Tuesday, December 11, 2007
UNPUBLISHED HERALD LETTER
"First let me acknowledge that in his letter about alleged warming, Paul Shaw (letter Weds) confirms the need for new nuclear power. Certainly nuclear is the only practical method of producing electricity with minimum CO2 (less than windmills) & is therefore a touchstone between those self styled "environmentalists" who secretly don't believe in their catastrophic warming claims & those who honestly do. It is obviously impossible to truly be both against warming & against the only practical alternative. The fact that we are shortly going to lose 50% of our generating capacity & new nuclear could replace it at half the price of conventional power need not, from the Green point of view, be a consideration.
Once again Mr Shaw has put forcefully his case that catastrophic warming is currently happening declaring that "their is no doubt" & that it is "indisputable", but also once again failing to produce any actual evidence except for about 27 glaciers worldwide expanding. Mr Starbuck, in similar vein says to doubt it is "absurd" & that I am "in denial" but again can produce no actual evidence of warming matching even the medieval warming. Well, I am afraid I can doubt it & I do dispute it & statements from the "great & good" firmly ensconced in government are not convincing. Actual evidence of serious warming would be. The fact remains that temperature has fallen since 1998, which itself was a high point cooler than the previous high point of 1934.
The only evidence Mr Shaw produced is of 27 shrinking glaciers worldwide. If he cares to check www.icegenow.com (http://www.iceagenow.com/List_of_Expanding_Glaciers.htm) he will find a more substantial list of growing ones.
Mr Starbuck reels off a long list of catastrophes to be expected real soon now (melting sea ice, though it floats; tipping points, which by definition must, if they existed, be beyond the temperature we have historically experienced; methane from permafrost, which as Chris Parton has already pointed out survived the previous Holocene warming & 7 million years before that; as did Greenland's ice sheet) while Mr Shaw lists "peak oil" though he should be aware that improved technology has made the Canadian tar sands, equivalent to a whole new Saudi Arabia, accessible at $20 a barrel. It is exactly this sort of technological progress which is the real hope of the human race not ending growth & retreating into medievalism as Greens (of all parties) wish. As Frank Notestein (1902-1983) once pointed out "we've been running out of oil since I was a boy" & indeed the earliest warnings of peak oil were in the 1850s. I'm afraid I must regard all these prophecies as being among the "hobgoblins" the Luddites wish to frighten us with."