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Climate change: why its become a left/right issue.

On 19 Nov 2014 at 7:12am Mr Melon wrote:
Sadly (and quite dangerously) the right has turned climate change into a right/left issue. Why's that?

There is no doubt that addressing man-made climate change will require state intervention and regulation on a global and unprecedented scale. The emotional inclination of a right-wing libertarian is against such control and so they are moved to deny climate change. At this crucial moment in human history has right-wing republican type libertarianism become one of the greatest threats to life on our planet?

Or maybe, as some on the right suggest (e.g. Spiked Online) the IPCC report in which scientists conclude that they are 95% sure man-made climate change presents a massive threat to life on our planet is a clever plot by the 'ruling liberal elite' to increase their control over others?

Which seems more likely?

The consequences of not mitigating against climate change and getting it wrong are likely to be catastrophic. The consequences of taking action and getting it wrong will be mostly economic.

So, what should be do?
On 19 Nov 2014 at 10:36am tom wrote:
Why do you think it is the right that has turned climate change into a right/left issue?
Surely the green party by adopting left politics has turned it into a right/left issue.
For those people in the centre ground or right political views BUT with strong environmental beliefs there is no politic party that represents them.
I know someone who is both a member of UKIP and also a member of Greenpeace!
On 19 Nov 2014 at 10:40am Old Bloke wrote:
With his opening paragraph Mr Melon (should be called What a Plum) reveals his own bias. Appears to be a hand wringing leftie who has to blame everything on the right - he'll be bringing Thatcher into it soon.
My inclination is to think both extremes are as bonkers as each other with my own particular bias giving the lefties of this world a slight advantage in the bonkers stakes
On 19 Nov 2014 at 10:49am someone else wrote:
Politicians terrify me, generally.
All political policy should be based on evidence before ideology but that isn't the case. Of six hundred plus MPs I don't think there's more than the odd one who graduated in science or medicine.
We live in an increasingly anti-intellectual age (some call it the Endarkenment), where what people want to believe takes precedence over what can be tested and demonstrated with facts.
I find it all incredibly dangerous.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 11:18am Old Bloke wrote:
Yes of course we must be intellectual.
Academics should run the world
On 19 Nov 2014 at 11:18am Merlin Milner wrote:
This particular parliament has the lowest amount of MP with a science or engineering degree of any post war parliament.
'Someone else', much can be said for journalists too.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 12:26pm Lying Hound wrote:
Why should people who can`t run Brighton think they could run the world.I wouldn`t trust them to run a tap!
Green nutty anti scientific techno-phobia delayed nuclear fuel in this country leading us to rely on dirty fuel. It has also helped starve the third world by delaying the use of genetically formed crops.
Their Political opportunism in Scotland lead them to support an oil based future and their Palaeozoic anti capitalism quite rightly makes people assume they are loons and not to be trusted.
It was the USSR and its satellites that unleashed Chernobyl and belched out pollution as China does today. Open free countries have lead environmentalism not state planned hell holes of the Green far left imagination.
Fine let them stand around in the cold handing out leaflets but don`t let them touch anyhthing . EVER

On 19 Nov 2014 at 12:29pm Xplorer1 wrote:
Al Gore sums it up in three words "An inconvenient truth". Inconvenient primarily for business (regulation, restraint, costs of change etc). Inconvenient for individuals and society because of the huge potential social impacts if we don't change our fuel habits.
Business has lobbying power, primarily with the right. So that pitches conservatism (small "c", reluctance to change, but also big "C" for the libertarian reasons mentioned earlier) against society (remember what Thatcher said about that...) which primarily exercises its voice through liberal, change oriented channels (Greenpeace, 38 Degrees, unions, Greens, Labour, etc). It's the immutable, eternal nature of things, part of the human condition.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 12:33pm Xplorer1 wrote:
...and Merlin's point is a serious issue that needs fixing. Scientists are by nature mostly, quiet, thoughtful, and oriented to deal in facts, not political niceties and fudges and the brutal hurly-burly of modern political life. Ian Gibson was the last scientist in any significant position of influence in our governments (Chair of the Science and Technology Committee until a few years ago). We desperately need more.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 12:48pm Lying Hound wrote:
Xplorer - What a load of rubbish. Nobel prize winning Scientists vindicated collective farming in the USSR (despite starvation ) .Others exonerated smoking gave us thalidomide and very nearly undid the abolition of slavery with their Darwinist, so called science at the turn of the 19th century. This same thing lay behind eugenicist policies endorsed by progressives for much of the 20th century.
Scientists are not saints they are emotionally retarded odd bods entirely capable of making claims that magically appear to generate funding and importance for ....themselves !
On 19 Nov 2014 at 12:58pm Merlin Milner wrote:
LH you forgot Thatcher.
Being an engineer, ie an applier of science, we are better suited by being between the real world and scientific discovery. Not that I am biased at all.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 1:07pm Merlin Milner wrote:
LH, the article, albeit a bit old, may inform your view on the Green party. Their view about GM is valid regarding patents etc.. Mainly because it is a patent lawyers delight and the US love lawyers. Personally I believe that we should not have got rid of our nuclear industry and should have continued with it many years ago. Lets hope that fusion becomes a reality in our lifetime.

Check it out here »
On 19 Nov 2014 at 1:10pm Mavis wrote:
the fundamental thing, the elephant in the room........ There are too many people in the world !! Like it or not it's a fact. The Chinese were vilified for introducing 'one child' , but they were ahead of the game ! #breeders
On 19 Nov 2014 at 1:33pm Ein Hund wrote:
Lying Hound appears to be conflating the competence of the green party, which represents only a small fraction of people who are advocates of environmental policies, with the validity of environmental policies or climate science. Hmmm.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 1:37pm Ein Hund wrote:
"Open free countries have lead environmentalism not state planned hell holes of the Green far left imagination. "
The open free countries have indeed led environmentalism and reduced pollution -- by outsourcing all their dirty industry and manufacturing to state planned hell holes, such as China.
Let's remember that free enterprise hasn't relocated there purely because of cheap labour - it's also because, despite being "state planned", environmental regulation is less strict and companies can socialise more costs.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 2:00pm Lying Hound wrote:
That was not true of the equally horrible Communist Block Hund
In China the industries that are booming are more or less Labour intensive and not primary polluters. The coal fired power stations that go up once a week are supplying basic needs
Capitalism has committed the terrible sin of allowing people to heat clothe feed and educate themselves and it is to this cost that I think you are objecting.
I see your point but I don`t think inflicting perpetual poverty on much of the word is an option
But then I` m a big hearted old so and so ...
On 19 Nov 2014 at 2:37pm Gawd, what a palava wrote:
'Lying Hound' you seem a bit confused. What has communism got to do with the original question? You are conflating issues to satisfy your own prejudices. The Brighton Green councilors have nothing to do with Climate Change and the IPCC report nothing to do with the Green Party neither.

Your point on pollution and poverty is misplaced too. Capitalism has brought just as much pollution and poverty to the world as the Communism you imagine. Just look to the third world, the exploited victims of your capitalism, and then look to the suppurating sort that is Japan's Fukushima.

Before you jump in with accusations, I am not defending communism. Got that, I am not defending communism?

And, on another note. The original posters last paragraph seems to me to have hit the nail on the head:

"The consequences of not mitigating against climate change and getting it wrong are likely to be catastrophic. The consequences of taking action and getting it wrong will be mostly economic."

Even in there is some (very small?) doubt that the scientists are wrong we just cannot afford to take the risk.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 4:29pm someone else wrote:
Lying Hound is an unusually troubled individual, it seems.

His / her / its first statement precisely articulates my first point. Since LH distrusts the Green Party, it would appear that any science espoused by the Green Party must be wrong. This is lunacy. Science as practised is apolitical; what politicians choose to make of science is a different thing.

Then he / she / it argues that evaluation of science should be based on the failure of thalomide. Right then, let's throw all medical research in the bin, shall we? Forget cancer treatments, cures for polio and smallpox etc; we'll just go back to laying on of hands. Maybe leeches and trepanning. I'm sure that will work out really well.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 4:48pm Sussex Jim wrote:
Having just returned from a trip to foreign parts by sea, I noticed that all the lights on board were of the old inefficient filament type that we can no longer buy for domestic use. Except in the cabins, they were on 24 hours. The engines produced a massive 63 megawatts of power; that requires an awful lot of fossil fuel.
It makes the switching off of a few streetlights insignificant.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 5:50pm Southover Queen wrote:
Jim's been cruising, eh?

Thalidomide: the tragedy of thalidomide owed almost nothing to science and everything to rampant capitalism, actually. It was brought to market by a German company called Chemie Grunewald who had produced dozens of compounds in the hope that one of them might prove therapeutically useful. Thalidomide didn't seem to kill rats so it had a couple of pretty arbitrary labels attached and off it went to the marketplace. There was little evidence that it stopped morning sickness, or indeed that it was effective as a sedative, and the company desperately tried to cover up growing reports that it might be teratogenic because it would hit them in their pockets. The main reason thalidomide prospered for so long (and caused 10,000 affected children in Germany alone) was greed. And actually it was good science which stopped it being let loose in the US markets, because an FDA official there was suspicious about the assurances as to its safety and denied it a licence.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 6:23pm Zzz.. wrote:
Coo, politics with Paul Newman, Southover Queen, Clifford, Mystic Meg and MC/Deelite (etc). Almost like old times. ;-]
On 19 Nov 2014 at 7:18pm Cat Woman wrote:
I find this all exceeding entertaining but also actually, very insightful. But really, isn't Climate Change just an Urban Myth designed to part us from our hard earned pensions? :-)
On 19 Nov 2014 at 7:18pm Lying Hound wrote:
Merlin Milner
So you have turned up some old Green Party quotes; well as I have previously remarked in addition to be an extremist Party it is also a dishonest and slippery Party.
These are answers to a ten part questionnaire sent to all Parties in 2009
On alternative medicine
“The Green Party, for example, is in favour of increased funding for research on methods of integrated conventional and holistic treatments for cancer. [...] We would oppose attempts to regulate complementary medicine, except by licensing and review boards made up of representatives of their respective alternative health care fields.”
On GM Foods
“Genetically modified food presents significant and un-quantified risks to human health and the environment. These outweigh any benefits.”
On stem cell research
“The Green Party believes that experiments on human embryos could have unforeseen outcomes harmful both to individuals and to society. We would work for an immediate international ban on all cloning and genetic manipulation of embryos, whether for research, therapeutic or reproductive purposes.”
I could go on ……… and I see you accept the point on nuclear fuel
On 19 Nov 2014 at 7:29pm Lying Hound wrote:
In the case of so called environmental science we are discussing non testable theories about a chaotic systems not the boiling point of water. Its a very soft science indeed and in my view the pretense that arguable theories are proven as the boiling point of water is exploiting the public's ignorance of what science is.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 8:12pm The appliance of science wrote:
The vast majority of the worlds scientists would say that you, Mr Paul Newman aka Lying Hound aka Ostrich Head in the Sand, would say that you are a scientifically illiterate, man made global warming denying, chaotic Tory moron.I would agree with them.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 8:37pm Zzz.. wrote:
Crikey. That's a bit harsh! The thing is that the Green Party adapts. It holds dear certain ideals and principles. All policies are worked out from these. As the world changes so do Green Party policies but still, the same principles apply.

Now, I'd love to know what principles the other parties use to determine policy.... and I'm sure a lot of fun is to be had measuring their policies against these principles.
On 19 Nov 2014 at 9:57pm Hund wrote:
"In the case of so called environmental science we are discussing non testable theories about a chaotic systems not the boiling point of water. "
Climate science is a difficult area. But carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, a fact that is as scientifically testable as the boiling point of water.
I'll quote Martin Wolf, from the FT, instead: "Many Republicans seem to have concluded man-made climate change is a hoax. If so, this is quite a hoax. Just read the synthesis report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. One is asked to imagine that thousands of scientists have put together a complex fabrication in order to promote their not particularly remunerative careers, in the near certainty they will be found out. This hypothesis makes no sense."
Whatever you believe though, surely even if there is a slight chance of global warming being true, we should reduce emissions anyway? For the same reason that you don't overtake on corners because the theory that there is a car there is 95% unlikely to be true?

On 19 Nov 2014 at 10:16pm Deelite 2 wrote:
And so we are back to the original post:

'The consequences of not mitigating against climate change and getting it wrong are likely to be catastrophic. The consequences of taking action and getting it wrong will be mostly economic.'

Go on Paul Newman. Try to address this point simply and rationally... and if you are capable, non-politically.
On 20 Nov 2014 at 6:59am Lying Hound wrote:
That there is man made global warming is indisputable ( in as much as anything is). The same could be said of the carcinogenic affect of passive smoking .
Whether either is a risk proportionate to this or that policy is another matter and I don`t claim they are equivalent cases.
In the case of passive smoking in the context if what you might call the ordinary risk landscape it is a minor factor ( In my view) and certainly does not justify any further curtailment of individual liberty.
There is no end to the use of this so-called science however because the real objective of the anti smoking lobby is to eradicate smoking and for them the mis-use of science is justified by this worthy objective .
The IPCC has, by various published e mails demonstrated , to my satisfaction that it is chiefly a propogandizing body intent on presenting the picture in such a way as to justify a power grab by trans national bodies and its own continued funding and importance .
The objective is to present a picture of sudden and deadly peril , the so called hockey stick graph and argue against the possibility that we are experiencing natural fluctuations.
I take the moderate view that it would be surprising if man made global warming was not happening but it would be equally surprising if those political and self interested in promoting a "State of emergency " were not mis presenting the evidence .After all they and others always have done .
That means , for me that whilst we act cautiously we do not drop every other consideration as if confronted by the revealed world of god and we ceratinly do not have to accept that the solution lies in global government and neo communist dreamers lurking in parochial debating societies
That is the word of me
Thanks be to me
On 20 Nov 2014 at 8:23am Deelite 2 wrote:
It's truly refreshing to hear a more measured and adult response from you.

How do you suggest that we act cautiously to mitigate what appears to be a huge risk with cataclysmic and irreversible consequences?

Do bear in mind that on the other side we have the almost limitless pockets of the fossil fuel industry (aka the USA Government). In fact the industry holds such great power it's truly amazing the climate change message has got through.

Comparing climate change to anti-smoking is to trivialise the issue.
On 20 Nov 2014 at 9:26am Mark wrote:
Mr Hound is very lucid but, at the same time, very odd. Why oh why would someone be suspicious of, and distrust, climate scientists who are aligned against multinational corporations who's on-going march is dependent on maximising consumption of fossil fuels? It's like he's trying to convince himself of something.
On 20 Nov 2014 at 1:17pm White-liner wrote:
Err, it's not just climate change, it's every single topic that politicians fell may win, or lose, voters support for them. So, whatever the left or rigth say on one subject, the opposition seem to feel they have to take the polar opposite view, and n'er the twain shall meet.
So, even on topics where it is blatantly obvious that neither left's nor right's approach are the best solution, neither side will concede that the middle gorund may be the best option.
Greens seem to have slid way over to the left, Lib-Dems don't seem to want to commit one way or t'other on anything, for fear of losing what they hope will be the chance of a second term as "power-brokers"...
UKIP seem to be gaining ground simply because they are, superficially at least (i.e. if you dont try to unravel their policies), tapping into the fears held by many voters at present.
Until left, right, Greens, and any other parties stop taking polar opposite views simply in the mistaken belief that this will win them votes, and start to see that middle ground policies might be better for everyone, and come to relaise that many in the electorate perhaps think that 'compromise' rather than 'extreme polarisation on everything' is the better way, then the left-right split on all topics will continue.
And, no, I don't think personally think proportional representation would improve things either, you'd simply get more "hung" parliaments where neither of the two extremes held power, but lack of willingness to try to agree a compromise middle way would simply lead to repeated collapse of government whenever the two extremes failed to work together.
All the time parties, are working desperately to try to gain/hold on to power (and thus their own jobs as MPs), rather than working for a proper long-term solution to all the nations problems then this idiotic polarisation of matters which are clearly not "political" in themselves will continue.
If nothing else, perhaps all MPs should have a minimum period of 5 years "real world" experience (i.e. they must be able to prove they applied for, won on merit, and then worked in employed positions in private industry, public services, or charities) before they can stand for election. Likewise, perhaps MP salary (and benefits) should be tied in to relatively low multiple of national median wage. At least a few more of them, on all sides of the house, might then have a better understanding of how their decisions may impact upon the electorate. By fixing their wages against UK median wage they would also see their MP wage rise, fall or stagnate base don how well they run UK plc, so they may be less prone to follow party lines.

On 20 Nov 2014 at 2:25pm Deelite 2 wrote:
"Greens seem to have slid way over to the left". It's hardly 'way over to the left'. You make the Greens sound like the Revolutionary Communist Party or The Socialist Workers Party. As evidenced in the rest of your post you are looking for what you call 'middle ground'. The middle ground can only be defined within the political spectrum of the day... and right now that leaves us with the middle ground as somewhat right of centre!

I agree with you about the polarisation but see it very differently, more as a result of the old class roots of the two major parties, the first past the post system and the confrontational nature of the commons. Unlike you though I expect proper proportional representation to reduce confrontation and increase discussion and co-operation. I think the current political bi-polar seesaw set-up encourages short-term-ism and think PR is the best way to encourage long term thinking and long term planning. By 'proper' I don't mean the dogs-dinner we recently voted on or indeed any of the half-arsed PR systems that currently exist.

BTW. That change of name just did not work. :-)
On 20 Nov 2014 at 5:31pm Merlin Milner wrote:
LH are you a scientist or an engineer? If you are you would see the various 'published' emails from scientists in their correct context rather than that of the likes of Dellingpole, Lawson etc. who have selectively taken emails and constructed a confection to support their flaky beliefs.
Just for the record and agree with stem cell research, GM foods IF they are for all and not a means of multinationals to patent nature and hold the poor to ransom. We should be pouring more money internationally into nuclear fusion.
On 20 Nov 2014 at 6:03pm mark wrote:
Re: change of name it's pretty clear he's Sword of Truth just as Old Bloke is ex labour voter. When these folk realise they've gone too far on one particular topic. Then just scrap the egg of their faces and reinvent themselves.
On 20 Nov 2014 at 6:06pm Oops wrote:
He's an insurance salesman Merlin.

Thorium Salt Reactors, surely?
On 20 Nov 2014 at 6:33pm Mark wrote:
An insurance salesman? Say it ain't so, please. The worst of the flunkies of the financial services industry. I steadfastly refused to have flood insurance for ten years -even after the flood because I know what a con that entire industry is (deductables and excesses...etc) - until Mrs Mark laid down the law and insisted that I get some.

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