I have been hard on climate-change skeptics on this blog, as I think is entirely appropriate — most of them have a political ax to grind, and if they want to grind it they should just grind it, without distorting science in the process.
Those of us who would like to see a broad shift toward sustainability should also be wary of trying to use climate science as a magic wand to get what we want. While the basic fact of anthropogenic climate change is fairly well established, there remains considerable uncertainty about the how much’s and the when’s and the why’s. I don’t doubt that CO2 plays a big part, but I must confess I’m a bit suspicious of the notion that simply modulating this one variable gives us reliable control over something as extraordinarily complex as climate. I suspect as time goes on the real story will turn out to be much more complicated.
On that note, I would (with some reservations) recommend this post by Philip Stott. I disagree with Stott about
a lot of most things, but his cautionary note about the difficulty of separating science from the predilections and preoccupations of the current cultural zeitgeist is well taken.
(Via Jon Christensen)