The debate on climate change must continue

Thursday, 4th August

• THE grasses in Camden, and widely over the country, are scorched and we are warned an extended drought is on its way.

Most public voices assert that this is due to climate warming (they are likely to be right); that is proposition number one. The same voices now insist that the warming is due to human action, proposition number two.

At this point responsible public voices should make a profound distinction between propositions one and two, in what we say and read about the situation.

The minority who question proposition two – and some who even deny it – do not have to be labelled as “climate deniers”, an opinion which relates to proposition one.

The long term by which to label the process in proposition two is “anthropogenic causation”, a term that is too clumsy to become widely used. We need a new label.

Those who pin the responsibility for global warming on human action, ranging from barbecues to massive power stations burning coal or wood, and petrol-burning vehicles, we could label “huccusers” (human action accusers). And “huccusation” has become the dominant explanation.

However eminent physicists now suggest it is not by any means proven that increased carbon dioxide is the sole guilty agent, and point to historical processes in global temperature variations.

Such scientists need not be labelled “climate deniers” (which appears to fly in the face of what we can all experience in recent developments).

And “climate denial” is by itself a nonsensical term, opening the way to a prejudice against those who are cautious about explanations of climate change.


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