Friday, November 05, 2010

Love your sceptic! Part 3

The Sustainable Scotland  Network annual conference yesterday began on a controversial note with Jan Bebbington claiming that our ground breaking Climate Change Scotland Act 2009 was dictated by science.  In previous posts (here and here) I have reflected on comments by two of the key speakers.   What about the seminar I attended?

Although not all bad the low point came from a social anthropologist in the seminar on engaging with communities.  Just to get us fired up Dr Justin Kenrick gave us these quotes:
"Even if all the current promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions are honoured, the world will still see global temperatures rise by an average of 4 degrees C by the end of the century. . . This is hot enough to make most of the world uninhabitable."
"We are stuffed, according to the science."
"What has got us into this mess?"  (I could be wrong but he seemed to be saying it was the market system - or perhaps just capitalism!)
If I recall correctly the IPCC's most extreme scenario was +4 degrees by the end of the century - yet here it is confidently predicted.

There was much, much more doom and gloom with a particular anti market and anti prosperity streak.  Now I know Dr Kenrick was trying to modify our behaviour for what he considers a noble cause, but I do think we deserve a bit more rigour in the output from our publicly funded Universities.

Finally, I had a reasonably in depth conversation with five different people at this conference.  Whilst two were convinced the scientific evidence was for a catastrophic future, there were three who were more sceptical about it.

Final part to follow.

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