Dialogues with Infidels
In the early years of the Climate Change era, we 'carbonistas' fondly thought that the simple logic of the situation, plus ever-larger mountains of evidence, would be enough to convince everybody and generate a clear consensus for resolute action.
Alas, this not been the case. Not at all. Sceptics, contrarians and denialists (as they are variously called) always seemed to bounce back with arguments, and sometimes even evidence, that have found a wide supportive audience, either to doubt the very existence of anthropogenic climate change, or at least to deny its urgency. The 'person on the Clapham omnibus' (as we used to say) is desperate for reasons to simply ignore the whole thing.
For me the result of all this is to try and go right back to the fundamentals. Have we really got this right? If not, where have we gone wrong? Surely we need a reasoned dialogue. Surely if both sides admit they might be wrong, we ought to be able to sit down and sort it out? The first two essays are attempts to do this, but in retrospect perhaps rather naive!
Convincing Climate Sceptics 2009 (doc)
Trapped in a Climate Cage 2011 (doc)
If we have failed to get through to climate-sceptic fundamentalists, what about the fundamentalists on our own side? It could well be that in the end we have to generate a wide range of pragmatic compromises to achieve a workable decarbonisation programme. So it is important to discuss certain issues that (on the whole) the 'green' side of the argument has found distasteful, or even immoral. Here some readers might find the boot on the other foot!
Carbon Offsets 2007 (ppt)
Reconciling wind and nuclear power 2009 (doc)