Is it just me or do you, too, feel that it seems like a long time ago since there was a consensus on climate change? I signed up to it because I met lots of people I liked and admired who had already subscribed and who read lots of books about it and quoted terrifying scenarios and insisted, “You must see this amazing thing on YouTube.”
I also signed up to it because I don’t understand science but I do trust scientists – in much he same spirit as Hugo Rifkind: “when I can’t be arsed properly to understand something, I tend to defer to those who can. I trust engineers to build bridges and I trust doctors to cure diseases. Likewise climatologists on man-made global warming. Most of them seem to believe in it. They might all be wrong, but they’re less likely to be wrong than I am. Call me a mindless stooge, but that’s good enough for me.”
Now, I guess, there are lots of us who are not so sure. There was the Climategate scandal: all those hacked emails which revealed, in the words of James Delingpole, “Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.” With this scandal came allegations that climate science is driven by a political agenda, post-normal science, which encourages its followers to suppose that it is quite all right to lie if the cause is noble. Again, Delingpole is the one who writes most attractively about this.
No wonder Peter Preston thinks we need an eco-prophet to galvanise us.
If people are going wobbly on climate change, I wonder how they’re feeling about this in the natural burial movement?