False equivalence and the climate “debate”

One of the more bumptious of NZ’s tame sceptics is University of Canterbury philosopher and “eminent scientist” Associate Professor Denis Dutton. A key member of the NZ C”S”C, he is perhaps best known for creating the rather good Arts & Letters Daily web site – and selling it for a considerable sum. He has now embarked on a new site – currently in beta – called Climate Debate Daily, with another UC philosopher, Doug Campbell. You might expect me to welcome a new and “neutral” climate site, but I believe it completely misrepresents the reality of any “debate” that might exist, and is in effect a new tactic to give credence to sceptic effluvia. Here’s how they describe their aims:

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Something 4 The Weekend

Bali continues to make headlines. The rough positions are becoming clear. China’s playing hardball – no mandatory cuts, West has to cut first and most deeply. The New York Times‘ Andy Revkin has a couple of good Bali posts on his blog: the first suggests that the IPCC may have to revise its goal for the next report – updating AR4 for the conclusion of the post-Kyoto process in 2009, while the second looks at what’s going on around the negotiations. Meanwhile, 200 scientists from around the world, coordinated by the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, issued a statement calling on the conference to aim for emissions cuts of at least 50% by 2050 [Herald, Globe & Mail (Canada)].

Meanwhile, there’s lots more below the fold (as they say on the broadsheets)….

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Fast follow-up

 Wp-Content Uploads 2007 10 Nzifollow My critique of the NZI’s “fast follower” report – described as “spirited” by Nevil Gibson in the NBR – has received a swift response from the NZI. We’re Right Behind You was written by NZI chief executive David Skilling and researcher Danielle Boven. Danielle interviewed me about climate issues earlier this year, and has taken the trouble to prepare an extended response to my criticisms. It’s too long to post as a comment, so Danielle becomes HT’s second guest blogger (IPCC lead author Jim Renwick was the first). I have not edited her words, but do offer some comment at the end. Note: Danielle refers in several places to papers 1 & 2. The first paper is the one published this week, the second a forthcoming one which will consider other aspects of climate policy. Over to Danielle….

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