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Thu, 2006-06-15 13:18Richard Littlemore
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Tim Ball: "the First Canadian PhD in Climatology"


Friends of Science scientific advisor Dr. Tim Ball, who has been criss-crossing the country in a campaign to undermine public support for the scientific proof behind human-caused climate change, advertises himself as “the first Canadian PhD in Climatology.” The FOS website boasts that, “He has an extensive background in climatology, especially the reconstruction of past climates and the impact of climate change on human history and the human condition.”

Wed, 2006-06-07 07:38Richard Littlemore
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Skeptics Conference: An Ideological Battleground

Now that the dust has settled over the Skeptics Society conference, the Environmental Wars, it's easy to see it as a microcosmic skirmish in the ideological war that is subsuming the U.S.(and increasingly the Canadian) debate about climate change.

We at the DeSmogBlog are guilty of sometimes oversimplifying this debate by suggesting that it is occurring between the most accomplished climate scientists in the world (as exemplified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and a band of self-interested dissemblers who will do anything to defend the profitable status quo (as exemplified by ExxonMobile and Peabody Energy).

Wed, 2006-06-07 07:00Richard Littlemore
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Other Bloggers on Skeptic Society Conference

Hats off to Jonathan Adler for his blogging of the Skeptics Conference. His fairly instant record of the event is exhaustive, accurate and (parenthetical comments excepted) evenhanded.

My favourite of his 13 posts is the one on Gregory Arnold's presentation on market trading mechanisms. Here you have the libertarian Adler struggling to find relevant criticism of a free market fellow traveller. Arnold, after all, is trying to figure out how to make money on emission traditing - how to make a profit saving the world. But Adler notices that the market has an inevitable government component (as all well-regulated markets do) and he can't stand the notion. He concludes: “…where it is impossible to create actual property rights in environmental resources (because you can't let the market work where you don't have property rights upon which the market is based) tradable credit systems may make sense. But for me, this approach is never more than a second-best solution.” He doesn't propose a “first-best” solution.

Tue, 2006-06-06 17:15Richard Littlemore
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Skeptical Coverage of Skeptics Conference

Blogger Randy Kirk, a self-described fundamentalist Christian, also attented the Skeptic Society Confernce last weekend at CalTech, and came away a little bruised by the experience. He says:

I have been attending fundamentalist churches for the last 20 years, and have gone to countless conferences during that time. I can't remember a single time when positions were taken in those meetings that were so pompous, so biased, or so lacking in humility. Those in the leadership of the Christian “right” never say that the debate is over. In this conference, that was the refrain. I think there is a problem in our scientific community. The consequence of this problem may only result in horrible science, but it could result in tyranny.

Tue, 2006-06-06 10:04Richard Littlemore
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TheTyee Speaks to John Robinson

The kinds of behaviour changes we need are not so much individual as collective. It’s the rule changes: the building codes, transportation infrastructure, transit, urban form – nobody makes those decisions as individuals. That’s why we need to support these collective policies – they are more important than, say, buying a smaller vehicle. If we just focus on the individual behaviour we miss all the big items. UBC Professor John Robinson

For the full text of an excellent interview by www.thetyee.ca, click here.

Tue, 2006-06-06 09:51Richard Littlemore
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Americans and Climate Change: An Ivy League Overview

Click here for a report called Americans and Climate Change: Closing the Gap Between Science and Action.

It is a “Synthesis of Insights and Recommendations from the 2005 Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies on Climate Change.

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