Political Answers on Climate Change

  • Current global warming is an existential crisis. This is questionable on a number of points, but one of the core arguments depends on very high estimates of the actual temperature change. There’s not enough room for a full discussion of this, but basically it depends on a compounding of many worst cases for many different factors. (See, for example, posts here, here, and here on climate etc.) Controversial
  • Human CO2 release is the principle reason for climate change. This is also controversial, for a number of reasons.
  • Human-caused climate change is more important than any other use for the money. Again, this is actually controversial, although disagreeing with this is enough to be declared a heretic and “denier” even if you agree with all the previous steps. There’s no better evidence for this than the decision, under political pressure, that the University of Western Australia would not proceed as an institute for evaluating the economic cost-benefits tradeoffs of development projects because Dr. Bjorn Lomborg was to be involved.

So now, go back to what Christie said: “I believe in climate change. And human beings contribute to it.” That is, he agrees with the well-supported points above, and didn’t say anything about the rest of the Apostle’s Creed.

Now, that’s a careful answer and a lawyer’s answer: he didn’t say anything more than he needed to. It ought to be completely non-controversial, although without expressing credo in the rest of the Apostle’s Creed of AGW, it would certainly get him proclaimed a “denier.” What it shouldn’t do is get him attacked from the right, or at least from people on the right who think looking at the facts might be important.

Science ought to be first about looking for the truth – and sometimes, looking for the truth is a little more complicated than 140 characters.