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Showing posts from January, 2012

Climate Scepticism & Public Policy

A preface – I am no scientist.  I intend to write here about a social phenomenon, not a scientific one, though there is an obvious scientific assumption underlying it.  I’m not going to try to justify that position because I don’t have the time, will or most importantly the knowledge.  Even if you don’t accept it, I think my observations are interesting enough to be worth running with my assumptions for a little while.
It should be clear that there is a scientific consensus on global warming.  Consensus, of course, doesn’t mean that every scientist agrees on the subject.  It certainly doesn’t mean that belief is absolutely or indisputably true.  But it carries some weight nevertheless.
That weight is carried because scientific consensus is about as close to truth as we can possibly get on a whole range of issues, and is the only truth-offering mechanism that has any value for the purposes of policy-making, given the severe limitations of that sphere.  Scientific consensus has been enoug…

Not-Romney 2.0

It’s official.  The all-important New Hampshire primary has been followed by what Stephen Colbert called “the all-important-er South Carolina primary” and Newt Gingrich has blown away any hope that the front-runner might actually get out in front and leave us alone until election-time-proper.
The received wisdom for most the pre-pre-election-race-race was that Mitt Romney, establishment candidate and (reviled) moderate, would ultimately shrug off a series of Not-Romney candidates and come through the primaries a clear winner of the candidacy.  That remained the received wisdom for a good two weeks into the actual pre-election-race-race until two things happened – a rich casino owner chipped in a lot of money to fund attacks on Romney’s erm, wealth, and a moderator chose to open a debate with the story of the day about Gingrich’s infidelity.  The ads seem to have been successful, Gingrich hammered John King for even thinking about the question, and the rest is history.  So after Rick Pe…