Ir­rel­e­vant to link cli­mate change with terror fears

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

RITA Panahi’s ar­ti­cle, “Cli­mate change zealotry wears thin” ( TB, 22- 7) states that most Aus­tralians are more con­cerned about ISIS than the ef­fects of cli­mate change.

The fig­ures cited are ac­cu­rate but the ra­tio­nale in sug­gest­ing that the high fear of ter­ror­ism can some­how be re­lated to the rejection of cli­mate change is spec­u­la­tive, pro­vides no use­ful pur­pose and does not form a ba­sis for sen­si­ble, in­formed de­bate.

To sug­gest that Aus­tralia’s con­cerns about “fear of be­ing blown up, be­headed or shot by Is­lamic State sav­ages” of­fers any rel­e­vant in­put to cli­mate change is­sues is de­bat­able.

Science in­volves ev­i­dence­based, peer- re­viewed re­search which evolves and ex­pands as fresh data be­comes known. Per­sonal opin­ions and pop­ulist media form no part of the sci­en­tific method, yet crit­i­cisms of sci­en­tists, emo­tive lan­guage, stereo­typed name call­ing seem to be ac­cept­able.

Richard Tol was cited as proof that cli­mate change sci­en­tists are in dis­agree­ment. Tol re­futed the IPCC find­ing that 97 per cent of cli­mate sci­en­tists were in agree­ment.

This may be cor­rect but there are re­but­tals and crit­i­cisms of Tol’s cal­cu­la­tions which were not men­tioned. A sim­i­lar Tol ar­ti­cle was also re­cently writ­ten by An­drew Bolt.

The po­ten­tial dan­gers of both ter­ror­ism and cli­mate change merit se­ri­ous and wellinformed con­sid­er­a­tion, but each is a sep­a­rate is­sue.

BILL SIMP­KINS,

An­nan­dale.

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