks, “Does the concept of an intelligent designer make sense?’ We know the answer, but for anyone who doesn’t, here’s something to consider:

… when we suppose that the spatio-temporal universe was created by some sort of agent, we are presumably supposing it was designed by a non-temporal agent – an agent that does not (or at least did not then) exist in time. For there was not yet any time for the agent to exist in. But if desires are psychological states with temporal duration, how, then, could this agent possess the desire to create the universe? And how did it perform the act of creation if there was not yet any time in which actions might be performed? It is hard to see how talk of a non-temporal agent makes any more sense than talk of a non-spatial mountain.

The NSS’s Keith Porteous Wood comments about the Church of England’s determination to keep their bishops in the House of Lords on the NSS website:

Their presence in the House of Lords is unsupportable in a country where less than half of the people do not belong to Christianity, far less, the Church of England. The UK is the only Western democracy that has clerics in its parliament as of right. These clerics are all men, they are unrepresentative and, despite their claims, they have no special insight or universally accepted morality to bring to the debate.