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First sceptical argument

First Sceptical Argument.  The scientists are divided on the issue.  There are large numbers of them trying to alarm us about global warming because they want to attract grants and funding.


Answer. It is true that the scientists are divided, but only in the sense that 100 can be divided into 75 and 25. The sceptics quote scientists who support them and lists of names sound impressive, but these are always in fact quite a small minority.  Against this, we must put the 2,500 working for the International Panel on Climate Change at which Melanie Phillips scoffs so much.  The sceptics have been officially condemned not only by the I.P.C.C. but by the Royal Society, The American National Academy of Sciences, The Tyndall Centre, The Hadley Centre for Climate Research, The American Geophysical Union and virtually every other official scientific body in the world.  The Royal Society rebuts all the major arguments put forward by the sceptics on its website.  It is often said that academics talk up the climate problem because it gets them funds and jobs.  Of course, academics obviously want to get funding if they can.  But what evidence is there that they are deliberately exaggerating the climate issue in order to get hold of more money?  Are they really such scoundrels? Are we really to believe that members of the Royal Society, and the climate experts at the Tyndall Centre and the Hadley Centre, are so unprincipled as to distort their scientific findings to their own financial advantage?   What there is, though, is evidence that some climate sceptics are being funded by oil companies, if they happen to agree with the point of view that oil companies would like to promote.  The Royal Society has taken the unusual step of writing to Exxon Mobil and asking them to stop doing it.


We are in the position of a householder who is visited by ten fire officers, nine of whom tell him that there is a grave danger that he and his wife and children will be burnt to death one night unless he takes steps to fireproof his house, and a tenth who tells him not to bother, because the other nine are only scaremongering so that they can keep their jobs.  Surely it is the height of folly to believe the tenth and not the nine?   Surely we should think very carefully indeed before believing Melanie Phillips and Christopher Booker and Nigel Lawson, and not the overwhelming majority of climate scientists.


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