Because we will never get to evidence-based policy if we can’t agree on evidence-based science.
Last week’s program on the ABC, ‘I can change your mind about climate’ was a brave but flawed attempt to get to consensus. Young Anna Rose was marvelous, polite, restrained, and charming. Old Nick Minchin was less gracious at some points, and seemed to fall back on economic arguments whenever the data were particularly convincing.
But just because he believes (and so do I) that action to mitigate, much less slow, climate change will be hugely difficult, disruptive and expensive, that doesn’t change the physics.
Once again I turn to the trusty and conservative Economist magazine, which provides these charts for simplistic interpretation:
One of the misstatements that surfaced early in the TV doco was that the oceans haven’t warmed. But all the data shows they have. Look a bit further on the link above, and you will see that the importance of the oceans as carbon sinks and the value of the damage climate change might do to the world’s oceans is a ‘2 trillion dollar question’.
We dither while the time bomb ticks. Queensland will be extremely vulnerable from at least two perspectives: when the CO2 hits the atmospheric fan the coastal costs alone will be devastating, and when coal becomes valueless and that one basket full of black eggs spills many will find themselves singing Mammy like a minstrel with black soot on their faces.