John Humphrys : An End To Fence-Sitting

On 31st December 2009, John Humphrys, well-loved BBC radio interviewer and presenter, amongst other things, wrote an opinion piece for the Daily Mail newspaper.

He weaves a careful argument about why he and others should stop fence-sitting on the issue of Climate Change, but he is still in need of an educational experience to help him understand where the power and drive of Climate Change Denial comes from :-–good-riddance-them.html

“Noughties? No, they were the Nasties… and good riddance to them : By JOHN HUMPHRYS : 31st December 2009… So, in the relatively short span of ten years we moved from terrorism to war to the chilling prospect of financial Armageddon and the grim farce of politicians on the fiddle. We discovered that the institutions any civilised society must rely on for protection were seriously flawed. There was a palpable sense that we were the victims of duplicity – if not betrayal. That, you may think, has been bad enough and you may wave farewell to the past decade with a great sigh of relief. But hold on. There’s more to come. As each year of this dark decade passed, another threat grew steadily until it assumed such proportions that it came to overshadow everything else. Global warming. The end of the world as we know it. Or so we were warned by the vast majority of the world’s scientists, political leaders and environmentalists. The gloomiest of them told us that when the decade had begun we might, perhaps, have had a chance of halting or even reversing global warming. But we failed to act and now it’s too late. This is tricky territory for someone like me. If I tell you that I think the science is sound and there is no doubt that global warming has been brought about by humans pumping too much CO2 into the atmosphere, I shall get it in the neck from the sceptics. Yet more proof, they will say, that the BBC has bought into the great global warming conspiracy. To which I say: ‘Rubbish!’ I no more accept that hundreds of the world’s most respected scientists have conspired to deceive us than that the sceptics – whose ranks also include some respectable scientists (not to mention several leading writers on this newspaper) – have some sinister agenda and secretly don’t care whether the world survives or not. I just wish that we could conduct this debate on rational rather than quasi-religious grounds and stop talking about ‘believers’ and ‘deniers’. But if we must use the language of belief, let’s invoke the French thinker Blaise Pascal who broke new philosophical ground in the 17th century with his famous ‘wager’. Pascal’s wager said that even if the existence of God seems unlikely, it is rational to believe in him because the price of denying God is catastrophic (you might go to Hell), whereas there are positive benefits in saying you believe. But Pascal’s wager works only up to a point. It was couched in terms of the individual making choices that would affect his own well-being. The big difference with man-made climate change is that if the sceptics are wrong, then it’s our children and grandchildren ad infinitum who will pay the price. That’s the clincher for me. And if it’s the believers who are wrong and billions of people do not actually starve or drown as the planet heats up to boiling point – well, we may pass on to our children a world that is less dependent on a dwindling supply of fossil fuels and less wasteful. That can’t be too bad, can it?”

Maybe John Humphrys would care read the new book by James Hoggan “Climate Cover-Up : The Crusade to Deny Global Warming”. Then he will discover that there has indeed been a “secret agenda” to undermine the Science of Global Warming by the Fossil Fuel corporates. This is not “conspiracy theory”. It’s incontrovertible fact :-

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